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Mount Frankland

Mount Frankland

Mount Frankland National Park

Directions - From the centre of Walpole, head north on North Walpole Road all the way to Mount Frankland Road. Take a turn here and follow the signs all the way to the car park. The trail starts from the new information structure.

The Hike - Mount Frankland was a hike I first did in Christmas 2016 and I have extremely fond memories of that day (you can view that post here). Unfortunately in the process of transferring photos between computers and hard drives, I accidently deleted all the raw images from that trip a couple of years ago. With my 2020 Spring Road Trip taking me to the Walpole area, I decided to re-visit Mount Frankland as I made my way down from Funbury via Skeleton Bridge and the Bridgetown River Walk. With the weather rolling in I was hoping to reach this lovely hike before it hit and also with enough light to be able to photograph it properly. Arriving at the car park at 4:30pm, I found I was the only one there and that the lighting was getting very dim.

Figuring I would have a wander around and if the photos didn't turn out or it started to rain heavily then it wouldn't be a big deal. First on the cards was to visit the Walpole Wilderness Lookout that I completely missed the last time I was here. I think because I still had to drive back to Fremantle that day and didn't think it was worth it at the time. Seeing photos from it afterwards I realised I was wrong so now I was finally going to rectify that mistake. Walking out on the metal boardwalk that hugs the side of a granite hill dominated by Karri forest and a mossy rock face, I was off to a good start. It's only a short journey to the edge of the hill where the metal boardwalk extends out and you reach a nice spot overlooking the vast forests below. It's a great sight to witness with nothing man made for as far as the eye can see. With Mount Mitchell and Mount Roe in the distance, it would be fantastic to see a longer walking trail running through this area given how pristine it looks. For now the weather looked to be holding off but the lookout is north facing so I wasn't aware of what was about to arrive. 

Heading back to the impressive information building near the car park, it was time to enjoy the hike I had done almost four years ago. There are three official trails here, the short 500m return walk to the Walpole Wilderness Lookout, the 1.2km return trip to the summit of Mount Frankland or the 2km Caldyanup Trail that takes you around the base of the granite dome and up to the summit. The first little part to the Old Towerman's Hut is a pleasant amble on the paved trail passing through cream coloured Karri and a dense, wildflower filled undergrowth. Reaching the old hut, this area serves as a picnic spot if you have packed one on your travels. If not then have a look around at the hut that was used by the watchmen as a base to record their observations in between running up and down to the summit of Mount Frankland to look out for nearby bushfires. It would have been a pretty lonely workday but I can see the appeal of having this area all to yourself and making the climb a few times a day to stare out on this beautiful landscape.