Last Updated: 30th Dec 2023


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Rees - Cascade

Glenorchy, Otago

Submitted by Nelson Pearson

Last Updated: 30th Dec 2023


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Grunt Factor: 96 ?

Gnarl Factor: 45 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)


Native bush


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.6%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






This is a fair weather only run. Do NOT attempt during or immediately following any rain. People die on this route after slipping on wet snow grass!

From Muddy Creek carpark, run up the Rees Track. For the first 12.5km, the trail travels up river flats. Follow one of the 4x4 routes through the grass. Boggy sections can be avoided by following the gravel river bank. The track is more clearly formed as it enters beech forest & saddles the narrowing valley wall.

Follow the Rees Track past Slip Flat & Shelter Rock Hut to Rees Saddle at the end of the valley. From Rees Saddle, travel north on the Dart Track for 3km, to Dart Hut.

From Dart Hut, continue north on the Cascade Saddle route towards the top of the Dart River & the Dart Glacier. This section of trail is faint at times, but well marked with cairns & poles. As the trail approaches the Dart Glacier, it sidles up the valley wall towards Cascade saddle via a series of switchbacks before gaining the ridge line at Cascade Saddle. The trail does not descend at Cascade Saddle, but continues south for 2-3km before dropping steeply into the West Matukituki near Aspiring Hut.

From Aspiring Hut, it is 9km of easy travel along 4x4 trails to Raspberry Flat.

Views of the Dart Glacier & Mt Aspiring.

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DOC parking lots are located at both ends of this route: Start - Muddy Creek carpark Finish - Raspberry Flat carpark. Glenorchy Journeys provides a morning shuttle to the start from Queenstown or Glenorchy. There are a number of shuttle/taxi operators that advertise shuttles between the finish & Wanaka

20 km

45 minutes





Lightweight fleece 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, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters

Plenty of water available in huts & creeks.

This route crosses high, steep passes with avalanche risk. It is best done in late summer. This should only be done in settled weather.

Steep terrain around Cascade Saddle

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Can be run in either direction.

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Trail Reviews

Two of the most stunning tracks in Mt Aspiring National Park! Makes a great fast-packing mission with an overnight at Dart Hut. Highlights include Cascade Saddle, Dart Glacier, Rees Saddle, and views of Pikirakatahi / Mount Earnslaw.

Sierra Alef-Defoe

September 23, 2023

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