Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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Cromwell Gorge and Cairnmuir Loop

Cromwell, Otago

Submitted by Kieran Philip

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Notice More info

Grunt Factor: 35 ?

Gnarl Factor: 16 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting at the DOC carpark, head up the 4WD track, at about 1.5km you'll come to a wee saddle - the DOC track heads up the hill to the right (this is where you'll come out), but stick to the road and head down to the left. You'll come to a gate at the next saddle and go through this and stay on this track for the next 8km or so as you weave in and out of the gullies on your way down the lake. You'll eventually get to the bluffs, at this point follow the track up the hill. This is the big climb, pretty simple to follow the track, just plod your way up! At the top, go through the gate and head down the DOC track back to the carpark. There are signposts and yellow markers on your way down.

Cairnmuir Slip - large reinforcements to stop the hillside from sliding into the lake and busting the Clyde Dam... Central Otago views.

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.

There is a parking area just off Cornish Point Rd. Small, but nice and clear, never had any security issues.

11 km

13 minutes


Name: Al Hamilton - Cairnmuir Station
Telephone: 0274791858



Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Very little, especially in summer.

Snow on tops at times, very windy and exposed often on the tops.

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Trail Reviews

Think it's worth noting that half of this track is on private land and is marked as such. There are no entry signs at the split point from the DoC track and at the bottom of the bluffs.

Kirsten Matheson

January 11, 2023

3 stars only because I got lost! Somehow lost the track going up from the bluff. Managed to pick up random farm track taking me down to Paterson Road. Thankfully I was prepared , I was out there for awhile!

Rebecca Sinclair

August 2, 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.

Cairnmuir Hill

Cairnmuir Hill

Length: 26.7km

Level: Intermediate

Cairnmuir to Clyde

Cairnmuir to Clyde

Length: 26.9km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

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Lowburn to Deep Creek

Lowburn to Deep Creek

Length: 19.2km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Locharburn to Lake McKay

Locharburn to Lake McKay

Length: 24.3km

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Grandview Ridge Track

Grandview Ridge Track

Length: 38.0km

Level: Intermediate

Cromwell to Clyde

Cromwell to Clyde

Length: 36.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

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