Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


I've done it Done

Save Trail Save

Avalanche Peak

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


I've done it Done

Save Trail Save


Grunt Factor: 28

Gnarl Factor: 69





Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible



Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +32.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -25.9%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







This is a steep loop to the summit of Avalanche Peak, a popular day walk. There is little running to be done on the way up, but provides a nice technical downhill finished with an easy warm-down through the town to get you back to where you started. It can be done in either direction - Scott's track is slightly longer and marginally less steep than the Avalanche Peak track. This describes the clockwise direction.

Start from just behind the visitor centre where you see a DoC sign for the Avalanche Peak track. This climbs steeply right from the start, giving views of Avalanche Creek and several waterfalls early on. It climbs through beech forest on a well cut out track, often on bare rockbed, with a few short hauls,
As you come out of the beech at around 1000m the track gradient eases slightly, and follows a spur which falls steeply to the left. This continues to climb over a small knob before passing through an open basin just before the final climb. As you get to the top where Scott's track meets from the right, you clamber left over broken boulders to the obvious summit a short distance away.

From here Mt Rolleston and its glacier dominated the views. Backtrack the way you came, then follow the orange and yellow poles down along Scott's track. There are great views of the Devil's Punchbowl falls across the valley. The track then zigzags through the beech, with some less steep sections, before popping out on SH73 just outside the Arthurs Pass town edge. Here you can go right along the highway back into town (beware or traffic) or left for a short distance before another track turns right off the road, bringing you out at the Devil's Punchbowl car park. From here head back to the main road and along it to where you started.

Great views of the Arthurs Pass area

Parking and public toilets available at the DoC centre and across the road - plenty of it.

0 km

0 minutes




Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

Harder in poor visibility, although there are lots of snow poles once you're on the tops.


Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

Water available from the public toilets at the bottom, with very little available on Avalanche Peak track, and two small creeks near the bottom of Scott's track

Lots of snow in winter - you will needs crampons/ice axe at times - and the track crosses avalanche paths. The tops are exposed at any time of year, and the weather can change quickly.

Beware of the steep drop-offs, particularly if visibility is poor.

Arthur's Pass Store & Cafe
Great date scones! Busy in summer.

Trail Legend

Jessica Campbell

Jessica Campbell

has completed Avalanche Peak once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Avalanche Peak

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

Loved it. The weather was a bit dodgy but we managed about 10 minutes of semi-clear at the top before it clagged in. Good honest effort to get there. Highly recommended.
Will do it again in the summer months when the weather is a bot more stable.

Kev Strange

May 1, 2022

Beautiful day with a honest grunty climb up the Avalanche peak track filling my water bottles up at the second waterfall . Then a a nice exposed track to the summit. Stunning views ot Mt Rolleston and surrounding area. Then a fun run down Scotts track with a water refill about 2/3 of the way down. Loved it

Chris Morresey

April 9, 2022

Awesome views and a gnarly wee climb!

Lauren Mai Anderson

March 20, 2022

A super step, challenging trail but totally worth it! The views are amazing and if you're lucky you'll spot a few Kea keeping you company. Avalanche Peak Track has a few climbs and scrambles which are great fun and Scotts track on the descent is (thankfully) a little easier but will still finish off your quads. Make sure you hit the summit too, the views are truly worth the pain!

Paul Huxen

February 21, 2022

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail 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 activity for each.

Bealey - Avalanche Traverse

Bealey - Avalanche Traverse

Length: 13.1km

Level: Experienced

Rome Ridge/Rough Creek Alpine Circuit

Rome Ridge/Rough Creek Alpine Circuit

Length: 16.0km

Level: Experienced

Avalanche Peak - Crow River

Avalanche Peak - Crow River

Length: 20.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Other trails nearby
Arthur's Pass Taster

Arthur's Pass Taster

Length: 9.6km

Level: Beginner

The Taipo

The Taipo

Length: 17.5km

Level: Beginner

Poulter River Ranger

Poulter River Ranger

Length: 53.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Goat Pass

Goat Pass

Length: 27.0km

Level: Intermediate

Find more trails and peaks nearby