Walking the Emily Gap to Jessie Gap Trail

The road was empty as I pulled into Emily Gap. It was 6:59 am. I was right on time. I debated putting on an extra jumper on as I got out of my car. The cool morning air was crisp, but bearable so I decided to give the extra layers a pass and walked into the gap while I waited for my hiking buddy to arrive.

Water at Emily Gap is rare. It’s also freezing!

It’s an unusual sight to see so much water in Emily Gap. There was something magical about the time I spent looking at the water alone.

When my friend arrived I jumped in her car and we drove to Jessie Gap to start out walk. According to the signs this is supposed to be a 7.2km trek, but my watch recorded 8.62km.

The walk was quite easy. We chatted as the track gently undulated under our feet and the sun slowly rose over the ranges behind us. We shared the trail with a number of track runnersand only saw one other walker.

As the sun began to rise above the ranges I was glad that we’d chosen to walk Jessie to Emily rather than the other way around as we weren’t walking into the sun. I don’t think it would have ruined the walk, but it would have added a certain level of discomfort.

Emily Gap and Jessie Gap are located 10 and 15km from Alice Springs respectively and are a part of the East MacDonnell Ranges. They are important locations within Yeperenye Dreaming (Caterpillar Dreaming). When the traditional owners officially opened a new hiking trail between the two gaps in 2021, I was keen to give it a go, but I admit that there is something about these two gaps that freak me out, so I didn’t want to go by myself. I finally made the walk happen this weekend when I came to the realisation that I had just had 3 long weekends in a row and I’d done nothing with that time.

As the first hike of the season, I think it was a great one to start with. I’m hoping this is the start of a great season.

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