Wild Things - New Zealand's trail running community
New Zealand's trail running community


don't have an account?

Kelly Tops, West Coast

Trail Directory proudly supported by Further Faster

Update Your Header Picture

Kelly TopsBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Katie Smith

Info Info
Map Loading

Trail Information





West Coast

Arthurs Pass

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

3:30 (Slow)
2:45 (Moderate)
2:00 (Fast)



Download PDF Guide

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Please set your gender to see your position on the FKT leaderboards.


There are currently no male FKTs for Kelly Tops.


Filter FKTs

The more , the harder the FKT will be to beat. Learn about Fastest Known Times.

Missing your time?

Register or login as a VIP and get yourself on the FKT leaderboard!

Register Now


This is an out-and-back run with a small loop around the tops to take in the best views. Start from the carpark following signs to Carroll Hut (not up Hunts Creek). You hop across a side creek flowing into the Kelly River early on, then follow its spur up, up and up. The climb is fairly constant, steepening in the middle before some slight respite as you break out of the bush and sidle around above the head of a creek. Have a look at the waterfall here.

The track then pops up into tussock shortly before you reach Carroll Hut. From here the track becomes a poled route climbing up between tarns. Kelly Hill with its radio tower is visible on the right. The track heads left instead onto the main Kelly Range. Above the hut the gradient is much more runnable. Eventually you crest the top just below point 1385 and can see two tarns (the third and fourth are initially hidden). The poled route continues on the right, but instead cut down the bench between the two large tarns. Go around the one on the left, aiming for the ridge edge which looks down into Kelleys Creek. You can see Carroll Hut from here. Climb back along this edge aiming again for point 1385, then when you see the poled route you came up head back down to join it. From here follow the track back the way you came.

Trail Community

Find people who are interested in this run.

You must register or login to view this content.

Features of interest

Stunning views, keas, flowering alpine plants, great rata in the right season

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 10%

Technical Single Track: 60%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Route Data


You must register or login to view this content.


You must register or login to view this content.

Your Trail Wishlist

All the runs that are on your To Do list (no limit).

Add to wishlist view wishlist

Your Trail Dreamlist

The runs you most want to do (limited to 10).

Add to dreamlist view dreamlist

Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Turn off up the unmarked gravel road at Kelly Creek and park in the DoC carpark 100m up the road.

    Plenty of parking - don't leave valuables in the car though.

    17 km

    18 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    If not confident with the untracked loop portion described, stay on the track for an out-and-back


    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Water available from several creeks and tarns, and from Carroll Hut

    Very exposed on the tops, can be cold even in summer. Expect snow through the winter.

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


Got a favourite trail? Tell us about it.

Share the love and add your favourite trail(s) to our growing trail directory.

Submit A Trail

Become a member today

Start enjoying the many benefits to becoming a member of our thriving community.

Become a member

Great brands at great prices with our VIP member's discount

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for latest offers and trail guides

Share this trail with a friend:

VIP Membership

Please register as a VIP or login to your VIP account to view this content.

Cancel Login Register

Membership Required

You can see up to three trail guides without being logged in but after that we require you to be logged in to your Free or VIP account. If you don’t yet have an account you can register here.

Login Register