Avalanche Peak

Avalanche Peak

Avalanche Peak is a day hike in Arthur’s Pass National Park with stunning views.  It is a gruelling climb to the summit of Avalanche Peak climbing to an altitude of 1883m.  Located in the heart of Arthur’s Pass, the beginning of the climb is easily accessible from SH73.  If you start the hike towards the end of the day it’s possible to catch sunset above the bush.  If the weather is looking good and you are keen to head to Arthur’s Pass, I would highly recommend Avalanche Peak as a day hike.


6.5 hours


9.3 km


1110 m





Posing for the camera while looking West on the descent of Avalanche Peak

In Detail

Getting there


Initially, when we headed out to Arthur’s pass our plan was to hike Bealey Spur, however, the weather conditions were near perfect. Instead, we decided to take on Avalanche Peak.  Avalanche Peak is situated in the heart of Arthur’s Pass, its summit rising to a grand height of 1833m.  Avalanche Peak is best climbed in summer or early Autumn when the snow has melted and the weather is stable.

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The track begins behind the DOC (Department of Conservation) Visitor’s centre with a short 2 min walk to the start of the track.  A small but beautiful waterfall by the name Avalanche Creek falls is also situated close to the track.  If you pass Avalanche Peak falls and you are walking from the visitor’s centre.  The climbing starts immediately, with big steps that engage those inner climbing skills.  Usually, plenty of trees or shrubs are within an arms reach for you to grasp hold of.  These help you to help pull yourself up as you climb through the bush.

It takes approximately an hour to reach the edge of the bushline. Once the track breaks out of the bush it becomes easier to manage as you begin to sidle towards the summit.  Around 1550 metres, the track levels off, a good spot to bring out the munchies and have a feed. 

Ascending Avalanche Peak

In good conditions, you are able to pick your own route up the scree as you head for the summit ridge.  You must keep an eye out for markers as you approach the ridge leading to the summit.  The track along the ridge follows a clear-cut track to the summit with steep drops on either side.  Take care in adverse weather conditions, this would be a dangerous place to be caught out.

The Summit

The views from the summit are stunning.  In every direction on a clear day you can turn 360 and see picturesque mountain views.  If you start later in the day you won’t want to stay around tops long, allowing yourself enough time to make it back to the carpark.

Approach to the summit of Avalanche Peak

The Descent

Scott’s track is a much easier descent than the Avalanche Peak track and is more well-maintained.  If you do summit Avalanche Peak later in the day,  there are some beautiful photo opportunities as the sun sets out west.  The evening light on the tussock with a clear evening sky is beautiful.  The bush isn’t as dense on Scott’s track which makes an evening descent much easier.

Avalanche Peak, is a challenge and gives a sense of achievement.  It is definitely a hike that should be considered for those with a moderate level of fitness and good weather.  Go check out the Avalanche Peak Gallery here which features all of the photos in the post along with some other stunning shots.