Located in the desert country of Australia’s Red Centre, the Larapinta Trail follows the spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges for 232 km (144 mi.) from Alice Springs to the summit of Mount Sonder. This is a tough and challenging hike through a vast landscape of rugged mountain ridges, wild mysterious gorges and arid, spinifex-covered open plains. The land is harsh and demanding, but there is a stark, primordial almost spiritual beauty here. You will be infinitely rewarded for your efforts by vast sweeping views from the ridgetops broken by deep gorges with rare ferns and cycad palms as old as 1,000 years sheltered within their moist dark shadows. Contained almost entirely within the West MacDonnell National Park, the trail follows some of the important Dreaming tracks of the local Arrente people, passing several sacred sites such as Fish Hole.
Photos by Colin Mann