Last Updated: 25th Jan 2024


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I've done it Done

Goat Pass

Arthurs Pass, Canterbury

Submitted by Daniel Redmond

Last Updated: 25th Jan 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 59 ?

Gnarl Factor: 81 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Very hilly

Native bush


Run Makeup


Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +7.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







The slightly shorter training run version of the mountain section on the classic Coast to Coast multisport race. After entering the Deception valley, the route gradually climbs, crossing the river many times, and increasing in steepness until the final push up to the main divide at Goat Pass. Cross the boardwalk over the pass, and it is all downhill on fast tracks into the Mingha valley. One short sharp climb over Dudley Knob, and you are back in the riverbed for the last stretch out to the road.

Reasonably good chance of seeing some Whio upstream of Upper Deception Hut. There might also be some cheeky Kea near the pass.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Parking available on the side of the road at the start. Usually relatively easy to hitchhike from the finish to the start.

20 km

20 minutes




There are many marked and unmarked short tracks in the bush of the Deception valley. Some of these are shortcuts away from the riverbed, others are slower. Above Doreen creek, the route is reasonably well marked with DOC orange triangles. Take care to find the exit from the river up to Goat pass, it is marked, but if you feel like you have gone too far, you probably have.


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

Plenty of water available from the river in the Deception valley. Water at Goat Pass hut. Not more than a few km between places to get water in the Mingha valley.

The river crossings in the Deception valley change significantly with the weather. In spring the water is generally higher, colder and faster flowing than later in summer. This route is very dangerous in or shortly after rain as the rivers will rise rapidly.

Many river crossings and boulder scrambling. It is easy to get very cold if you have an unplanned swim. If you are not an experienced tramper, best to go with someone who has been through Goat Pass before to help with route choice and river crossings. Do not go alone!

The Famous Sheffield Pie Shop
An essential post adventure pie on the way back to Christchurch. Run fast so you can make it to Sheffield before the shop closes.

Trail Legend

Sia Svendsen

Sia Svendsen

has completed Goat Pass 8 times in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

The classic Goat Pass run is done north - south but either direction qualifies for FKTs

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Trail Reviews

I hope every Wild Things member gets the opportunity to shuffle along this iconic trail. The deafening noise of the cicadas in the first 1km during summer is an experience. The final boulder scramble to the Hut is great fun when the creek is low. The path becomes a root fest after Dudley Knob. Lost count of creek crossings.

Greg O’Brien

July 18, 2023

Epic run! Definitely slow going in many points but stunning views and well worth it! This has been on my list for ages and I am so glad I was finally able to cross it off!

Kelsey Montgomery

October 4, 2021

About 50% running, 50% speed tramping. Very well marked and maintained. Lots of rock hopping and lots of river crossings - quite pleasant on a hot summer day. Cute huts! I hauled up a Sheffield pie for lunch at Goat Hut... well worth it. No need to carry any water.

Matt Halverson

January 9, 2021

A classic route, almost a right of passage for Cantabrians! Particularly if you're ever going to be involved in C2C!

Steve Hanmer

August 3, 2020

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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.

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