Last Updated: 3rd Jun 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Rock and Pillars Loop

Middlemarch, Otago

Submitted by Matt Sheat

Last Updated: 3rd Jun 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 33 ?

Gnarl Factor: 25 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Moderate Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.4%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.8%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







From the car, head onto the farm road opposite the parking lay by (DOC Sign posted as Glencreag Track). Follow the farm road and orange track markers across farmland to the boundary of the Rock and Pillar Conversation Area (approximately 2.2km). Cross the stile and follow the orange track markers steeply uphill, continue to follow the markers until you reach Big Hut at the top of the track.

From Big Hut, follow the 4x4 road for a short time before heading across the untracked tussok land to the Summit Rocks. Head down hill and re-join the 4x4 road, follow the road across the tops to an intersection at around the 9.3km mark. Take the right hand road at the intersection, follow this over the rise and downhill.

After a short time you will arrive at a small plateau, from here you can make a side trip to the OTMC owned Leaning Lodge Hut (Currently closed due to safety concerns.) Continue to follow the farm road down hill to the bottom and out onto the state highway. Run along the highway back to the car. The loop can be easily run in either direction.

This trail includes the peak Summit Rock.

Big Hut has a good collection of photos of the historic hut builds and the ski history of the area.

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.

There is a layby just beyond the intersection for parking.

6 km

4 minutes




Navigation on this route is relatively straightforward in clear weather, however It's very easy to get lost on the tops in bad weather. Take a compass and a map.

Generally good.

Waterproof leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions)

Some small streams on the Glencreag track. Water tank at Big Hut.

Expect snow on the tops throughout winter. Is often muddy after spells of bad weather

It is often very windy and cold along the tops.

Trail Legend

Raewyn Peters

Raewyn Peters

has completed Rock and Pillars Loop once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Rock and Pillars Loop

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

Be the first to submit a review for Rock and Pillars Loop !

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail 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 activity for each.

Rock and Pillars VK

Rock and Pillars VK

Length: 12.0km

Level: Intermediate