Hike and scramble to unbeatable Glass House Mountains views
The newly opened Yul-yan-man track in the Glass House Mountains provides a great adventurous walk with plenty of scrambling to what are surely the best views of the Glass House Mountains. The track itself is only 3.5 kms long but it links up with other trails to create a couple of circuit options, including a 10.5 km or longer return walk.
Enjoying the views of the Glass House Mountains on the Yul-yan-man Track
Note: The Glass House Mountains is where more people are injured and more people need to be rescued that in any other part of Australia. This is partly because people are getting out of their comfort zones, rushing difficult sections and getting into trouble. Yul-yan-man track is actually a great alternative to many of scrambles up the various peaks of the Glass House Mountains, though it isn't going to be suitable for everyone.
Yul Yan Man is a term in the local Kabi Kabi language which means 'Walk Slowly", which is a fitting name because of the scrambling sections should be taken with care. While the walk has some steep sections and includes going along very narrow trails on bluff edges, it is not overly challenging to someone with even the most basic scrambling experience and you will find the effort worth it for the views.
The trails go from Beerburrum and end at the Trachyte Circuit that goes around the area between Tibberoowuccum and Tibrogargan. For most people the place to start will be Beerburrum and you can start at the Yul-yan-man Trailhead which is at the end of the Mount Beeburrum Access Road, though you can also start 1 km lower at the Soldiers' Settlers' Trail Start Point while means you have to walk 1 km along the walking trail up the hill to the Yul-yan-man track. This is a great option if you plan to do a circuit returning via the Soldiers Settlers' Trail. It is also the closest point to the Train Station for people who want to access this hike by public transportation.
Right from the beginning, you will find that you need to do a little scrambling as the trail goes over rocks. It is hard to lose the trail through because there are plenty of pink trail markers anchored into the rock with the name of the trail written on them. Each trail marker is a triangle with the top of the triangle point in the direction to follow.
There is a fair amount of scrambling on this track, but nothing overly difficult
When you are not scrambling, the track itself at this stage and at other points along its length is fairly rough, often covered with rocks or at an angle on the side of a hill. Once again, if you are not making it a race, it going to be safe. Then, of course, there are plenty of sections are the flat and easy to walk.
Parts of the track are very rough, hugging the side of the hills
There are several spots along the track with great views of the Glass House Mountains. Unlike heading up the various peaks, on this track, you get to see the Glass House Mountains from the side and this provides a great panorama.
There are great views from the track of the Glass House Mountains
As already said before, the track is well signposted. There are not many side paths, and those that you do see go to a lookout and then stop. In addition, the track is well designed and is probably based on a rough bush tracks locals have been following for years, so it goes to all the best vantage points anyway and there is little need to go exploring.
The last lookout is definitely the best and people starting at the Tibrogargan car park might consider following the Trachyte Circuit until it joins onto the Yul-yan-man track and just make their way up to this lookout. Essentially to get to and from the Trachyte Circuit, you need to negotiate a long stone slope. This is can be a little scary heading down and a bit of a fitness challenge heading up. But once past this part, you are down on the flat.
To make it a 10.5 km walking circuit, when you hit the Trachyte Circuit, you turn right and head in the direction of the Soldiers' Settlers' Trail, which is a forest trail that connects Tibrogargan and Beerburrum. Of course, you can keep going around the Trachyte and Tibrogargan Circuits if you want a longer hike.
Now it is a just a simple straightforward walk back to the starting point. This trail is reasonably well shaded and is mostly flat. As a shared trail you should also see mountain bikers here as well, but not trail bikes or horse riders.
The Soldier's Settlers' Trail is a wide forest trail that links Beerburrum with Tibrogargan
You will see a side walking trail along the Soldiers' Settlers' Trail, and you can take this as an alternative route. This track is partly shared with the mountain bike and hiking trails diverging at one point. This track is not really any shorter than following the main trail and doesn't take you to anywhere interesting, but just heads back up the hill a little before joining back with the main trail.
The Soldier's Settlers' Trail has a smaller side trail that gets you off the main track
There is one interesting historic site you will pass by near the end of the trail which is the historic Beerburrum Cemetery where there are still the remains of some gravestones viewable behind an iron fence. The Soldiers' Settlers' Trail ends at the Beerburrum Trail Head. If you started your walk here you will be happy because you don't have to walk that last 1 km uphill to where you parked your car. It is also a short stroll from here to the nearest cafe, the Black Squirrel.
The Soldiers' Settlers' Trail ends at the Beerburrum Trail Head
Of course, that little final walk up the hill back to the Yul-yan-man trailhead is not that difficult or steep and some people might even want to head all the way up Beerburrum and back for one last lookout.
The nearest choice for coffee, cake or a meal after the hike is at the Black Squirrel Coffee Bar near the start of the hike. Here they have a reasonable range of meals on the menu and lighter snacks in the display cabinet. You will also find a few cafes and fruit shops along the Steve Irwin Way.
Overall this is a great new track and in many ways a better option than hiking up many of the peaks in the Glass House Mountains. It is a little difficult but nothing that should stop most hikers from attempting it. When combined with the Soldiers' Settlers' Tail it makes a great circuit and you can extend the hike further by also doing the Tibrogargan and Trachyte Trails.