Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast

Submitted by Malcolm Law

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Grunt Factor: 7 ?

Gnarl Factor: 19 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only



Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -9.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







A very straightforward out & back run. You'll be dodging tourists but it's worth it for the spectacular surroundings and views of the glacier itself. Set out from the car park following the wide, gravelled FJ Glacier Walk - it's a mostly slight uphill to the end of the track where the views are most impressive. Snap some photos and turn around for a fast return to your car.

Just the one - the AMAZING Franz Josef glacier!

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At the south end of the bridge just south of FJ township take the road signposted to FJ Glacier - about 4k up here is a huge parking area. Very popular with tourists at all times of year, especially peak summer months.

5 km

9 minutes




I challenge you to get lost on this one! It has to be impossible!


Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Best to take your own

In winter this could be icy. Potential to be very wet at any time of year!

Tourists! Show respect please people, they want to enjoy the views too!

You and Franz Josef Glacier

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Trail Reviews

Great scenery and a well used track. The rocky trail through the riverbed is almost smooth. Very sad how far the glacier has retreated over the years. Proof of climate change especially if you have been before!

Jeremy Wheeler

July 24, 2019

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