View over TNR | happy walkers | cool down stretches

Saturday 1 April 2023: Tidbinbilla Range – Shale Knoll. A bushwalking and geocaching walk up to the Snowy Corner Cairns on the Tidbinbilla Range crest, then south to the shale knolls. See trip description.


From Garmin Connect (MAP66i) – Distance: 7.28km | Climb: 712m | Time: 1:56 moving + 3:14 of stops = 5:10 | Grading: M/M-R; M(10).

Photographs Photographs are available here.
gpx File The gpx file is available here.
Track Notes

I was last through the shale knolls on 17 Dec 22.

So good to have Roger leading a CBC trip!

I was punching well above my weight today. The party consisted of fiendishly fit long distance walkers, a tri-athelete, a rock climber, a fitness fanatic … and me. But too good an opportunity to miss, to walk the Tidbinbilla Range crest and to cache with Marmaduke Rothschild.

This is a well known route to many, so not too much detail.

At one of the bridges over a Mountain Creek feeder we stopped to log geocache GC99DHN Tidbinbilla Tributary. 3 cachers in the party – Marmaduke Rothschild, helsbels98 and JohnnyBoyACT. I surprised myself by finding a cache > 2 difficulty.

Tributary to Mountain Creek at geocache GC99DHN Tidbinbilla Tributary

We reached the turn off from the Lyrebird Track, walked up over the little crest and turned right onto the old Lyrebird Trail.

A couple of hundred metres further on are some boulders in the scrub, a map spot to mark the bottom of the ascent to the Snowy Corner cairns before the footpad wore in and before GNSS devices … and before my time. Nostalgia.

‘Boulder’ waypoint – an old CBC map spot before the worn footpad and GNSS devices

The route rises from around 990m contour to 1450m ASL, 460vm. Two benches are located halfway up and provided a welcome seat for this old codger. Grateful to Roger for the several stops during the climb.

A brief pause at the Snowy Corner cairns, then we turned south. Joy for me with Roger’s navigation, as we were immediately on a developing rough bush footpad (the so-called Loki’s Trail on OpenStreetMaps) and followed it all the way to our destination. Joy, because when we came the other way through here last time, we missed it.

So called ‘Loki’s Trail’ 50m south of Snowy Corner cairns

Very pleasant walking. Several waypoints marked in the gpx file and map segment below, and photos of guidance stones/cairns in the photo album.

Short detour off the crest at ‘Cairn D’ waypoint

We reached the shale area at 10.15am and enjoyed morning tea.

Next we climbed to geocache GC9HEBM Loki’s Kennel for MR and hb to log. This was our turn around point.

Descending from geocache GC9HEBM Loki’s Kennel

Great views west.

View west to the Brindabellas, Ginini Falls tucked in at 8 o’clock from Mt Franklin

Lots of mumbo-jumbo done to answer the questions for GC9W5VY Tidbinbilla Shale (Earth cache). Actually, caches such as this are great – no physical cache and lots to learn and observe about the geology of the area.

Back at our smoko spot, I realised the cause of our error last trip. There appears to be a footpad starting at the west side of the area. Today we came in and exited exactly where waypoints ‘Smoko’ and ‘Leave open shale’ are marked. Easy the second time around.

A little sapling regrowth on the route, but easy-peasy.

The crest footpad route (so called Loki’s Trail) just north of SH1431

Back at the drop off point, we headed down. Nice view across to the knolls.

The shale knolls from 1350m contour on Snowy Corner descent

A stop for a lazy lunch.

A genteel luncheon on the Snowy Corner route seats

Down at the Cascade Trail/Camelback Fire Trail intersection, we took 100 steps or so up to the Tidbinbilla Warning Siren to find (thank you muggle = non-geocacher, Jacqui) and log GCA5W3Z Tidbinbilla Trumpet.

A great little trip, thanks so much Roger. More please. Thanks all!

Relive the trip
Track Map

Here’s where we went.

Track Shale Knolls South of Snowy Corner Cairns

The AllTrails map is here, where you can pan and zoom.


7 walkers – Cynthia B, Roger E (leader), Jan H, Helen N, Jacqui R, Tilly T, me.

Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog FaceBook Page

I’ve started up a FaceBook page. Each trip report posts to it. So it’s another way to get some info to get out and breathe a bit of fresh air. Why not pop over and Follow the page, or give a post a Like.