Hawdon-Edwards Classic, Arthurs Pass, Canterbury - Trail Directory - Wild Things
This is officially a "route" and not a track. From the Hawdon Shelter there are large orange triangles marking the route up the riverbed. DoC is. Ian, Alison, and myself had made an early start in order to meet a dinner date at the other View into the Hawdon Valley from the ridge leading to Woolshed Hill Steps like this were typical of the track up through the bush. Run up the Kowhai river valley track to the hut. . but not quite meeting the criteria to be a true classic! . is best - if a nor-west is forecast to develop later in the day start at the Hawdon end (tail wind, and more downhill).
Once down, at Waterfall Flat, a rough track leads through scrub above gorges before dropping down to Top Flats Hut. From here there is a long, cruisy run across open river flats and bush to Kerin Forks Hut. A km or so below the hut, find a suitable braided place to cross the Wilkin and run out the last dozen or so km down the true left of the river and tracks to the Makarora, dinner and beer.
Next day it's a nice bike ride back to the car beside the lakes, and via Wanaka. Just after Gledhu Bay, it's worth tossing the tent etc into scrub by the road for later pickup so you don't need to bike it the last 40km, much of which is gravel.
Those listed before Ball Pass are day trips from Christchurch. From Lake Ohau drive north to the Temple valley car park. Drive up the Lake Ohau Road to the car park, and swap to a mountain bike, for the rest of the journey towards Monument Hut site -- ditch the bike and start running up valley, crossing the Hopkins river towards Red Hut and follow up valley take a map to where the track heads up through steep bush to Dasler Biv. Above the hut the trail emerges onto open tops with great views -- head for the toe of the north ridge, which is by far the easiest way up the impressive tooth-shaped Dasler Pinnacles.
The ridge is steep and exposed but mostly straightforward and easy scrambling to the summit, which has superb views in all directions. Return the same way. For a shorter run, it should be possible to bike most of the way up the river, also on the true left. A fine mountain run, especially in autumn or spring, with varied views and terrain along the way, including good views of the Arrowsmith range, Mt Darchiac, and the sweeping Canterbury plains, forest, unusual rock formations, open tussock tops, streams, waterfalls and more.
Many other variations are possible but having run these tracks many times, the circuit described seems the best, and the Stavely end is just over 1 hour drive from Christchurch. For a shorter run you can use a bike to get back to the car. Another option from the Woolshed creek end, and in clear weather is to run until 1.
Route Guide: Hawdon River
Follow up from here through scree and small rock bands to the summit of Mt Sommers, then run south directly back to Woolshed Creek carpark -- be careful to pick up the track lower down alternatively drop directly east from the summit on the main summit track towards Staveley Hill saddle and return via the South-Face track.
A further option from Shaplin falls, is to traverse Mt Winterborn and return to the saddle for the run out along the Mt Somers walkway to Shaplin falls. Pick up the rough but clear track a few minutes beyond Duke Knob that heads off to the right. Mount Oxford traverse Nice mountain run circuits, all on tracks, with no backtracking, and within 1 hour drive from Christchurch also useful when the peaks further west are under snow.
From Cooper Creek car park run up Mount Oxford metres and follow the poled route on the open tops south that leads down back into bush where the track forks after a short climb. For a 'short' option continue directly down and back to the car via either of the two linking tracks. For longer options, at the fork on the descent, take the track that descends north-west down to Wharfedale shelter.
From here you can run back on the cruisy and endlessly curving Wharfedale track, or for a bigger outing, continue down valley to the remains of the Townsend Hut where a marked track climbs metres up to Black Hill hut it's worth venturing further up onto the tops for the views. Descend from the hut 10 minutes and pick up the alternative track that drops down to the Wharfedale track, south of the Wharfedale shelter.
Return via the Wharefdale track and linking tracks. This last circuit is approx. Cass-Lagoon circuit Run the Cass-Lagoon track from the Bealey end, and pick up a bike at the Cass end to get back to the car.
Plenty of water along the way. Have run this in both directions, as a run it seems best starting at the Bealey end, but starting from Cass gives a much nicer bike ride back, especially if it's north-west. If you do start from the Cass end, take care not to miss the side-stream cairned but not well marked that leads off from the main river up towards Lagoon saddle take a map -- several people have! In the other direction you can't get lost.
Arthurs Pass outings Many possibilities here, including: Place a bike at the end of the gravel road at Klondike corner and drive to the bottom of the Otira Gorge. Park somewhere after you cross the Otira river don't leave valuables in the carand head up the private gravel road to the train tunnel, then follow the slightly overgrown but scenic Rolleston river track - don't expect to run much of this track it starts where the Rolleston valley first narrows, climbing steeply up a scree on your left, then sidles and undulates for a long way through bush - be careful not to loose the track and don't descend to the Rolleston river until it's obvious.
Follow the river, climb a spur, and eventually arrive near the head of the valley -- go straight for the steep middle col - it's to the right and slightly higher than the "obvious" col which has a glacier on the other side, which would be no fun at all in running shoes From the col it is possible to climb to some various high view points, or just chill out and admire the views.
It's fast going most of the rest of the way --descend to the Waimak Falls hut and run down through some impressive country to the wide Waimak river Carrington Hut is just across the river and metres upstream in the bushand back to the bike. From here it's a one hour bike ride, with an exhilarating descent down the Otira viaduct, back to the car. Hawden-Edwards A popular day tramping route 30km can be run, though it's a bit slow in places -pleasant, varied scenery, and a 22km bike ride back to the car.
Have run this in both directions, and it's debatable which way around is best - if a nor-west is forecast to develop later in the day start at the Hawdon end tail wind, and more downhill. Drop bike at Greyney's shelter, and drive to Hawden valley. Run up the Hawden valley track, past the hut, and up over Walker pass and Tarn Col to arrive at Tarahuna Pass take a map and compass - make sure you don't end up in the Otehake wilderness area!
To descend Tarn Col there's a good scree descent just to the south of the Col; in the reverse direction climb steep scrub by the waterfall. Then head back down the long but scenic Edwards valley watch for tracks through bush on the true left after the hut, and out to the Bealey river. Bike back to the car. Polar range circuit via Discovery Stream and Sudden valley A largely off-track circuit with a bit of everything - river running, bush bashing, rock scrambling, and short sections of ridge running with fantastic views, a big scree descent, hanging valleys and bush trails.
Starts and finishes at the Hawden shelter car park. Route finding is important so take a map. Run up the Hawden valley true right, then left then right following occasional markers till you reach Discovery creek 1 hour. Pleasant boulder hopping up this stream through an impressive gorge soon follows, then you meet a side-branch that comes in on your right small cairn on mossy boulder.
Head straight up the true left of this stream in the bush, it's steep but avoids waterfalls. Stay close to the stream higher up so you can pop out onto the rocky streambed and follow it up towards the head of the valley. Higher up this valley an obvious deep gorge appears on your left true right - the standard route is apparently to the left down-valley of this on grassy slopes and scree it is also possible to head up this deep gorge to its 'dead end' head and climb out of it via an exposed zig-zag route via ledges and short rock bluffs that eventually exits out to the outside south corner of the gully.
Climb up onto the Polar range and Pt various options. From here there is good airy running along the ridge, particularly if you are close to the sheer eastern side! Closer to Mt Scott some obstacles on the ridge rear up - they can be negotiated with care on the western side.
There is only one safe spot to descent east off the ridge and this is a col just before the rock ramp that leads up to join the start of bulky Mt Scott - run down form the col on excellent scree into the head of Sudden valley - once off the scree, the going is quite slow until you reach the open valley.
Nice running from here to the Sudden Valley Biv, and onwards along this open hanging valley to where the valley narrows. Marked trails follow the river through this section on both sides of the river; be sure to pick up the last one on the true left that leads around the impassable Barrier Falls. Once you've landed in the lower valley there is more boulder hopping before the valley finally opens up for some pleasant running back to the car park. Time about 6 hours.
Run up the Deception, over goat pass and down the Minga the route of the "coast-to-coast" and bike back - nice descent down the viaduct! Avoid this run if heavy rain is forecast or happening -- Arthurs Pass SAR are understandably getting tired of rescuing stranded runners training for the coast-to-coast who ignore severe weather warnings.
Hike up Avalanche Peak then along the ridge towards Rolleston; drop off down a scree slide into the Crow valley, then out via the Waimak to the bike this is the "Avalanche Peak challenge" route. For a longer, more remote alternative, start the trip by heading up Mt Bealey first and traversing along to Avalanche peak - after some initial rock scrambling, most of this ridge is fun to run.Track Meet Vlog - Razorback Invitational 2018
Outside of summer you'll need ice axe and crampons. Several options in increasing order of commitment include: Run up Waimak, and Anticrow river, over Sphynx saddle, down Easy Stream to the Avoca valley, down to Gallilee stream, up to Jordan Saddle, then back out via the Waimak, or climb up to either of the two ridges Hut spur or Blind spur described in the previous trip. Klondyke Corner to Barker Hut and back.
This is a longish there-and-back run to the highest hut in Arthurs Pass NP, and is best attempted in late summer, or early Autumn, when the rivers are low and it's not too hot.
Driving towards Arthurs Pass, park at the end of the gravel road on your left after the Waimak bridge. Run up river towards Anticrow hut, and on to Carrington Hut 1. Beyond Carrington Hut follow the track which leads to a cableway -- instead cross the White river by foot and follow cairns up valley mostly on the true right slow in places - the red hut soon becomes visible mid-valley on top of a large rocky ledge way up at the head of the valley. Higher up-valley some tracks lead on the true left through scrub before crossing a prominent glacier-fed stream, and climbing further before dropping steeply to cross the main river channel.
Head for the left hand side true right of the ledge that the hut lies on. It's worth spending some time there, before starting back. Popular 2-day tramping circuit that makes for a fairly straightforward run in either direction. Starts and finishes at the Andrews shelter hut Mt White road. Don't expect to run too much of this trip which combines two recognised traverses into one but it has some excellent rock scrambling and views along the way.
Drop a bike at the Temple basin carpark and drive back to Arthurs Pass. Head up towards the punchbowl falls and take the track up Mt Aitken. Feasible only in summer in good weather, and with care -- some exposed rock scrambling in places, particularly between Temple and Phipps and descending the west ridge of Phipps turn the crux obstacle there on the southern side.
Rome ridge-Avalanche Peak-Bealey traverse, and descent via rough Creek. Nice outing, with some runnable sections especially after Avalanche Peak. Mt Peel traverse A cruisy outing with some good views along the way. Stash bike at the Orari river road and drive to Mt Peel village. Jog up the scenic bush track to Little Mt Peel should be water at the shelterand then traverse along the tops arriving eventually at Big Mt Peel.
From here there are great views in all directions, especially into the head of the Rangitata pity about the transmitter station on the summit. From the summit a ridge drops steadily and steeply down into the Orari river valley. Once in the valley, follow the four wheel drive tracks initially on the true left, then on the true right back to the bike.
There's a scenic gorge section towards the end. Cross the river sometime after the bridge, and before you reach the bikes, otherwise you'll have some interesting bluffs to negotiate. Bike back to pick up the car. It's a nice run have done this 7 times especially in autumn or early summer in clear weather.
Tramping in the New Zealand backcountry: NZ Bush Adventures: Hawdon Valley Track
You have the sun behind you both ways, plenty of water en route, it's mostly downhill on the return, and there's a downhill bike ride and swim at the end. Feasible as a day trip from Christchurch 2 hr drive if you start early. Park beside Lake Heron just past the houses, and mountain-bike up-valley and take a faint 4WD track that heads diagonally left following a fence towards the narrow Cameron valley and carpark.
Just past this is a locked gate good place to leave the bike and run up valley on the track which stays on the true right of the river the whole way usually on or near the riverbed, but sometimes on tracks through scrub or matagouri some of which end in tears - i. After about 55 mins or so you'll pass the old 'highland home' hut on the other side of the river, and at the end of the next long open section of valley the track climbs over a tussock hill before descending to the river again.
Further up, near the obvious jumble of moraine mounds keep left, follow cairns and occasional markers up wet and dry riverbeds. A marker indicates where the track climbs up to the right and doubles back slightly over a mound to the hut which you can only see right near the end.
Takes just over 2 hours or so from the gate. There is water at the hut. From the hut it's a pleasant wander further up valley on the obvious 'carriageway' or for better views on moraine wall on the opposite side of the valley; sunglasses and sunhat are useful- it's pretty bright up there, not to mention awesome scenery. Climbing the small hill behind the hut also gives a nice perspective. The return mostly-downhill run and bike-ride is fun, and you can cool off with dip in the lake at the end.
Accessed from Andrews shelter Mt White Rd - but may pay to bike further up the road or put a bike there. Jog up through the bush track to Binser saddle grass flats then negotiate the untraked bush onto the northern flanks of Mt Binser's low peak. From the summit, there is a 2km long traverse over the second and third highest peak. Continue in the same south direction along the obvious visible ridge, dropping down a steep scree face, then following an undulating ridge as it winds westerly around to the road there is a shorter direct descent off the high peak down the west ridge.
Near the bottom of the longer main ridge as it heading south-west with scrub ahead pick up the scree slide out to your left that drops into a scree gully that goes all the way to the road spot it from above. Takes four hours or so, depending on sightseeing and where you put the bike. Very spectacular trip more of a hike than a run, and as a day-trip wait till summer and clear weather; even then you'll still need to take ice axe and crampons. Drive up to Celmisia flat the night before and stash the bike somewhere up the Tasman glacier.
Return to Mt Cook village. Next day set off early up the Hooker valley and head up a prominent gully usually snow filled then sidle up towards the pass. Drop down to the private hut then down to the valley and the bike. Take a map, compass, jacket and water. A summer-only trip taking you to the highest point on the Remarkables Range Single Cone m by a route that has just one slightly tricky section- a fine weather trip only.
There are various options for this trip, but maybe the most pleasant would be to drop a bike at Wye Creek, and get someone to drop you at the Remarkables Ski Field I biked from Queenstown - it's OK, but the upper gravel part is fairly tedious.
Run to Lake Alta, then follow up the Wye Creek route to the first col. Then head up onto a pleasant ledge which you follow south a bit. Then climb nice slabs of schist rock possible patches of snow and head up towards Single Cone. High up you will see a steep snow-free solid rock gully that you will probably arrive to the south of, but it is easy to traverse north to get to it on rock ledges avoiding any steep frozen snow.
The gully is steep and exposed, but there is good friction on the rock and hand-holds, and coming down is no worse than going up. From the top it's only a few minutes to the summit, and awesome views, but remember where the gully is there is a prominent cairn. Enjoy the views then return to the Wye creek route and follow this out to the bike by the lake.
Don't expect to run too much of this, but it involves some stunning scenery, good climbing, and in summer needs no technical gear provided there has been no recent snow. Start early, don't attempt in poor visibility, take a map and plenty of water. Run up past the second Hooker valley footbridge. Continue on the east side trail for about 1km.
Head across the scrub onto the southern edge of a wide basin - the route lies up the nearby ridge. Above this is some excellent, sound rock. Further up a second crux sharp gendarme becomes suddenly obvious, but can be sidled on the north side, followed by some careful, exposed climbing over the next 50 metres of ridge. It's straightforward from here to Mt Wakefield m. Return along the south-east ridge, with shortcuts possible across the basin may be tarns or snow for water here.
Follow this undulating ridge south. You can either drop off on a direct scree run all the way to the Hooker river, or follow the faint track all the way to the road bridge at Hooker corner then bike back if you don't want to use the now-closed but passable Wakefield track. A very pleasant run in Fiordland around the well-formed Keplar track a popular day 60km tramping triptaking in a long section on the tops, and plenty of forests, lakes, rivers etc.
From the control gates in Te Anau, set off at first light to avoid the crowds, and for good views on the top. After a 10km warm-up run along the lakeside forest start the long but graded climb up Mt Luxmore m climb. An enjoyable tops traverse is then followed by a very fast descent down, and the long but cruisy run down The Iris Burn to the bike. You only need the basic free map from the visitor centre for this one, and there's plenty of water in the huts and streams.
Haven't done this one as a run only as a tramp - it would be a long trip 63 km up the Rees river valley, over the Rees saddle and down the Dart river valley a popular 4 day tramping trip with a mountain bike ride back.
Make sure the track is clear of snow, and there hasn't been any heavy rain for a while, and take a map. Put a bike and some 'refreshments' at Chinaman's Bluff Paradise end then drive to the start of the Rees end of the track to camp.
An alternative shorter 33km but fun run that I have done is the return run from Chinaman's Bluff to Daley Flat hut. Earnslaw burn and ridge circuit A remote 25km mountain run with superb views very close 12km to Glenorchy. It's a circuit back to the start, mostly runnable, but with a steep section to gain the ridge. Cycle or drive up-valley and turn right at 'Lovers Leap' road public road 1km before the Earnslaw burn bridge and continue up to the mouth of the valley 1km and park. Head towards the river and pick up orange markers.
Run up the well-marked track 7km which is mostly through the bush above the river to the upper valley m climb. There is a a marked but easily missed huge rock biv across the river near bushline; however if you wish to keep your feet dry continue on up the true left of the river for a kilometers on faint trails to amazing views of the falling glaciers and waterfalls off Mt Earnslaw highest peak in the region.
Return and rejoin the main track and after about metres the first main stream is encountered. Head up this gaining height quickly for metres then as it steepens escape onto the true left vegetated side and head straight up to an obvious col steep. Don't be put off by the intimidating looking bluffs above - the ridge is fast travel once you break through onto it. Once on the ridge, head along the long, undulating ridge -- mostly tussocky with faint trails, but with occasional short rock sections thrown in -- all the way back to the point where it drops steeply down back to the mouth of the valley avoiding most of the bush, and also the sheer bluff at the end!
If the weather packs in, it's probably safest to return back via the valley on the track. To Fiordland and back. A circuit trip approx. A pleasant run takes you past the first hut, and above an impressive alpine lake to Harris saddle side trip to summit worthwhilewith up-close views of the glaciated Darran mountains.
- Classic Mountain Runs
From here an exhilarating run above the steep Hollyford valley brings you down to the second hut by a lake. The Caples track is shorter, but involves a grunty climb up to a saddle which has great views of the lower Hollyford peaks. From here it is all downhill though a bit slow till the first hut and a cruisy but lengthy run out down the open Caples valley. Alternatively, you can return via the longer Greenstone valley. Either way the bike will be a welcome sight for the return journey beside the lake to the car.
Finally, if you have less time or no bike, the run up the Routeburn track to Harris Saddle and return is a good option 3. A 53km circuit on the edge of Fiordland, with sweeping views of the ocean and mountains of south-east Fiordland, and some nice coastline and historical viaducts along the way a popular 3-day tramping circuit. Make sure the track has dried out a bit otherwise the mud can make slow going in placesthat low tide will coincide with the coastal return, and that a storm is not about to arrive from Antarctica.
Drive either to the carpark up the hill and run down the signed public track, or park lower down in which case you can mountainbike along the beach for the first part and use it again for the return. Then follow the track which travels along the coast, before heading in an increasingly steep gradient to the turn off to the hut. It is worth taking the detour towards the hut and turning off on the obvious boardwalk up to the high rock formations, with views into the lakes and mountains of Fiordland Backtrack to the turn-off, and follow the route along the tops much of it on boardwalk which undulates in a gradual descent, with superb views.
Eventually, after a final steep, sometimes muddy descent through bush you arrive back down near the south coast on an old railway cutting that passes over some impressive old wooden viaducts.
Follow this to Port Craig water and hut and then take the low tide route back. At 67km this is the second longest run listed here. It is well-formed and popular track that combines a mix of open, high country farmland, beachforest, and mountain views, with three low alpine passes and numerous huts along the way. In summer on a fine day, all gear will fit in a bum bag. Place a bike at the lewis pass end and drive back to the southern end of the track good camp site here.
There is plenty of water along the way, though it is worth filling up before the long section farmland section near Ada homestead. When you finally emerge at Lewis Pass bike back to the start 17km along the highway mostly downhill. This trip requiring no backtracking, but it's a very long epic?
An easier option is also listed below. Start before dawn, take a head torch, jacket compass, map and plenty of water-carrying capacity. Run up this river true left, then true right to the waterfall and gorge - a track climbs around the gorge and eventually leads to Hapuku Hut not marked on the topomap.
Cross the river, head up valley, and climb up the second stream past the hut draining Mt Uwerau. Fill up with water here, then climb the rocky scree and gain a spur on your left - follow up through scrub, scree and rock to the summit of Uwerau m. From here begin the 3km traverse to Manakau m. The first half of this rarely-traversed section has some interesting and exposed rocky outcrops to go over or around alpine grade 2, it is possible to stay on the ridge the whole way, but take care - an accident here would be serious.
Water can sometimes be found in a stream on the flat shelf just below the ridge north side before the ridge rises up to the main seaward kaikoura ridgeline. From the summit of Manakau, it's a fast undulating descent with some minor rocky sections to a saddle infront of a steep climb a stream is metres below on the east side. Climb and head north along the easy and undulating tops, past some hanging basins towards the second-highest peak in the range Mt Te-Ao-Whakere. From a high point on the range surrounded by hanging basins and overlooking Happy Valley south of Te-Ao-Whakere head east to pick up a long and prominent ridge that drops down in steps eventually finishing in a scree slide into the north branch of the Jordan river consult map!
Run down the river to pick up the bike, and enjoy the mostly downhill descent to SH1. Cross the Hapuku river bridge then immediately head down a shingle road to the coast, and follow it south all the way back to Kaikoura. A shorter variation to this full traverse requiring no bike s start and finishes at the pleasant campsite at the fork of the north and west branches of the Hapuku river, a a two-hour walk up the Hapuku valley turn off to the above track at the sign to Barrett's hut.
Where an electric fence crosses the valley after a few minutes, a stile is located on the true right. A couple of minutes of river flats leads to the Sudden Valley Stream entering from the true right. From here a vague track crosses the grassy river flats and then enters the mossy beech forest. You can take this track or continue on the flats. The track sidles at the edge of the flats above a sparkling, babbling tributary of the Hawdon, with riflemen, fantails, bellbirds and parakeets audible.
Beyond shingle bluffs on the opposite bank 45 min. Drop down to the river flats and cross over to the flats on the true left.
You can pick out the prominent river valleys north of the Pyramid from here. As the river bends around the Blackball Ridge it changes its character: Kea may be heard crying overhead, visible only as tiny black dots high above the valley.
Cross to the true right 5 min. Hawdon Hut is located in a glade just metres from the river with ample secluded campsites in the vicinity.