Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Silica Rapids trail

National Park, Manawatu - Wanganui

Submitted by Orla Drylie

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 10

Gnarl Factor: 19








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest


Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops


Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +7.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.9%


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Estimated Times to Run







This track starts across the road from the fire station. Follow the signs around for Silica Rapids, keeping to the left at intersections. After 5km, you will come out onto Bruce Road, turn left and it's just over 2km downhill on the road to the village. Alternatively, to avoid the road and lengthen the run, you could re-trace your steps back past the rapids

Silica rapids, great views of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe. You can see Mt Taranaki on a very clear day

Parking at head of the trail. No public transport

16 km

12 minutes




Generally good.

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

Streams en-route producing great drinking water

It is very exposed and at a high altitude in places. It can get very windy. Stick to the trails and abandon if required.

Pihanga Cafe
Whakapapa Village
Good coffees and food for all taste buds

Tussock Pub
Whakapapa Village
Good, honest pub grub with a great selection of draught beers

Trail Legend


Herman Bolk

has completed Silica Rapids trail once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

First true trail run that I’ve done. Enjoyed it but couldn’t face the road so ran back. Would recommend this and
Will do again

Jed Glasgow

May 18, 2021

This is my All time favourite shorter Wild Things trail. Even loved the road section. Stunning views and geology. And fabulous food truck at the end.

Richele McKenzie

October 24, 2020

Not so much the loop, cuz I don't like the road downhill ;) bj it out & back on the Silica Rapids is one of my favourite run. Have lost track how many times I've done it!

DJ Gillming

April 17, 2020

I know I wrote the route.... but I do love it! Its a keeper for sure

Orla Drylie

February 14, 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.

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