How to get to the Mount Lofty summit

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/05/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

See for yourself the breathtaking views of Adelaide and surrounding areas from the summit.

Mount Lofty summit

Mount Lofty is the tallest mountain within Mount Lofty Ranges in Adelaide Hills. Here is where you can view the most incredible views of Adelaide and other areas.

Each year, more than 350,000 people will climb Mount Lofty to reach the summit, and they’re never disappointed with the view.

From Adelaide City, it is about a 20-minute drive to reach Mount Lofty. Getting there earlier in the day is ideal as parking can be hard to find during busier times.


There are different hiking routes you can walk to reach Mount Lofty’s summit. Each hike will vary in time, but roughly it is a three-hour return. Like most hikes up a mountain, the way up is slightly longer than the way down.

Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit

This hiking trail is perhaps one of the most popular of them all. The trail is a 7.8-kilometre return, taking about three hours to complete.

This trail can be a bit tricky with it being a grade four hike. There are some parts with steep sections, where you’ll want to take your time.

Aside from the summit’s breathtaking views, Waterfall Gully is the next main highlight of the trail. The waterfall is the most outstanding one within Cleland Conservation Park. The 30-metre waterfall looks the most impressive after some heavy rainfall.

The bonus about this trail is there is a cafe at each end.

Steub Trail to Mount Lofty Summit

This trail is 7 kilometres and takes around three hours to complete (return). The trail is also a grade 3, making it a moderate hike. Even though it’s a grade three, it is an easier option for those with reduced mobility to reach the top. People with prams and bikes will find this trail easy to follow as well.

Along this route, you may come across kangaroos, echidnas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, and bandicoots.

Heysen Trail Mount Lofty circuit

The Heysen Trail is great for those who want to spend some extra time hiking. Even though the hike is 7.5 kilometres, it can take around three to five hours to complete.

Along the route, you’ll come across Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens, cottages, and farming in Piccadilly Valley.

The best days to climb Mount Lofty to reach the summit are on clear days. This means you’ll see the incredible views across the city

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

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