Desert Queen Baths to Middle Pool return - WA

Distance: 7.3km
Submitted By: Member - JohnnyBeadle
Recorded: 02 Aug 2022


Full day walk to Middle Pool via Desert Queen Baths and return

This magnificent day walk incorporates all the DQB Pools and then ventures further into the escarpment to Middle Pool. Allow 6-8 hours for the return journey.

Think of this trek in 3 sections:

(1) The lower Pools 1-4 (3 Goannas Pool is no. 1), all of which can be negotiated on foot. Allow 45-60 minutes one way for this section. In a good year for rain like 2022, it can be somewhat problematical counting pools as other ephemeral pools remain.

(2) The actual DQB Pools which are reached after section 1. These are Pools 5-8, and this is where you need to swim! Pool 5 is deep and cold and surrounded by spectacular red stone walls. Pool 6 is a little shallower and warmer. Pool 7 is cold and requires a scramble to get out and Pool 8 completes the swimming.

Allow 60 minutes for this section, including some time to warm up on the rocks after the cold swims.

(3) The final walk up the creek/ gorge system to Middle Pool. This traverses a variety of topography as you ascend the watercourse. The creek is sometimes sandy and open, but quickly changes to jumbled boulders and steeper gorges. It may seem to take forever to reach Middle Pool and we counted 7 ephemeral pools along this section (2022). Middle Pool is large and deep and black so you will know when you’ve got there. It would require a swim or high traverse to keep going from here.

Allow 90 minutes for this section.

We found the return to DQB campsite somewhat faster because we knew what to expect and when to swim.

We carried satellite phone and had offline digital mapping on iPhone (ExplorOz). As you are following a river bed it would be hard to get lost on this walk, but good mapping is invaluable to know how far you have walked.

You could use these track notes to do Sections 1 and 2 only for a shorter walk, or only Section 1 if swimming in cold desert gorges isn’t your thing.

The whole walk return as described is exhilarating and world class. There are no technical sections but the walk requires a reasonable level of fitness and of course the usual advice on water, food and sun protection applies. We took a cup and drank from the pools as we walked. Take dry bags or similar to get your camera and phones across Pools 5–8. We walked in runners for the majority of the walk, and carried Crocs for the swim section. You can put them on your hands and use them as paddles.

We didn’t see anyone else for the whole walk. Peaceful isolation.

Distance: 7.3km
Submitted By: Member - JohnnyBeadle
Recorded: 02 Aug 2022
Num Points: 141
Average Speed: 2.2km/hr
Accuracy: Very High
iMapPlot Reference Image


Closest Weather Station

Telfer at 02/11:00pm WST
Distance from Midpoint 84.75km N
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Telfer Aero
Distance from Midpoint 84.75km N
Mean Max. °C40.638.637.334.529.125.325.328.432.737.039.440.2
Mean Min. °C26.025.423.920.615.311.910.612.516.520.823.425.4
Mean Rain mm49.1102.777.320.018.914.313.

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