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Rock and Pillars Loop , Otago

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Rock and Pillars Loop Intermediate

Submitted by Matt Sheat

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


5:00 (Slow)
3:45 (Moderate)
2:45 (Fast)



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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.

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Features of interest

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

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 5%

Moderate Single Track: 25%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 55%

Sealed Road: 15%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start at the intersection of State Highway 87 and Mckinnon Road.

    There is a layby just beyond the intersection for parking.

    6 km

    4 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    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.

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Rock and Pillars VK

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