This WalkGPS route has quickly become popular among regular bushwalkers. It’s one of the shorter walks and is 50% on old vehicle tracks, but offers a surprising variety of terrain and scenery. The route straddles the Helena River valley, about 23km upstream from Mundaring Weir and is almost entirely through beautiful open wandoo woodlands with occasional patches of rocky heathland. Highlights include some excellent views across the surrounding country (especially across the main valley, and eastward across Mount Billy area and beyond; small laterite-capped ‘buttes’ (isolated, steep-sided erosional remnants); plus large granite boulders in many shapes and sizes (some with small caverns, decorated in one case by recent ‘aboriginal’ artwork!); plus two pleasant crossing points at fords along Helena River. (The River, when flowing, is normally no more than a very small stream, usually easily and safely crossed without getting boots wet). The route includes (for 2km) most of the horseshoe-shaped, undulating ridge of Mount Yetar. The actual summit itself is heath-covered and unremarkable, and so is bypassed via the wandoo woodlands on a southern spur ridge.
The overlap between this route and the longer alternative Mount Yetar Walk (16km) is less than 1.8km (along the main Mount Yetar ridge) and the route along the ridge is slightly varied, so most walkers will find that both walks are worthwhile and offer a different overall experience.
Although this walk is 2.5km shorter than the alternative longer walk route and is 50% on old vehicle tracks, there is a little more uphill climbing (elevation gain) and some steepish, pebbly slopes, so walkers still need to be reasonably fit. There may be short sections of low scratchy heath.
Helena River Aboriginal Heritage Site: The Helena River is one of many features and areas in the Darling Range that have special significance for the aboriginal people. It is important that such sites are respected and not disturbed in any way. (For information on aboriginal sites in the region see the DIA’s Aboriginal Heritage Enquiry System.)