Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Mount Oxford Summit Scramble

Oxford, Canterbury

Submitted by Sophie Brathwaite

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 31 ?

Gnarl Factor: 67 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +15.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







Start your run from the Coopers Creek carpark, through the farm gate and over the bridge to start on the 4WD farm track. Follow this track for approx 1.5 km, and watch out for the orange track marker that will steer you left onto the start of the trail. From here you cross over a stepped barrier, then veer down towards the river, cross another bridge, then start the single track. The trail from here is very clear to follow, only mind a few fallen trees! The trail is mostly beech forest, which is cool and stunning, and dog friendly if you have one!

Be wary that the first 2.5 km of the trail can be very muddy and slippery after any wet weather.. not too much of a problem if you take your time or have a hearty pair of trail shoes that are good in the mud! From 3.5 km in, the climb really starts and doesn’t ease until the tree line at 4.8 km.

In late autumn/winter the snow will reach below the tree line, so be prepared with gloves and layers if you plan to go above the tree line or to the summit.
The trail is fairly technical but good fun from here up, you have amazing views, changing tussock colours and a breeze to cool you if it’s in the stink of summer! Some of the trail is hidden by tussock so take care on the loose gravels and narrow trail.

The summit is at about 6.8 km, and 360 views can be enjoyed from the trig. From here you can pop along the ridge to continue the full loop to Wharfdale track, carry on to the Hutts on the west side of the mountain or shoot back down the same trail. Take time for a sandwich and a selfie at the top.. and watch the loose scree on the way down, it’s tricky to enjoy the view and not roll an ankle!

This trail includes the peak Mount Oxford.

Stunning beach forests, beautiful views from above the tree line.
Enjoy snow above the tree line between April and September!

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.

Car parking spaces for approx 15 cars. Relatively safe but avoid leaving valuables in your car as a precaution.

10 km

12 minutes




From the 4WD farm track you start on, follow for about 1.3 km, then look out for the orange track marker on your left. This will lead you onto the start of the trail.


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, Headtorch and spare batteries

A river at the start of the track, otherwise nothing.

Beware of the first 2.5 km being very muddy and slippery after rain. If you have one, a hiking pole will be very handy!!
In snowy seasons, the snow can reach below the treeline. Take care to wear waterproof tramping boots OR hearty trail shoes if you are still going for the run! The Oxford Odyssey is run over this trail in May (often in snow) and this is ok to do in good trail shoes. Prepare to get muddy if you are going in winter - it's worth it!

Narrow gravelly trails around the summit are easy to roll an ankle, take care on the downward route!

Trail Legend

Sia Svendsen

Sia Svendsen

has completed Mount Oxford Summit Scramble 4 times in the last year.

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Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Make sure you tag the DoC sign on the summit to qualify for an FKT

You and Mount Oxford Summit Scramble

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Trail Reviews

Plenty of time spent head down and hiking up rather than running but the views are incredible and it's great bang for your buck - I can certainly feel my quads the next day!

Anna Scheirlinck

April 12, 2021

Despite several years living in Chch, I had never been up Mt Oxford before. The track doesn't faff about... just straight up and then straight back down. I walked pretty much all of the uphill, but I quite enjoyed the downhill :) I left the carpark about half an hour before sunrise and was rewarded with the most sublimely golden light over the plains during the ascent... well worth it if you are a morning person. LOVED the views from the top.

Matt Halverson

March 29, 2021

Tough climb but views are epicill name this trail quadbuster

Paul Dench

August 4, 2020

Definitely a good one to blow the cobwebs out! Steady climb that feels relentless at times thanks to a few false summits but that view on a good day is totally worth it! The trip down is sure to get the quads working, but I love this mountain. Beware if it's slightly breezy at the carpark it can be blowing so hard up the tops it's hard to stand up. Be prepared well and enjoy.

Amy Burnan

April 11, 2020

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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 Oxford - Wharfedale Track

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Length: 35.0km

Level: Intermediate

Mt Oxford Half

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Length: 20.5km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Oxford Odyssey Marathon Route

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Length: 41.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

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