Last Updated: 16th Apr 2024


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Mt Somers - Round The Mountain

Methven, Canterbury

Submitted by Mal Law

Last Updated: 16th Apr 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 58 ?

Gnarl Factor: 76 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +14.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is a very technical run that could be tackled in either direction. This guide describes the clockwise option.

Starting from the Sharplin Falls car park take Mt Somers Track entrance closest to the toilet block (signposted 'Mt Somers Summit 5 hrs')

You go straight into a steep climb through beech forest on moderate - technical trail. This climb continues with few breaks, but increasingly open views, for some 3.5k until the junction with the Summit Track is reached (stay left)

The descent to Acland Shelter (at about 6k - not marked on my topo map) is rooty & technical and can get very muddy. Beyond the trail remains mostly quite technical, sidling under the southern flanks of Mt Somers before climbing to the junction with the Rhyolite Track at about the 10k mark (stay right)

The following few kms are fascinating. At first the trail eases a little but then gets stuck into a sharp climb past the infamous Mt Somers 'Bus Stop' and under rhyolite cliffs before starting the long, technical descent to Woolshed Creek. Just before crossing the creek there's a worthwhile 2 min detour to the waterfall.

On the far side of Waterfall Creek you'll climb and descend, then cross a spectacular swing bridge, before reaching the DOC hut on the far side of a small creek - a good place to take a break on the shaded verandah on a hot day. Re-cross the creek in front of the hut and turn left up the hill to continue on the Mt Somers Track.

The next few kms are uphill and exposed so if it's hot make sure you fill up on water before leaving the hut. The climb to the highest point on the trail (1180m) is at first on easier trail but it gets progressively more technical the higher you go, becoming very rocky towards the top. The technical nature of the trail doesn't let up from here until almost the very end of the run.

Just after re-entering beech forest you'll reach Pinnacles Hut and then continue the descent on steep, rough trail into the Bowers Stream. Over the final few kms the trail climbs in and out of the stream bed before one last sting-in-the-tail climb and final descent. Only 500m from the end, at the junction with the Sharplin Falls Track (currently closed upstream from here) does the going get easier, gifting you a few hundred metres of gravelled trail and steps.

Back at your car, grab a towel and walk back down Sharplin Falls track 100m to take a dip in the beautiful cool stream - a great finish to a classic circuit!

The area around Woolshed Creek is fascinating - cliffs, waterfalls, gorges and a wicked swing bridge. Great scenery throughout.

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.

Plenty of parking. Info board and toilets too. No public transport.

25 km

22 minutes




The trail is well signposted and shouldn't present too many difficulties even in poor weather. You're following the Mt Somers Track the whole way around.

Very patchy.

Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions)

There is water at both Woolshed Creek and Pinnacles Huts. There are also plenty of stream crossings from which it is fine to drink, but bear in mind that in dry summer conditions some of these may well dry up.

The bush sections can be very muddy after rain or snowmelt and the open sections are exposed to whatever mother nature throws at you. Go prepared.

This is a very technical trail so take care with foot placement, particularly when wet.

Staveley Store and Cafe
Good food and coffee, friendly service from locals and a nice shaded outside area for relaxing in after your long run. The Moroccan Lamb Pie is to die for!

Trail Legend


Sonja Vreugdenhil

has completed Mt Somers - Round The Mountain twice in the last year.

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Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Can be run in either direction to qualify for FKTs

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Trail Reviews

Fantastic run interesting every step of the way. Don't underestimate the distance or easy accessibility. Mt Somers has a wee sting the tail.

Tim Shaw

February 1, 2023

Awesome track

Shane Ashley

November 15, 2022

Great day out with a friend from Dunedin. Beautiful weather till the final slog through the forest. Do not want to sound bitter but the elevation is definitely 2100m not 1800m. Will do again for sure on the way home from Christchurch.

Clodagh Krasucki O\'Dowd

June 10, 2022

A great day out with mates on this route. Techy most of the way, with heaps of variety and quite a bit of up or down for the 26km. Water always available lightens your load, but you'd be wise to take extra kai, and clothing for all conditions. Took 6.25hr with stops at the huts to refuel. Staverley Store has a great bacon butty if you time your day well.

Christian Couper

January 8, 2022

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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.

Mt Somers - Over the Top V1

Mt Somers - Over the Top V1

Length: 21.0km

Level: Intermediate

The Southern Pinnacles

The Southern Pinnacles

Length: 13.2km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Mount Somers Summit Loop via Pinnacles Hut

Mount Somers Summit Loop via Pinnacles Hut

Length: 15.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Other trails nearby
Aamped and Clomped

Aamped and Clomped

Length: 13.9km

Level: Intermediate

Mt. Taylor Dual

Mt. Taylor Dual

Length: 31.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Mt Somers Woolshed Loop

Mt Somers Woolshed Loop

Length: 14.7km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

The Lady Lakes

The Lady Lakes

Length: 12.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

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