Wots Up DOC Intermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Stu Houston
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Intermediate - Experienced
Tops can get heavy snow cover in winter
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
Can be run in either direction
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This is a fantastic scenic loop that can be done in either direction but is best done clockwise.
Starting in the Red Hills carpark follow the well signposted track to the start of the Wots Up DOC Mountain Bike track. This well built (by the Nelson Mountain Bike club) well graded track climbs and zig zags its way through beech forest up and onto the open tops of Beebys Knob, where there are beautiful views in all directions.
Carry on until you arrive at the Junction with the Maitland Ridge track. Turn right (East) onto the Maitland Ridge track and run along this narrow undulating single track through mountain beech forest interspersed with open clearings keep an ear open for mountain bikes coming behind you. Eventually the open mass of the Red Hills comes into view and you drop down to the sweet little Red Hills Hut - this area is stunning and unique as the ultramafic red rock of the Red Hills means forest doesn't grow on them in stark contrast to the beech forest you've just run through.
From the hut the track follows an old 4x4 road back down to the carpark.
You can add to this run with a side trip visit to Beebys Hut from the Maitland Junction - carry on North along the 4x4 road for 3 km the views along this side trip are well worth the extra effort.
This is a very runnable circuit the beautifully graded trail means there's very few places the track is over 7% in grade but only if you do it Clockwise ! Take plenty of water with you as for 14 kms there is none available.
Features of interest
Stunning views of Nelson Lakes National Park and Raglan Ranges plus the Wairau Valley and the magical Red Hills.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 40%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 20%
Red Hills Carpark on Highway 63 about 10 kms North of St Arnaud
Nice shady DOC carpark but beware carparks in this area are routinely broken into.
This is a well marked trail follow orange markers.
Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Only first 5 km and last 5 km is there any water.
Hot in summer and freezing in winter and very exposed on open tops.
Do this trip in fine weather - you are on tops up high for a long time plus you need to see the views.
See other runs nearby:
Rotoiti Loop The Lake
Mt Robert Loop
Angelus Mega Loop
Blue Lake - clearest water on earth
Parachute Rocks and St Arnaud Ridge
St Arnaud Discovery Loops
Speargrass - Robert Ridge
Angelus East Ridge Circuit
St Arnaud Sampler
Ultra Tour du Nelson Lakes
Robert Ridge to Angelus Hut
No More Beersies