The Dam Cliffs

Access: Bushfire related crag closures

May 2020 - some climbing crags in the Blue Mountains are officially closed due to extensive damage from bushfires and floods over Xmas period 2019/20. All campgrounds are closed during Covid-19 restrictions and some are also damaged from bushfires and will be closed in the medium term.

Refer to this spreadsheet for current crag access status.

Areas that have been burnt and will not reopen for many months include Mt York, Bardens, Bellbird Wall and most of Narrow Neck including Diamond Falls.

See warning details and discuss

Created 4 months ago - Edited about a day ago




A peculiar area, so named because of the abandoned dam.

This is a great free swimming hole - where the water is cold and deep. It is a popular option in summer when the heat gets too much (or if you want to cool off after climbing at a nearby crag). The crag is on a reserve known as 'Dargans Creek Reserve' managed by a trust committee. Please Google search the reserve, if you are interested in what they do or possibly how to join.

TOILETS - due to the popularity of this Crag and the increasing toilet waste that is around the climbing areas, please use the toilet area down at the end of 'Shady Alley'. From the large cave, head out between the cliffs. Please bury and cover your leftovers.

© (boulderman)

Access issues inherited from Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are a World Heritage listed area. The Grose Valley, the cliffs around Katoomba and much of the Narrow Neck peninsula are part of the Blue Mountains National Park which is managed by the NPWS. The Western Escarpment - where most of the climbing is - is Crown Land managed by the BMCC. While the NPWS Plan of Management nominates several locations in the National Park where rock climbing is deemed appropriate, the majority of the climbing remains unacknowledged. To maintain access our best approach is to 'Respect Native Habitat, Tread Softly and Leave No Trace'. Do not cut flora and keep any tracks and infrastructure as minimal as possible.

Practically all crags are either in National Park or in council reserve: dog owners are reminded that dogs are not allowed in National Parks at any time and fines have been issued, while for crags on council reserve the BMCC leash law requires that dogs be on-leash.


From the Darling Causeway turn off at Bell, drive up Chifley Rd for 6.2kms. Turn left (just before a bridge over the railway line). As you turn in, there is a sign that says 'Dargans Creek Reserve'. Drive in on tar, alongside the railway line for 200m. If the Railway gate (going straight ahead) at the end of the tar is open DO NOT GO THROUGH (you may be locked in). Take the track veering to the left onto the dirt. DO NOT go through the Private Property gate (please respect the owners land). Follow the dirt track (fine for standard cars provided you use caution) for 500m or so. Then veer right (follow 'DAM' signs). Follow along narrow track (use caution for other cars) for about 400m until the track veers left away from the railway lines. Go through steel posts, then veer left down hill till you find a large clearing, where most people park. The track is a little rough down to here. You may like to park on the sidings, if you have a small car? The Crag is down the track to the right, down a steep track. It’s a relatively easy walk down. Follow track down till you see the Dam. At end of track, find your way out to the top of the cliff on the west side of the creek. (you will see the Dam wall on your left). You can scramble your way down and across the creek (take care).

© (boulderman)

Ethic inherited from Blue Mountains

Although sport climbing is well entrenched as the most popular form of Blueys climbing, mixed-climbing on gear and bolts has generally been the rule over the long term. Please try to use available natural gear where possible, and do not bolt cracks or potential trad climbs. If you do the bolts may be removed.

Because of the softness of Blue Mountains sandstone, bolting should only be done by those with a solid knowledge of glue-in equipping. A recent fatality serves as a reminder that this is not an area to experiment with bolting.

If you do need to top rope, please do it through your own gear as the wear on the anchors is both difficult and expensive to maintain.

If you have benefited from climbing infrastructure in NSW, please consider making a donation towards maintenance costs. The Sydney Rockclimbing Club Rebolting Fund finances the replacement of old bolts on existing climbs and the maintenance of other hardware such as fixed ropes and anchors. The SRC purchases hardware, such as bolts and glue, and distributes them to volunteer rebolters across the state of New South Wales. For more information, including donation details, visit

It would be appreciated if brushing of holds becomes part of your climbing routine - do it with a soft bristled brush and never a steel brush!

The removal of vegetation - both from the cliff bases and the climbs - is not seen as beneficial to aesthetics of the environment nor to our access to it.

However, the fast growing scrub can conceal walking tracks in mere months, making remote and less popular crags slightly more difficult and fun to navigate to. Some appropriately discreet pruning is a far better alternative then track braiding (which causes far more damage).

However, do so only on Council land and definitely not in the National Park. Remember, to maintain access our best approach is to 'Respect Native Habitat, Tread Softly and Leave No Trace'. Do not cut flora and keep any tracks and infrastructure as minimal as possible or risk possible closures.


Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)


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