The large camping area is within easy reach of Dales Gorge, Circular Pool, Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool and is a great place from which to explore the eastern end of the park.
- Camping fees apply.
- For stays from 1 June 2019 bookings are essential.
- Campsites are in very high demand from June to September.
Check availability & book
The only other campground in the park is at Karijini Eco Retreat.
Dales picnic area
Spend a day here or base yourself at the nearby Dales Campground and enjoy several days of walking and picnicking in this awe-inspiring area. You will be constantly surprised by the contrasts of red rock and green ferns, of the dry landscape above the gorge and the cool dampness of the pools. There are several lookouts giving spectacular views of the gorge and trails of various lengths and difficulty leading to Dales Gorge, Circular Pool, Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool.
Permanent water is a welcome site in the arid Pilbara environment and Fortescue Falls is Karijini National Park’s only permanent waterfall. Fed by a spring, it cascades more than 20 metres down a series of natural rock steps before finishing in a fern-lined pool.
Fortescue Falls Lookout
Enjoy fabulous views of Fortescue Falls from the top of the 100-metre-deep Dales Gorge.
Surrounded by paperbarks and delicate ferns, the pool is a lush oasis in a harsh environment.
There are walking trails of various lengths leading from the Dales picnic area and Fortescue Falls car park. You can swim in Circular Pool and at Fortescue Falls. Please read all information carefully.
Circular Pool lookout
The flat, well-formed trail leads to the lookout and trailhead for the Gorge Rim Walk.
Distance: 150m Time: Allow 15 minutes return Difficulty: Class 2
Gorge Rim Walk
Follow the rim of the gorge between Circular Pool Lookout and the beginning of the Fortescue Falls walk. White barked snappy gums grow in the car park around the edge of the gorge and shady groves of native cypress shelter under the cliff face beneath the track. There are wonderful views into Dales Gorge.
Distance: 2km loop Time: Allow 1.5 hours return Difficulty: Class 3
For more information visit TrailsWA.
Circular Pool Trail
Descend to the base of the gorge on a steep, rough trail with uneven steps and a small ladder and turn left toward Circular Pool. The trail has many obstacles and limited signage and is for experienced bushwalkers with a good level of fitness.
Distance: 800m return Time: Allow 2 hours Difficulty: Class 2
Fortescue Falls viewing area
Follow the trail from the Fortescue Falls car park to the lookout on the edge of the gorge for great views into Dales Gorge and Fortescue Falls.
Distance: 150m Time: Allow 15 minutes Difficulty: Class 3
Fortescue Falls Trail
Descend into the gorge on the steps from the Fortescue Falls viewing area. The vegetation changes as you go deeper into the gorge, becoming more green and lush. The rocks also change colour, becoming richer red and purple. The pool at the end of the falls is a perfect place for a refreshing swim.
Distance: 800m return Time: Allow 1 hour Difficulty: Class 3
Dales Gorge Trail
The four-kilometre-return trail runs along the bottom of Dales Gorge between Fortescue Falls and the Circular Pool trail.
Distance: 2km return Time: Allow 3 hours Difficulty: Class 4
From Fortescue Falls you can take an optional 300-metre detour to Fern Pool along the floor of the gorge. Bushwalking experience is recommended.
Distance: 300m return Time: Allow 30 minutes Difficulty: Class 4
Download the Dales Recreation Area map and walk trail guide