Last Updated: 7th Feb 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Dusky Trail

Twizel, Canterbury

Submitted by Jake Trinder

Last Updated: 7th Feb 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 22 ?

Gnarl Factor: 11 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest


Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +3.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -3.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







Follow the poled 4wd track until you reach 5.5km. Turn left through the gate to follow the sign towards Dusky Trail. You will then cross a river (can get high and fast with rain) with not too much in terms of markings or trail. Try as best you can to follow the 4wd track through the river and you should start to find poled markers again. If you havent seen poles 100 metres after the river, you've gone wrong.

At 7.7km, go over the gate into Ruataniwha Conservation Area. At 9km you will reach a junction and a sign, go left towards Dusky Trail.

At 14km, you will cross another small river and go through two gates in pretty quick succession. You should end up on the river side of the fence.

At 19.1km you will reach another gated junction, go through the gate and follow straight on towards Glen Lyon road via Dusky Trail.

Parking 20 metres from the main highway and a further car park 1km down a gravel road.

10 km

7 minutes




As noted in the directions, easy to lose trail at first river crossing. Keep an eye out for orange poles after river. If you go more than 100 metres from river with no poles, you've gone wrong.


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

Streams/rivers to get water at 6km and 14km.

River is around knee deep and moving very slow at its lowest, can get fast after rain.

Hydro Cafe
Market Square, Twizel
Good coffee and Cafe food.

Fishtail Restaurant
Twizel Market Square
Awesome Indian food if you fancy a feast!

Trail Legend

Brent  Fletcher

Brent Fletcher

has completed Dusky Trail once in the last year.

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