Atley TrackBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by James Harcombe
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
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From the Skippers saddle, head left, over the stile and continue up the 4WD road to Mt.Dewar. Just before the top, the DOC track heads down and to the left. Continue down for a few hundred metres, before bearing right across a stile and towards the northern ridge (the track to the left is marked to Devil's Creek).
Once over the stile, follow the orange standards along the 4WD track. As you descend towards the Shotover River, take care to keep sight of the markers, as the track forks in many places! Eventually, you'll reach an old mining hut, on the bench above the river. From here, turn right, heading upstream and follow the markers on the obvious track. The single track here is spectacular, with great views of the Shotover River. Take care with your footing though, as there are several steep drop offs!
After several Km's, the track heads away from the Shotover, and starts to climb, eventually turning left at a large DoC sign - follow this over a stile and the marked route takes you down to the Skippers Canyon Road. Take care not to miss this turn, as the more obvious track continues on through private land, straight ahead. Once back on the road, turn right and follow it back up to the Saddle.
Features of interest
Old gold mining relics and buildings along the route.
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 40%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 30%
Gravel Road: 30%
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Start is from the Skippers Saddle, off the Coronet Peak access road.
Parking is available immediately after the turn off from the Coronet Peak Road, from where it's a short warm up jog to the saddle. There is limited parking at the saddle itself, though in the summer, it's often taken up with mountain bikers cars.
For the most part, the track is obvious and well marked. Care is required on the lower part of the descent to the hut though, as the 4WD track splits in many places, and the orange standards are not always obvious. The track down to the Skippers Road can also be missed if you're not paying attention!
Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, 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, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).
There is no water until about the halfway mark (the track between the hut and the Skippers road has several small streams). In the summer it can be extremely hot in the valley.
Super hot in the summer. Freezing cold in the winter, with plenty of ice and snow to be expected.
The single track back to the road from the hut doesn't get much use, so can be overgrown at times. Take care of the drop offs that can be covered with vegetation.
If you explore the dam/reservoir at the point the track leaves the river there are several large hidden cracks!
Post run indulgence
Shotover Street, Queenstown
Best beer selection in town, and the loaded fries are to die for after a run!
Atlas Beer Cafe
Steamer Wharf, Queenstown
Great selection of beer, and the best value steak in town!
The Fork and Tap
Wholesome food, good selection of wine and beer, great Southern hospitality!
Sponsor this trail
See other runs nearby:
Ben Lomond from One Mile
Mt. Crichton Loop
The Queens Drive and Wye Dome.
Mt Dewar Devil Creek Loop
Jacks Point to Queenstown Trail
One Mile - Gondola Scenic Route
Moonlighting to Sefferstown
Remarkables and Wye Creek
Queenstown Hill (Te Tapu-nui)
Moke Lake from Mt.Crichton
Moonlighting around Bowen Peak
Frankton to Morven Hill Return
Mount Aurum - Skippers
Around Ben Lomond
The Felic Relic
The Harcombe Round
Ben Lomond via Tiki Trail
Lake Johnston Ferry Hill Loop
Loopin' Moke Lake