Last Updated: 22nd Feb 2024


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I've done it Done

Mt Difficulty Loop

Cromwell, Otago

Submitted by Kieran Philip

Last Updated: 22nd Feb 2024


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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 37 ?

Gnarl Factor: 11 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible



Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -9.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the carpark head up to Stewart Town, through there and on to the Long Gully Bluffs track. Follow this route down until you get to the water race. Follow that for 500m and then go through the gate just past the vineyard. You're then taking right after another 500m, cross the creek and follow the farm track up the hill.

A good honest climb, then you'll reach the main farm track. Follow this up for 2km, then take a right and head down towards another water race (this part will be familiar to those of you who've done Mt Difficulty Ascent). Follow the water race track along and keep an eye out for when the poles lead you off up the hill to your left (kinda doubles back on itself). Follow this track all the way up to the summit. Once at the summit it's following the ridge all the way along until you reach Slapjack Saddle. Keep heading down from Slapjack Saddle back the to the gate where you crossed just after the vineyard. Follow the same track back to your car.

This trail includes the peak Mount Difficulty.

Great views of Cromwell Basin, Gibbston Valley

Quiet wee parking lot. Hardly ever many cars in there and pretty safe.

9 km

11 minutes




Generally good.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

Can fill from water race half way up Mt D.

Very unpleasant in poor weather. Can be bitterly cold in the wind, as there is no cover.

Black Rabbit Cafe

Trail Legend

Brook van Reenen

Brook van Reenen

has completed Mt Difficulty Loop once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Nice and grunty, trail is a nice one if you want to pound out some Kms and vert without it being gnarly but still getting some nice views

Paul Nicholas

April 22, 2021

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