Taking the Chester Pass Road north towards the looming Stirling Range National Park, the distinctive profile of Bluff Knoll will, if you’re lucky, emerge from the cloudbanks often obscuring its summit. Avid hill-walkers could spend a few days “peak bagging” here and come away well satisfied; the Stirlings are WA’s best – if not only – mountain-walking area, with as many as five peaks over 1000m. Be aware, however, that the area can experience blizzards as late as October. Bluff Knoll (1095m), the park’s highest and most popular ascent, has a well-built path involving a three-hour-return slog (2hr up, 1hr back). Like much of the area, the floral biodiversity in the Range is exceptional.
The unsealed 45km Stirling Range scenic drive winds amid the peaks to Red Gum Pass in the west, where you can turn around and go back the same way (with superior views). Halfway along the drive Talyuberup (800m) is a short, steep ascent, with great vistas at the top, while Toolbrunup Peak (1052m), accessed by a track next to the park campsite, is a steep, 4km, three-hour trip, with some exposed scrambling near the summit. Many other trails wander between the peaks and link up into overnight walks.