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The Crater Rim, Canterbury

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The Crater RimIntermediate

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Info Info

Trail Information

27.90km

1100m

1450m

 

Canterbury

Christchurch

Urban fringe

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops
Volcanic

Intermediate

6:00 (Slow)
4:30 (Moderate)
3:00 (Fast)

-10.8%

+11.2%

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Description

What could be better than nearly 30km of end to end top of the hills trail goodness? Best run west to east as you start higher , and once you've decided on your drop off/ vehicle shuttle plan it's just you and the top of the hills for as far as the eye can see and the feet can eat. Harbour and ocean views on one side, the city and plains on the other and the constant expansive view out to the Southern Alps on any good day

The western end of the Crater Rim trail starts under Coopers Knob - itself a very worthy diversion especially for the trig baggers among you. The track nips in and out of patches of remnant native bush and open grasslands as you gain the first few km to the Sign of the Bellbird. Its an up and down undulating journey and there are some real gems as you wind your way along. There's a toilet at the Bellbird if needed down by the shelter. Maybe an hour or so in most will be getting close to the Sign of the Kiwi, where you can fuel up with some water or something from the shop.

Past the Kiwi and Dyers Pass ascend the slopes of Sugarloaf. If you feel like another frig you can head straight up and regain the Crater Rim Trail off its NE flank easily. Continue east over three more 'lumps" which are each enough vert to get the puffing levels back up, then you'll reach Mt Vernon and its rock strewn summit landscape - great spot for a photo or two.

Since the earthquakes some of the trail from Mt Vernon to Bridle Path has been rerouted to follow more closely the still closed Summit Rd Section, which is still open for bikes and feet between the top of Rapaki and Castle Rock. Which Hill and its awesome memorial seat are also worth a diversion just past Rapaki Rock. Make sure you pick the trail up over The Tors as there's some of the nicest trail of the whole day to follow here, especially the sweeping descent to the Bridle Path Summit.

Next stop is a quick ascent of Mt Cavendish, and past the Gondola Top Station- itself a handy stop for a snack, coffee or the loo. Another quick short decent gets to the saddle between Mt Cavendish and Mt Pleasant- up Mt Pleasant can be a bit sketchy to follow but if you lose the trail which does some longer loops to aid MTB's then just follow your nose to the mast and another trig at the summit.

Mt Pleasant to Evans Pass is aptly named, mainly downhill on steady gradient as you wing your away around the tops. The last section follows several moderately large hills out to Godley Head, the trail varies from moderately formed and well marked until towards the last couple of kms where recent upgrades have meant a really nice cruisy finish down past the bunkers to the gun emplacements and the playground that is Godley Head.

If you feel like a little extra for dessert add the Taylors Mistake and/or Scarborough sections to get you to Sumner, although the Godley Head carpark is the true end of the Crater Rim track





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Features of interest

Explore the length of the formerly volcanic Port Hills on the aptly named Crater Rim Track. You'll be on the crest of the hills virtually the whole way with commanding 360 degree views and superb trails to follow on this point to point icon of Christchurch's trail network.


Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 50%

Easy Single Track: 30%


Route Data

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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Summit Road, Cattle Stop before the drop to Gebbies Pass.

    Given this is end to end a drop off or car shuffle is needed. Unless you want to go there and back!!

    19 km

    41 minutes

    No

    No

  • Staying Safe

    Moderate.

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

    Just keep following the trails across the tops

    Generally good.

    Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.

    Sign of the Kiwi and the Gondola

    Some sections muddy/ greasy after rain. It can be exposed and cool up here any time of year, but especially in winter so take appropriate warm and dry stuff to use.

    The odd sheep and a few boy racers on occasional crossings of the Summit Road

  • Post run indulgence

    Sumnmer has a few really nice cafe's and eateries.

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