Like a vein through the heart of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the trail through rugged “Valley of the Winds” is a scenic, mind-bending journey. Far less crowded than the trail at Uluru and in many ways more powerful, the Valley of the Winds traverses land that’s used by Aborigines for traditional cultural ceremonies. It’s a spot where the silence can often seem deafening—even in busier times of year—and the sun bathes the rocky Olgas in a deep, reddish hue. The first lookout is less than a mile from the main trailhead parking lot, and the entire loop past both lookouts is approximately 4.5 miles. Allow three hours to complete the hike—and be sure to pack plenty of water—as portions of the trail are actually closed in summer for stifling desert. As the longest hike in the Kata Tjuta, Valley of the Winds is the deepest foray you can make out into this landscape, where dreamtime stories and ancient spirits all seem to drift on the wind.
Valley of the Winds is located 45 minutes west of the viewing area at Uluru. The road is paved connecting the two sites, and sturdy shoes and drinking water are mandatory for the hike. While no points of the trail require any technical climbing, the trail at points can be somewhat challenging and requires a high degree of fitness.