Spur 3 and Oakey Creek from Pierce Hill

Monday 15 April 2024: Tidbinbilla Skyline Northern Section – Camels Hump, Pierce Hill, Johns Peak, Tidbinbilla Peak * – L/E-M. In via Camelback Fire trail, over Camels Hump to Pierce Hill, south to Johns Peak and Tidbinbilla Peak, out via SE from Tidbinbilla Peak. Around 17km and 1000vm.


From Garmin Connect (recorded on Epix Gen 2) – Distance: 18.38km | Climb: 1015vm (Elev Corrections Enabled) | Time: 4:52 moving +2:16 of stops = 7:08 | Grading: L/E-M; H(13).


View photographs here. More photos in the album.

gpx file

Download the gpx file here.

Track Map

Here’s where we went.

Track Camels Hump, Pierce Hill, Johns Peak, Tidbinbilla Peak

Trip Report

I was last on Camels Hump, Johns Peak and Tidbinbilla Peak on 11 Feb 23, and Pierce Hill on 2 Sep 14.

Thanks to an early Early Ranger, we were through the TNR gates at 7.15am and walking from the Mountain Creek car park at 7.30am.

I’d warned my companions to bring a book to read as they waited for me at the various regrouping points. Mike did a great job talking to me as I gasped up the steep bits of the Camelback Fire Trail, and Anna and Michael were happy with their fast walking and fast talking.

Approaching Camels Hump via the Camelback Fire Trail

1 hour 35 minutes for the 6km to the sign at the base of Camels Hump.

The others skipped up and I staggered up Camels Hump. The usual huge views to the south.

Johns Peak, TIdbinbilla Peak and Tidbinbilla Mountain from the Camels Hump climb

The cairn at the top seems to grow and has some signage.

Camels Hump cairn and signage

We descended to the north through a recent controlled burn to rejoin the fire trail.

Controlled burn on north flank of Camels Hump

1,4km in 30mins to Pierce Hill, the last ascent handrailing the fence line from the south. Pleasant views to the east as we enjoyed smoko.

Spur 3 and Oakey Creek from Pierce Hill

In the distance quite a stretch of Canberra, from Gungahlin in the north to Lanyon Valley in the south.

We came off the top via the fire trail, down to the intersection with the 68 blaze.

68 blaze

A 2.7km tromp in 40 minutes back south on the fire trail, passing to the east of Camels Hump, to the Johns Peak turnoff.

I hope the Firies know what this means! Spur 3 FT is behind the photographer, Pierces Creek is to the right

I was starting to slow up.

Johns Peak

The 1.6km leg from the turnoff to Johns Peak took me 45 minutes. My companions had been there quite a while when I arrived. A few purple arrows guide the ascent to the top.

Another view back to Camels Hump from the climb to Johns Peak

Grand views to the west of the wild Cotter River valley and the Brindabella Range.

View West from Johns Peak

Although the recognised track ends here, it continues on to Tidbinbilla Peak at nearly the same standard. A little rocky at first. However, warning signs need to be heeded.

Signage just past Johns Peak

Another warning sign further along the route.

Signage between Johns Peak and SH1491

For me, 1.2km in 1 hour from Johns Peak to Tidbinbilla Peak. Included a 10 minute lunch break.

We ran into a party of 3 at Tidbinbilla Peak, enjoying the westerly view.

Tidbinbilla Mountain and the Pimple from Tidbinbilla Peak

They’d come up Snowy Corner through Tidbinbilla Mountain and were exiting via Johns Peak. They were certainly moving faster than my speed allowed our party.

I was finally able to keep up on the exit route which starts just south of Tidbinbilla Peak. A few trees examined, including a search for the now gone/burnt AD66 blaze.

Thanks for your company folks. Sorry I was so slow. Grand views aren’t they?

As age and health creeps inevitably onwards, I think I’m resigned to never regaining my walking ability, particularly up hills. I should do flat track trips. But there’s one more on the Tidbinbilla skyline, the southern section. Should I do it alone or not?


4 walkers – Mike B, Anna H, Michael C, me.


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

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