The Cradle Mountain Summit Walk has the advantage of allowing walkers the choice of different tracks.
One popular alternative with many who head for the summit, is to create a circuit using sections of other tracks such as the Dove Lake and Crater Lake circuits. For fit walkers doing this means that for most of the journey to and from the summit, new ground can be covered rather than doing a one-track summit and return walk. It is however important when deciding the route options to look at the experience and fitness levels of party members on this grade 3-track system.
The main track to the summit of Cradle Mountain leaves from Dove Lake and goes past Lake Lilla and on to Marion’s Lookout before pushing on to the summit. The track starts at 900m and climbs to 1545m. It should be noted that the walk entails a 600m climb and crosses areas of large boulders.
The Level 3, Cradle Mountain Summit Walk is suitable for well-equipped walkers with good levels of bush walking proficiency and fitness. Sections of the track can be icy and slippery, particularly during the winter months. Heavy rain, snow and freezing temperatures can occur at any time. Good equipment is essential. Stout footwear, thermal leggings or shorts, a jersey, warm hat or beanie, waterproof trousers and a good quality outer shell jacket are recommended, along with food and drink and a map of the area.
Walkers should allow 6-8 hours to complete the walk, which is 6.4km one way. This time will obviously depend on the choice of alternative tracks. This time is calculated on an easy, steady walking pace. It does not take into account time spent relaxing, eating or of course breaks taken for photography.
Pets and firearms and bicycles are not permitted in the park.
Park entry fees DO apply.
There are toilet facilities at Dove Lake and the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre with picnic tables at Ronny Creek.
Follow Cradle Mountain Road to Dove Lake. The beginning of the circuit is reached by following the boat shed track and depending on the route chosen, branching right to join the circuit track when the tracks split about 300-metres from the start point.