Start Point: Mt Cooke Pine Plantation
Distance: 11 kms
Duration: 3 hours
Mt Cooke is the highest point in the Darling Ranges at 582 metres (1,909 ft), and it is definitely my favourite!
Mt Cooke is different from Mt Cuthbert and Mt Vincent. It has a 3km walking track on the ridge of the summit. The views from Mt Cooke are simply spectacular and from here you can see in all directions.
Within the first 5 minutes of this walking trail you will find yourself ascending up the South side of the monadnock. You will no doubt be impressed by large sloping granite outcrops and giant boulders.
Those lucky enough will even find the elusive Mt Cooke Cave! Here you can leave a note in the ‘Cave Book’ like we did. (Hot Tip: the cave is on the South side of the ridge, look for the ‘split boulders’ that face East).
This 10.5km/4hr loop trail will take you along the Bibbulmun Track over the peak until you reach the Mt Cooke Campsite. From there it is a relatively flat 6km through Jarrah Forest back to the start point. Be prepared for possible changes in weather. The summit ridge (especially on the south) is quite exposed and can get quite cold and windy.
The Mt Cooke Loop Trail was a real surprise. With so much to discover along the ridge of the summit, I will definitely be back to explore more!
Directions to start point:
Heading South along the Albany Highway, drive 16.5kms past the turn off to Jarrahdale Rd. Turn left into the Mt Cooke Pine Plantation and head down a gravel track. When you get to the end (T-junction) turn right and follow this gravel road (Cooke Rd) for 1km. There is a small carpark on the left, park your car here.