From the start point (at waypoint ‘START’) near the Bibbulun Track crossing of Dale Road, walk a few metres west toward the white boom gate and at ‘1’ turn left onto a marked foot-track (the established Mount Dale Circuit trail) which heads southward gently upslope. After 250m at ‘1-1’ the track passes a picnic area toilet and veers toward Dale Road. At ‘2’ veer right (eastward) to stay on the foot-track rather than rejoining nearby Dale Road. The track steepens upslope and curves southward onto a granite outcrop just below the carpark and lookout area near the summit of Mount Dale. At ‘3’ you can opt for a short diversion to the lookout area at ‘3-1’ which means a short clamber up a steep, rough sidetrack before returning to ‘3’. There are great, sweeping views from the summit area across the Darling Range to the low peaks of the Monadnocks NP (Mts Cooke, Cuthbert, Vincent, etc) and beyond. However, you will be able to get much the same view, though 20-25m below the summit, by continuing directly from ‘3’ to ‘3-2’ on the foot-track which contours around the southern slope below the summit before climbing NE-ward to ‘3-3’ where there is another sidetrack on the left also leading to the summit area. Veer right to stay on the ‘circuit’ foot-track until ‘4’. Then veer right to head ESE, off-track and quite steeply downslope, initially crossing a small outcrop and then picking a way through an understorey of parrot bush which envelopes just the upper slopes below the summit and can become quite dense after control burns due to vigorous regrowth. (Note: If this short section seems dense and scratchy, just take it slowly and patiently and don’t let it put you off. The route soon gets much easier!) Continue ESE-ward via ‘4-1’ remaining close to (but just south of) the crest of a ridge and avoid drifting more steeply downslope to the right. Reach the upper edge of a section at ‘4-2’ and cross a larger, sloping at ‘4-3’. Re-enter the forest at ‘5’ and head eastward across a flatter area at the head of a side valley. Veer ENE at ‘6’ and soon descend quite steeply down the ridge via ‘6-1’. and ‘6-2’ with a narrow side valley on your left. Descend to ‘7’ which is close to the stream course, then veer right and within ~50m cross a different stream course at ‘7-1’. Then climb quite steeply eastward through open wandoo woodland and patches of heathland to clamber up a steepish escarpment via ‘9’ and reach a fire control vehicle track at ‘9-1’. Follow the track south to ‘10’ with a good view through the wandoo trees, from the ridge back to the summit of Mount Dale. Then veer left (SE) off-track to leave the vehicle track to continue gently uphill onto a broader plateau area. After ‘10-1’ continue SE-ward along the NE edge of the flat laterite-capped hilltop through wandoo woodland, with the steepish escarpment sloping away to your left,. After ‘10-2’ descend very gently, still following the top of the escarpment (via’11’). Then at ‘12’ veer left (ENE) to descend quite steeply through woodland and down a steeper rocky outcrop via ‘12-1’. Cross the head of a small gully at ’13’ and a small outcrop at ‘14’. to ‘D7-A’. Then veer right, more eastward, down a gentler slope to reach Smith Road at ’15’. Turn right to follow the road for 750m to ‘16’. Then veer left to reach nearby Beraking Brook at ‘17’ where it crosses a large, bare granite outcrop. Picturesque rapids here flow into a large pool here after good winter rainfall. This makes a very pleasant rest spot on a sunny day and also provides an excellent view back to Mount Dale from ‘18’. On leaving the Brook, cross Smith Road at ‘19’ and follow an old vehicle track up to the edge of a large granite outcrop which rises steeply to the south. Veer right at ‘20’ to climb the steep rock slope (beware of slippery patches!) to the gentler upper slope at ‘21’. Continue upslope and partly across heathland via ‘22’ and cross a DPAW control burn track at ‘23’. Head southward up a ridge via ‘24’ through wandoo woodland and meet a vehicle track at ‘24-1’ on a laterite-capped hill top. (Near here may be a good spot for a lunch stop though the woodlands may still be recovering from a local, but very severe 2011 burn and the impact of the associated roughly bulldozed new tracks). Follow the track SSE. It follows the top of the escarpment along the initially flat western edge of the hill top, and then descends gently via ‘24-2’ and ‘24-3’. After ‘24-2’ the hill top becomes a narrow ridge and at ‘25’, on a small laterite ‘knob’ (or butte), the track reaches a T-junction with the W-E burn control track. Veer SW off-track via ‘25-1’ and ‘25-2’ to initially stay on the ridge, then descend to cross the head of a small gully and soon meet an old forestry vehicle track at ’26’. Follow the track steadily uphill westward for about 700m. The track then flattens across a hilltop and at ‘27’ starts bending southward. At this point continue westward off-track gently downhill through open forest. After about 500m cross stream course and meet an old partly overgrown forestry track at ’28’. Turn right to follow this track initially NNW and parallelling the nearby stream course. The track soon veers NW away from the stream via ‘28-1’ then climbs steadily eastward to cross a broad ridge. At ‘29’ cross a long straight vehicle track to join the marked Bibbulmun Track on the west side. Follow the Bibbulmun Track for only about 200m to ‘30’ then veer left off-track to climb very gently SSW to ‘31’. (Or see Option 1 below, to shorten the walk and reduce the amount of off-track walking.) At ‘31’ veer right (westward) to descend to a narrow gully. Cross the stream course at ‘32’ and climb the bare slope on the western side to ‘33’. Then veer right to climb westward via ‘33-1’. Reach the foot of a sloping granite outcrop at ‘34’ on the east flank of ‘South Peak’ (WalkGPS informal name). Climb NNW along the outcrop via ‘36’ and ‘36-1’ and then along slope to ‘37’ (with a good view of Mount Dale, just 1.5km to the NNE). Descend ~NE via ‘37-1’ across heathland and then northward to another outcrop. At ‘38’, leave the outcrop to head NE gently downslope to rejoin the Bibbulmun Track at ‘39’. Turn left to follow the track for less than 50m to the side-track (at ‘40’) to the Mount Dale Campsite at ’41’. Locate an old track leaving the northern side the hut and follow it northward to a junction with an old vehicle track at ‘42’. Turn left to follow the partly overgrown track WNW. At ‘43’ turn left (SW) at the junction with another track. Turn right at the Bibbulmun Track crossing at ’44’ and follow the Track uphill via ‘44-1’ and ‘45’ (on Omeo Road) back to the Start point.
Option 1, For shortened walk and less off-track walking: The walk can be easily shortened by a net ~1.25km toward the end simply by staying on the Bibbulmun Track from waypoint ‘30’ to 44’ (and so also optionally bypassing the Mount Dale Campsite). This option also reduces the amount of off-track walking by 1.5km.