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Saddle Up, Canterbury

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Saddle UpBeginner

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Info Info
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Trail Information






Little River

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


1:00 (Slow)
0:45 (Moderate)
0:30 (Fast)



Check with DOC round lambing time

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The trail is well marked from the carpark. Hop through the old stockyard (literally) and then follow the well defined trail up past a couple of small peaks. The trail then follows fencelines and defined ridges until you spot the trig sitting on the summit. Follow the obvious trails to the top and soak in the amazing views from Akaroa to the Pacific Ocean to Lake Ellesmere and the Southern Alps beyond the plains. Truly a gem of a place to be, and a real wild feel for a shorter trail. Grunty vert too.

This is great to run in combo with the stunning Tumble Down Te Oka, which is back along the road a bit. A highly recommended afternoon of dual trail mahi!

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Features of interest

Stunning views of ancient volcanic landscape

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 100%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Drive up the hills from Little River.

    Parking at trailhead, look for the DOC sign for Saddle Hill Reserve

    13 km

    21 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Well poled but it can often be misty up here being so high, so choose your weather if you want the view


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

    No water up here, fill up at Little River or home

    Very exposed high tops, you probably don't want to do this one in bad weather.

    Some steep drop offs near the top

  • Post run indulgence

    Pop down to Little River for cafes and pub

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