A short journey west of Alice Springs lies Standley Chasm, traditionally known as Angkerle, a natural wonder that cuts through the quartzite rock of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The narrow gap, formed by rushing floodwaters over thousands of years, created an alleyway through walls of rock that reaches up to 80 metres in height.
Wander through the chasm and admire the vibrant contrast between the rugged red rock and lush green cycads which have survived in this environment thanks to a small but steady flow of water. If you’re lucky you might even spot some wallabies darting across the divide.
How do you get to Standley Chasm From Alice Springs?
Drive west from Alice Springs on Larapinta Drive for around 40 kilometres and turn right at the Standley Chasm turn off and drive for around another 10 kilometres.
How far is Standley Chasm From Alice Springs?
Standley Chasm is 50 kilometres west of Alice Springs and it should take about 35 minutes to drive there.
Key facts about Standley Chasm
Standley Chasm was traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye. Located in the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park with slopes rising 80 metres above the water, it was gouged through tough sandstone by floods over millions of years and surged through the Finke river system.
There is an entry fee of $12 per adult, $10 per concession and $7 per child and if you plan to visit, it’s best to go on each side of noon on a sunny day. The walk from the carpark to the chasm is an adventure as it follows a creek which attracts wildlife and native plants.
The chasm is placed within a private flora and fauna reserve owned by the Iwupataka Land Trust and operated by the traditional owners, the Angkerle Aboriginal Corporation, who are direct descendants of the Western Arrernte Aboriginal People.
The unique microclimate in the valley has created ancient Cycads and a myriad of rock types and all native plants and animals are protected. The Chasm itself is a Rock Wallaby Dreaming Place that’s sacred to Arrente women. In traditional times only women could come here to collect bush medicines and perform sacred rites, the stories and songs could not be passed on unless you were a woman that had been through the appropriate ceremonies.
Standley Chasm Camping
Camping is allowed all year and there are a range of camping sites available to choose from including powered, unpowered, caravan and RV sites. Shower facilities are available as well as washing machines, kitchens and fridges, picnic areas and barbecues. They can be rented for $18.50 pp per night, or a family rate of $60. Alcohol is not permitted, and gates are locked at 5pm and reopen at 8am.
Standley Chasm Walks
Standley Chasm is the highlight of The Larapinta Walking Trail. The gates open from 8am-5pm and entry is prohibited after 4:30pm. The walk is an easy 1.2km (15 minutes) each way which will require a moderate level of fitness. If you wanted more of a challenge you can include section 3 and 4 of the trails to make it more difficult but keep in mind that you would need to set aside 4.5 hours to complete this trail. We recommend wearing enclosed shoes and bringing plenty of fluids for the walk. The car park is located near the start of the trail and there are clean bathrooms and a kiosk café available also.
Standley Chasm Guided Tours
If you want to explore the wider West MacDonnell Range while visiting the Standley Chasm we recommend going on a guided tour that will inform you of the region’s history and rich culture along the way. There are also other tours available that include Standley Chasm within their wider Uluru to Alice Springs tour that are highly recommended if you want to save the hassle of planning but make the most of your time in the Northern Territory.
Browse our tours below to make the most of your trip to the Chasm!