Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Mt French

Kumara, West Coast

Submitted by Steve Hanmer

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 42 ?

Gnarl Factor: 101 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back


Native bush

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +24.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -24.8%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






Don't be fooled by the relatively short distance of this track.. it's a serious grunt!

From the start of the trail, after a short steep climb it levels off for about half a km, but after that, it's really steep most of the way to the top. There is some slight respite around 800m asl, but it is very short lived and gets even steeper once above the bushline. The trail is rugged and rough, and you'll be on all fours at times. This trail doesn't seem to get as much use as the neighbouring Te Kinga, and hence is a bit more overgrown and rugged. There is quite a lot of large windfall along the way, but there has been enough track maintenance to allow fairly free flow along the trail.

Once you pop out of the bush, the trail steepens sharply and the trails gets slightly harder to follow, although it is well marked. You will pass a repeater station, just before you hit the main, obvious ridge line. From here you can turn left and head a few hundred metres along the ridge to the high point at 1233m (which is described here), or turn right and head along the undulating (poled route) ridge to Mt French itself, in which case you'd need to add an extra 1-2 hours return to your journey depending on how fast you're moving. Either way, on a clear day, you will be rewarded with some excellent views for your efforts.

Head back down the way you came. The descent is steep, and difficult to maintain any real flow whilst running, and so extra care should be taken here, particularly if it's wet.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

There is enough space for a several vehicles by the side of the road opposite the trail head.

17 km

20 minutes





Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, 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, Compass, Map

No water on the trail, bring all you need!

Could be treacherous in the wet, particularly on the way down

Trail Legend

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

has completed Mt French twice in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Mt French

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

Loved this wee climb and as Katie mentioned worthwhile going to Mt French itself. In wet weather you would get quite wet due to the vegetation so really nice on a good day. This area has really nice charm and met some local trampers who were so nice .

Sia Svendsen

December 28, 2020

This is a great track, definitely worth going the extra distance to Mt French itself. Beware of snow and ice in winter months.

Katie Smith

August 22, 2020

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Other trails nearby
Mitchells Meander

Mitchells Meander

Length: 10.0km

Level: Beginner

Kawhaka Magic

Kawhaka Magic

Length: 8.3km

Level: Beginner

Londonderry Rock

Londonderry Rock

Length: 10.8km

Level: Beginner

The Goldsborough

The Goldsborough

Length: 7.4km

Level: Intermediate

Find more trails and peaks nearby