Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Daniells Dash

Springs Junction, West Coast

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 25

Gnarl Factor: 27

15.8km

265m

265m

578m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Riverside

Lakeside

Run Makeup

90%
10%

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +4.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -4.1%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

2:30

Slow

2:00

Moderate

1:20

Fast

The 8.5km trail into Lake Daniells from the Lewis Pass Highway is an entry level back country experience, whether you are walking or running. An overnight stay at the Manson- Nicholls Memorial Hut is recommended, but avoid staying on busy holiday weekends as its very popular with families. The hut is a memorial to three people who sadly lost their lives when the hold hut was engulfed by a landslide during an epic storm.

Park up at the Marble Hill campsite, where you are literally standing on the Alpine Fault. There's a short wall constructed nearby with an informative information panel that outlines what is expected to happen here when the legendary sleeping giant lets rip.

The track disappears into the forest and quickly reaches an impressive small gorge from which the campsite takes its name. Cross the bridge and follow up the flanks of the Alfred River on well marked and gentle trail. The deeper in you head the more amazing the forest gets, these trees have stood guard over proceedings here for hundreds, even thousands of years, and its amazing how many shades of green there can be.

There are a few undulations and small hills along the way, but the whole trail is 100% runnable. There can be a few muddy patches around, but it ain't a trail run without some mud splatter on the West Coast!

Be sure to pause every now and then and check out the prolific bird life. Huge efforts have been put in here to control predators, and the work has really paid off with South island Robins, tomtits, warblers, kakariki and kaka present in strong numbers, just to name a few.

The hut should be reached by most within about an hour and a half, walking time is a generous 3 hours. Theres a jetty and the lake and its shallow out to quite a distance but good for a dip to cool down on a hot day. Unless you are staying at the hut don't linger too long though as the sandflies will pounce.

Return the same way. The Lake Daniells track is pretty much doable in any conditions, but if its wet and cold be sure to be adequately provisioned in gear.


Pristine native forest
Scenic Lake
Alpine Fault

Park up at the campsite.

5 km

6 minutes

Unknown

No

Moderate.

Pretty hard to go wrong, but always be cogniscent of where you are. Some people have been lost here, tragically.

Non-existent.

Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece 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 blanket, Cellphone, Map.

Water is in abundance here, being pristine West Coast valley floor. Plenty of creeks to fill up in along the way

Snow possible in winter

No mobile reception. Leave intentions and take a PLB

Springs Junction is the nearest service centre with a small cafe.

Trail Legend

Christian Couper

Christian Couper

has completed Daniells Dash once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Possibly my favourite trail to run. Flat, fast and just the right amount of technical that you're watching your step but still able to skip across the trail. All in bush so perfect for a sunny or rainy day.

Gregory Bassam

December 28

I loved this, so runnable. Thankyou Doc.

Mike McManaway

December 18, 2022

Wow, did this today, big blue sky, beautiful forest and trail, plenty of little ups and downs and gorgeous river and lake views, just sensational!!! I loved the fact it sits right on the Alpine fault, so after the run I had a picnic right on the concrete wall that spans the faultline...well, lunch was more on the Australian techtonic plate side...:-)

Lynette ELFICK

October 23, 2022

Great running trail. Firm soft ground makes the kms slip by. The hut and lake at the trail end makes for a great lunch spot. Sandfly repellent a must.

Garry Walker

January 11, 2022

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