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Goat Pass, Canterbury

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Goat PassIntermediate

Submitted by Daniel Redmond

Info Info
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Trail Information






Arthurs Pass

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Very hilly

Native bush


9:00 (Slow)
5:00 (Moderate)
3:00 (Fast)



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Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

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

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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.

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Features of interest

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

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 50%

Technical Single Track: 30%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

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


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Morrison's footbridge over the Otira river is easily visible from SH73 a few km north of Otira.

    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



  • Staying Safe


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

    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!

  • Post run indulgence

    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.

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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