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Conical Hill and Return, Otago

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Conical Hill and ReturnBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Kieran Philip

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back


Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

7:00 (Slow)
5:00 (Moderate)
3:30 (Fast)



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Starting from the shelter, the first 6.5kms are along a very well maintained path. Various bridge crossings and a lovely forest to run through. At 6.5km, you have the option of popping off to your right for a visit to the Routeburn Flats hut. Taking a left, you head up the hill for another 2.5km of uphill before coming to the Routeburn Falls Hut. This is a good place to refill the water bottles and have a chat to people walking the track. The hut sits just below the falls and as you continue you run up past these.

As you continue climbing past the Routeburn Falls Hut the track becomes a little more technical on average, with some uneven footing. Track track continues up and alongside Lake Harris then to the Harris Saddle. At the saddle there is a shelter where you can use the toilet if need. The Concial Hill track leads off from here and is roughly 45min return from this point. After reaching the top of Conical Hill, return at leisure via the path you came up on.

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Features of interest

Plenty of waterfalls, bird watching, mountain lakes, view of the West Coast at Martins Bay from top of Conical Hill.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 40%

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



Length: 54.00km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The start is located at the Routeburn Shelter, which is at the end of Routeburn Road. Well signposted from Glenorchy.

    Plenty of parking space available, pretty public area, but given the number of people moving through the area maybe not leave valuables in car...

    25 km

    28 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters.

    Plenty of water around, drinking from the streams above the track should be ok. Water is at Routeburn Flats and Falls Huts.

    During winter there are avalanche paths that cross the track. Check with DOC before venturing out.

    Many footing issues given the technical nature at some points above the Falls Hut.

  • Post run indulgence

    Glenorchy Cafe ad Bar
    25 Mull St, Glenorchy
    Fast, friendly and great coffee.

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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