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Lake Chalice loop, Marlborough

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Lake Chalice loopBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Rachel O'Connor

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

1:45 (Slow)
1:00 (Moderate)
0:40 (Fast)



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From the hut, take the trail North to the lake shore to run the loop anti-clockwise (no reason not to do it the other direction!). Cross some rocky terrain and follow the orange triangles to pick up the track as it enters the beech forest and undulates and crosses a few little scree piles before coming out at the lakeside where two tributaries meet. Take a left here (not straight on, which brings you to Old Man hut) and cross the stream.

The track continues again following the lake shore on the far side of the stream, with some little scrambles and tricky, rooty bits to get you warmed up. The north shore is easier going for a couple of kms after this, so you can pick up the pace before the track rounds the western end and gets a bit muddy and slippy . Ignore the turn-off to the right for Mid-Goulter hut and continue to follow the lake edge along the Southern shore, crossing a few little streams and a really pretty waterfall, and eventually back to the starting point at Lake Chalice hut.

The beech forest is quite dense around the track and runs right down to the lake shore, so the lake isn't very accessible from the track except near the hut. But there are some clearings where you get tantalising glimpses of dark emerald water...superb location! Ideally (if you weren't carrying a large tramping pack and had kids and dogs in tow), you could run from the carpark, loop the lake and run back up to the car park for a total of 11.8km and around 600m+ climbing.

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Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 80%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run 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 Strava activity for each

A Full Chalice

A Full Chalice

Length: 11.60km


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I did it!
  • Access

    Lake Chalice Hut

    Take Northbank Road for 33km and turn right onto Top Valley Road. This gravel road winds its way up the hills, following signs to the left for Lake Chalice. The car park is around 24km from Northbank road. Access to the hut is a 2.6km and 400m descent run or walk.

    53 km

    72 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Plenty of streams and little waterfalls running into the lake, even in summer

    Quite muddy around the west end and southern shore even in dry conditions

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