Arthur's Pass TasterBeginner
Submitted by Katie Smith
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushRiversideOpen tussock/grasslands
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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. This only adds 600m or so and it worth a look.
The track then climbs slightly and breaks into open tussock/scrub, before reaching a lookout with signs about the history and geology of the area. The last bit of track heads out towards and past Lake Misery, becoming much rougher, and this area is often quite muddy or even submerged after heavy rain. A short rocky climb brings you out just near the start of the Otira Valley track. This is the turnaround point, unless you want to extend it a bit further.
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%
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
Coal Pit Spur Loop
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