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Mt Difficulty Loop, Otago

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Mt Difficulty LoopIntermediate

Submitted by Kieran Philip

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible



Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


5:00 (Slow)
4:00 (Moderate)
3:00 (Fast)



Restrictions in place during lambing season (spring), check DOC website.

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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.

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Features of interest

Great views of Cromwell Basin, Gibbston Valley

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 5%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 95%

Route Data


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I did it!
  • Access

    Head to Bannockburn, up Hall Road until almost the end and then turn right into Pipeclay Gully Rd and then park at the DOC sign at the bottom of there.

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

    9 km

    11 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    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.

  • Post run indulgence

    Black Rabbit Cafe

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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