Hot Springs LoopIntermediate
Submitted by Rob Bathgate
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
The WHARAWHARA LINK TK has been discontinued so you can't get all the way around the loop now. It's an up and back instead!
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
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Loop can be done in either direction; going clockwise you start with a steady climb up old tram tracks to the saddle (1/3). Then proceeding north along the North South track it gets technical and undulating until you reach Te Rereatukahia Hut (2/3). Then start heading down through some steep pinches, beautiful Kauri forest and a river crossing just before final climb back up to the car park.
Te Rereatukahia Hut is 20m off the loop (but easy to find); so once visiting the hut you backtrack 20m to take the track out and down.
Features of interest
Detour off the initial climb to a check out a giant Kauri, and Sentinel Rock.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 60%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 10%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
At the Hot Springs Road road end; small carpark and DoC sign indicate start of track.
Parking at track start.
When you reach the saddle / summit, you hit a track cross roads. Turn right (North).
Near the hut there is another junction to the old North South Track, which is DoC signposted with a warning not to use. This track is very overgrown (non existant) and should not be taken without preplanning, GPS and good backcountry skills.
Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
A few small trickles on the tram track up but do not drink from these; Giardia and Yersinia has been contracted from here. There's larger river at the finish, but can be dirty and is too close to the end to be useful.
There is a water tank at the hut, but is recommended to treat this (boil or tablets), so make it easy and take your own water.
The river near the finish (if going clockwise) can be too high to cross after heavy rain; so if you're planning on the route after heavy rain, consider doing it in reverse so you are sure you can cross the river.
Along the top it's pretty much always muddy and wet and is exposed in places along the top (gets very cold in a southerly).
The river at the end after very heavy rain.
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