Bald Head Hike – Overview
The Bald Head hike is a hike in Albany, Western Australia.
It is a fairly challenging hike which will take the larger portion of the day to complete, but it is one of the most popular in the area thanks to its incredible views and the unique landscape that it traverses.
Although it is a long hike it is a super popular hike and you are likely to come across other people unless you’re attempting it in horrible conditions (not recommended). However the hike never felt crowded for me due to its size.
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Nearby hikes to check out
For other hikes nearby check out the following:
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Bald Head Hike Video
Bald Head Hike Details
In this section I will show a few photos and give you the basic run down of the Bald Head hike from my perspective, as well as my recommendations about the hike.
Where is the Bald Head hike?
The Bald Head hike is located 23 minutes drive south east of Albany town centre around the bay. Albany is a city on the very southern edge of Western Australia. From the capital city of Perth it will take about 5 hours to get there.
It is located inside the Torndirrup National Park which also houses a lot of other tourist attractions. The hike is best done as part of a longer stay in Albany, as this really is a hot spot for tourism, magnificent hikes and in general is worth exploring in detail.
How much does it cost to do the Bald Head hike?
The Bald Head hike is part of the Torndirrup National park which does have entry fees.
You can buy passes online here, when I drove in I did not see any pay stations at all except for at The Gap and Natural Bridge, however I was not looking as I have a yearly Parks Pass so that I don’t need to worry about it (it’s cheap for a year if you plan on using it).
As this hike is quite long I do recommend buying food. Take a high energy snack or two to keep you going. If you want hydration other than water then that will be another cost to add.
Is there parking at the Bald Head hike?
There is parking at the Bald Head hike’s trail head.
Parking is not huge, but is decent enough. I started really early and there was nobody else there, but when I left many hours later the carpark was full. There were cars parking down the road because of this.
I estimate that the carpark will hold about 7-10 cars depending on their size and how close they park, but as the others did you can park along the road as overflow parking if needed.
A low hanging mist.
How long is the Bald Head hike?
The Bald Head hike is officially 12.6kms return so it is a hefty day hike. It is an out and back style hike.
My recorded distance was actually a whopping 14.16km, a whole 1.5kms longer than needed, but this is due to the amount of back and forth I did filming and taking photos.
How long does it take to complete the Bald Head hike?
The average time on the Bald Head hike according to Alltrails is 4 hours and 24 minutes. However everyone I talked to, as well as from my own experience would say that you should put aside 6 hours for this as you will be stopping to enjoy the view, to rest, to drink or to eat at the end.
For context it took me 3 and a half hours from the car park to Bald Head with all the filming. On the way back it took me 1 hour and 50 minutes stopping just to chat to other people along the way and only taking a handful of photos.
Keep in mind my camera bag weighs about 12kg and it was quite challenging.
I think a fit person carrying just their phone and water could do this in 3 and a half hours at a quick pace. However the average Alltrails time of 4 and a half hours would be more enjoyable a pace to take in the surroundings.
What is the elevation gain and altitude of Bald Head hike?
The elevation gain of the Bald Head hike is approximately 626m.
The altitude of the hike peaks about 200m above sea level, but Bald Head itself is lower at about 80m above the ocean.
The hike is pretty challenging with some sections being hard on the knees, especially for me carrying extra weight. For those who want to carry extra weight I recommend taking walking poles.
My Bald Head hike stats
My Bald Head hike stats screenshot from AllTrails. Note that the moving time is just over 3 and a half hours.
My total time was about 30 minutes longer than the app suggests as I did pause the app when I got to the end and flew the drone around, it would have been closer to 5 hours 45 minutes total time.
It’s all about balance.
What is the weather like on the Bald Head hike?
The Bald Head hike is in Albany, so you kind of never know.
Taking my experience for example, I had two potential dates to do the hike. Day 1 was forecast as overcast. Day 2 was forecast as showers.
So I did it on Day 1 and it was, as you will see in all the photos, covered in a low hanging mist that was like a slow drizzle the entire day. I thought it would clear up as the sun rose into the sky but this never happened. I could not see the next peak through the fog and at times visibility was only 60m.
The following day with forecast showers was fine.
So, in my head it’s a roll of the dice, but if the forecast is for sun you should be able to expect pretty good conditons, when it’s overcast anything can happen.
What are the track conditions of the Bald Head hike?
Bald Head hike has very good track conditions as it has recently undergone repair works with the intention of protecting the dunes system from eroding so quickly. As a part of this new boardwalks have been installed.
These boardwalks are like a fibreglass mesh that offer good grip, a flat surface and make the hike easier in general.
However the hike is not easy, there are sections of lengthy decline that put a lot of pressure on the knees, in the opposite direction these lengthy inclines will burn your hamstrings and glutes.
The track is all exposed from above and sometimes from the sides as well. The exposed parts were better as there was a nice breeze while the parts amongst the forest and shrubs can be quite humid.
Be careful on the granite sections if you face conditions like I did with mist and rain. It is super slippery!
There are sections you have to go down/up that can’t be avoided, I basically slid down them on my boots as grip was non-existant and just hoped I’d be able to get back up. Getting up normally offers more grip than going down.
I fell on my arse twice, on one ocassion cutting up my elbow. There were multiple other times I lost my footing without falling, it was like walking on ice (the backpack weight not helping).
Even when I got to the end the low hanging mist stuck around. Be careful not to get too close to these long steeped edges.
Shot using the DJI Mavic 3 Pro (Amazon).
What do I need to do the Bald Head hike?
The Bald Head hike will require some sun protection due to the length of it.
You will also need a decent amount of hydration depending on the forecast and what you take with you weight wise. I used about 2.5L of water, carrying a lot of weight but starting before sunrise, with overcast conditions meaning it was never super hot, but did get humid.
Beware of snakes along the path, I personally would take a PLB if doing it alone. Consider a snake bite kit as well when travelling alone.
Long pants and shirts are not needed as the track is never too scratchy, but they do offer sun protection. However I wore them anyway for protection.
Beautiful but dangerous.
Summary of the Bald Head hike
Long, rewarding, knee killing, hammy burning, slippery at times but completely worth it.
Do I recommend the Bald Head hike?
Absolutely, in fact I want to do it again to try and see it in clear conditions.
I think the misty conditions that I saw it in were incredible as it was something different, but I’d also love to see it on a clear day to be able to look back towards Albany and the rest of the Torndirrup National Park.