Located 45 minutes from Esperance, Frenchman Peak or Mandooboornup as it was known before colonisers arrived stands out as a survivor of wind, water and the forces of nature that have eroded most of the surrounding landscape over the aeons.
Rising to a modest 242m above sea level, this impressive granite dome is a feature of the park and a popular recreation activity for those looking to add a fun experience to their trip. With a fun climb to the top and plenty to see and do while you’re there, Frenchman Peak is a must visit place when coming to Cape Le Grand.
The hike up to the summit is a short and sharp affair with the total return distance being only 2.5km. After rounding the base of the dome, you reach a spot that points you straight up the granite and you pick your way up the steep slope, following markers that have been bolted into the rock face. It’s very steep in places with a one in three gradient that will really get the legs working. Near the summit it flattens out and you can enjoy the views without worrying about your next breath.
Before you take the remaining section of trail to the summit, the famous cave is a short shuffle down the rocks where you’ll get an open cavern that frames the view out towards the ocean very nicely. To experience even better views, climb out of the cave and loop up to the summit where on a clear day you can see all the beaches of Cape Le Grand along with the nearby Recherche Archipelago.
This is listed as a Class 5 hike by Parks and Wildlife and the big reason for this is the steep climb up the granite slope. When it is dry this shouldn’t pose an issue for those that are sure-footed and careful but wet granite can be very dangerous. There is nothing to stop your fall here so choose your steps carefully and avoid the hike in wet and windy conditions.
Photos by @thelife0fpy, @rubixcube_, @thegoldencherry, @helife0fpy, @juls_sassu, @helife0fpy & @katie.fabie
Research & words by @thelife0fpy
Perth Western Australia Travel Photo
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