Last Updated: 20th Apr 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Mueller Hut

Kea Point Track, Sealy Tarns

Mt Cook Village, Canterbury

Submitted by Isaac Walker

Last Updated: 20th Apr 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 28 ?

Gnarl Factor: 65 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back


Native bush

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +22.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -22.9%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is a reasonably easy track to navigate through Spring to Autumn conditions. In winter conditions please check the track conditions at the DOC office/visitor center at the start of the track and register your intentions/sign in and out. I would not recommend this track in winter for runners as avalanche conditions can exist.

Follow the Kea Point track to the Sealy Tarns turnoff. This is where the fun begins. Stairs and plenty of them, steep too. 1.5km or so of lovely steep stairs and you will arrive at the halfway point of the ascent - Sealy Tarns. Keep heading up and make sure you keep and eye on the orange poles. These are now your guide all the way to Mueller Hut. Another 1.5km of climbing up some technical single track, some rock scrambling and a scree field (please note this area will be covered in snow at times during the year and harder to navigate), you will come out onto a ridge. Follow the markers around through a rocky section and Mueller Hut will soon come into view across another scree/snow area up a small incline. Descend the exact same way and keep an eye on the markers.

Sealy Tarns - small naturally formed mountain lakes halfway up.
High chance of seeing a Kea or two.
Lots and lots of steep stairs - nicknamed the stairway to heaven.

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.

Reasonable size car park at the start of the track. Be aware peak times there maybe limited parking. There is a public Intercity bus that drops off/picks up a couple of kms down the road at the Mt Cook YHA/Hermitage area.

0 km

1 minutes




Stay on the marked track until the track changes into technical rocky sections/scree fields. Then follow the orange poles/markers. The scree field on the final climb will be harder to navigate in snow so check conditions with the visitor center and be prepared. Avalanche conditions exist in winter so running this route would not be recommended.


Thermal leggings, 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)

Since it is a short trail take all water with you. If need be I'm sure Mueller Hut would have water supplies.

From June to August I would not recommend running this trail due to the avalanche, navigation and weather concerns. In Spring and Autumn it can still be dangerous so check with the visitor center regarding track conditions and remember to sign in/sign out.

Steep stairs when descending. Rocky technical sections above Sealy Tarns. Rock scrambling and scree sections near the top of the ascent.

The Old Mountaineers Cafe Bar & Restaurant
Mt Cook Village
I didn't get the chance to go but I was recommended this from a friend. Organic options and stunning views. Beer as well!

Trail Legend


Henry Frakes

has completed Mueller Hut twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

This is one of the best if not the best run in New Zealand from a scenery point of view. Absolutely amazing. It’s not very runnable but who cares. A must do, don’t miss this.

Mike Kerr

April 24, 2022

Those stairs are relentless! However the climb is worth it. And I highly recommend taking the short side trip from the hut to visit Mt Ollivier (30mins of Boulder hopping!) the panoramic views from the summit are breathtaking.

Lauren Mai Anderson

March 6, 2022

An absolute must do for all trail runners ... if the weather is good. It's a serious grunt, and there really won't be many people who can run much of this on the way up, but the views are special and well worth the effort.

Steve Hanmer

January 29, 2020

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