Last Updated: 29th Apr 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Routeburn Flats via Nature Walk Loop

Glenorchy, Otago

Submitted by Sierra Alef-Defoe

Last Updated: 29th Apr 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 26 ?

Gnarl Factor: 14 ?

15.3km

390m

395m

702m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Combo

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Riverside

Run Makeup

100%

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +4.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -5.0%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

2:00

Slow

1:40

Moderate

1:15

Fast

This section of the Routeburn is awesome because it can be done almost any time of year, and in almost any weather.

This route is outside any avalanche pathways, and the forest cover will keep you protected from light rain or from hot sun. It's a great option for beginners or for those just looking for an easy trail run, since the route is extremely well-maintained and has only a small gradual elevation change.

Starting from the Routeburn Shelter carpark, cross the bridge and follow the main track towards Routeburn Flats hut. The track roughly follows the Route Burn the 7.5 km up to the hut. There is one toilet along the way, about halfway through.

There are a few exceptional viewpoints, such as the canyons below Bridal Veil falls. All river crossings are bridged, and on a fine day you can come out with dry feet! Routeburn Flats Hut is the spot for a toilet/water/snack break. In the summertime it is a fully-serviced Great Walk hut with flush toilets and running water, while in winter it functions as a backcountry hut with a long-drop toilet and a water tank. Water here is normally fine to drink. On a sunny day there are plenty of picnic spots, or on a rainy day you can take refuge inside the hut.

The run back is mostly the way you came, except for a small detour towards the very end just after the bridge over Sugar Loaf Stream where you'll see a sign to take the other side of the Routeburn Nature Walk Loop. This adds a bit of variety to an otherwise out-and-back run!

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.

Plenty of parking available, unfortunately no public transport, although some companies provide shuttle services in the summertime.

0 km

0 minutes

No

No

Easy.

Non-existent.

Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Water from the Route Burn and its side streams, as well as the Routeburn Flats hut, is normally fine to drink -- but you may want to treat/filter/boil it, or just bring all the water you'll need since it's a short run.

You can do this run virtually all year unless it's severely raining. There are no avalanche pathways, it almost never gets snow, and it's well protected in the forest.

Trail Legend

RW

Rachel White

has completed Routeburn Flats via Nature Walk Loop twice in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

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