Arthur's Pass TasterBeginner
Submitted by Katie Smith & Kirstine Collins
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushRiversideOpen tussock/grasslands
This is an out-and-back track from Arthur's Pass village to the Otira Valley on mostly very well formed track. It can be used as an access way to many of the tracks to the tops too, and can be extended by heading up the Otira Valley at the end. The short side trips to Bealey Chasm and the Devil's Punchbowl are worth it too (though not included here).
The track starts at the Devil's Punchbowl car park. Cross the footbridge over the Bealey River then bear left - the track is sign-posted as the Arthur's Pass Walkway. The first few kms undulate through beech forest, with a steep drop then climb out of a side creek via loads of stairs. There are several view points giving great views up and down the valley. You then descend to the historic Jack's Hut, and cross the main road here.
The track continues on the other side, and shortly you will reach the turn-off to Bealey Chasm. Continue past the turnoff remaining on the main track. You will visit this on the way back.
The track then climbs gradually through the bush and then breaks into open tussock/scrub. Shortly after you cross a bridge and continue climbing up to a lookout with signs about the history and geology of the area. This is the turnaround point.
Head back the way you came until reaching the turnoff to Bealey Chasm. Turn right down this track. You will drop down to a bridge over the river. Stop and take in the chasm before tackling a short steep rocky climb. It is only a hundred meters and then the trail alternates between boardwalk and dirt as it continues climbing at a gentle gradient. When you reach the river take in the view up the valley.
Head back the way you came and grab a coffee and date scone in Arthur's Pass!
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Features of interest
Take a side trip to the Devil's Punchbowl falls, and check out the Dobson Memorial
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 70%
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
Park at the Devil's Punchbowl DoC car park at the north end of Arthur's Pass Village
Lots of parking
Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Loads of creeks to drink from along the way
Snow in winter can make the open bits of the track slow going, but in general it's still runnable and easy to follow. The Lake Misery section gets wet/boggy after heavy rain. The open bits are exposed to weather all year round.
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See other runs nearby:
Bealey - Avalanche Traverse
Rome Ridge/Rough Creek Alpine Circuit
Avalanche Peak - Crow River
Waimak Col (Otira to Klondyke)
The Bloody Limit
Oates for Breakfast
Encompassing Arthur's Pass
Barker's for Brunch
KKK (Klondyke - Kelly - Klondyke)
Poulter River Ranger
Dash, Bash, Splash and Dash Harman Pass