Mount Lyndon

Mount Lyndon

Mount Lyndon is a lesser-known yet achievable half-day walk in Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands . It’s a hike close to Christchurch making Mount Lyndon easy to leave in the morning and be back just after lunch. The climb is beautiful in late winter or spring with the surrounding mountains sugar-coated-in snow. The views over State Highway 73 trailing over Porter’s Pass and the views over the Canterbury Plains make the climb worth it. Mount Lyndon is a perfect weekend mission when the mountains are calling but your calendar is looking a bit tight.


3 hours


5.8 km


624 m





On the summit of Mount Lyndon looking over towards Castle Hill Peak and Foggy Peak
From the summit of Mount Lyndon looking over towards Foggy Peak & Castle Hill Peak

43°17′35″S 171°41′03″E

In Detail

The track starts off Lake Lyndon road, next to Lake Lyndon Lodge on the south-western fringes of Lake Lyndon. The hike up doesn’t take long. It takes just under 2 hours to reach the summit and just over an hour to get back to the car. Whilst you are ascending, the views of Lake Lyndon become smaller yet more beautiful. With views out towards Castle Hill and over Lake Coleridge, it makes up for the climb.

On the summit of Mount Lyndon
Benny up near the summit of Mount Lyndon, Foggy Peak in the background

Getting to Mount Lyndon

Mount Lyndon isn’t a difficult peak to spot. Travelling from Christchurch follow the main highway west (SH73) out past Springfield and over Porters Pass. As you finish the descent from Porters Pass you’ll find a big sweeping turn past Lake Lyndon. There’s a turn off here that takes you down a gravel road that is marked as ‘fine weather only’. The sign then

Mount Lyndon Summit Route

Although on the map it’s marked under the orange route that there is a trail, however, this is untrue. You must find your own route up and around Mount Lyndon to the summit. I would highly recommend purchasing a topographical map of the area or downloading a topographical phone map application for your smartphone to ensure you know where you are at all times. It’s reasonably easy to work out which direction to head, as long as you know where the summit is at. There are a number of goats tracks that you can easily follow up along the mountain.

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Mount Lyndon Weather

Spring is one of the best times to summit Mount Lyndon. When the weather becomes warmer and the weather is good there is still usually some snow left on top of the mountain for a snow ball fight. Usually the Castle Hill Basin provides some shelter with the nearby mountains blocking the wind. Do ensure that you bring a wind breaker of some sort to block out much of the wind if it does pick-up.

Tussock and Scrub

The first part of the hike has you battling through matagouri, shrubs, tussock and other wrangled plants. I would suggest wearing a pair of pants or gaiters to stop your legs from getting thrashed. Through the tussock and scrub, you can see where you parked your car up lakeside. This section of the hike is definitely the steepest section. It’s ideal to have it out of the way earlier on, a relief as you get closer to the summit.

Looking out over Lake Lyndon
Top: Looking out over Lake Lyndon after making our way towards the southern spur of Mount Lyndon
Benny looking out over Lake Lyndon, Foggy Peak followed by Castle Hill peak in the background

The lake begins to get smaller and smaller as you climb higher. It’s a comforting feeling looking down and seeing your progress, suddenly you’ll look down and see your car become a mear dot next to the lake. The scrub eventually gets smaller and less dense as you climb, the rocks then begin coming through. As you climb there looks to be routes cut out from people mountain biking with a variety of berms and turns that have been carved into the mountain over time.

Looking down on Lake Lyndon part way up Mount Lyndon
Admiring our surroundings of Castle Hill Peak, Foggy Hill Peak with SH73 winding over Porters Pass and Lake Lyndon road lakeside

Rock & Snow

Eventually, as we climbed even higher the tussock and scrub was replaced by rock and the climbing began to flatten out more giving way to snowy slopes and even better views. After a while, we reached a point in our ascent where the ground flattened out and the ascent became much easier going. Caution had to be exercised on the snow-covered sections of the hike ensuring that we were able to easily kick our feet into the snow before making our next step forward.

Climbing the scree slopes of Mount Lyndon
Top: Matt interweaving between the rock, snow and tussock
Middle: Matt taking a break and admiring the surroundings
Bottom: Benny tackling the snow and rock as he nears the summit

Mount Lyndon Summit

The summit of Mount Lyndon is marked by a large pile of rocks. The surrounding area is pretty barren and flat. From the top, you can see right over to Foggy Peak and Castle Hill Peak. Towards the West, you look out over Porters Ski Field and Mount Enys. There was only a cool breeze that swept across, while we were on top of Mount Lyndon, likely because the mountain is sheltered by larger mountains in the area.

Looking out over Porters Ski Field (left) and the Craigieburn Range

From the summit, you could possibly extend the trip by descending Mount Lydon and crossing the saddle towards point 1456, continuing onto point 1345 and then onward to Cloudy Hill. You would have to return via a similar route back to the summit of Mount Lyndon before reaching the car.

Looking out towards Cloudy Hill and Castle Hill

Descent to Lake Lyndon

Finding our way back down to Lake Lyndon had us discovering trails that we hadn’t discovered on our ascent. It was a lot of fun, especially with the snow around. At times there were a few cheeky snowballs thrown at one another whilst attempting to slide down the snow. Each step would be buffered by the depth of the snow, sometimes it would be an icy cold surprise if we plunged too deep into the snow.

Matt coming down the ridge, in the distance Mount Hutt Range and Black Hill Range

The only regrettable part of the descent was when we found an unmarked track that led us through overgrown matagouri at least chest height tall. It had us pushing past it best we could, without getting completely scratched and scathed up. Views out over Lake Lyndon made up for the scratches thankfully. Ensure you hike down closer to the south-eastern side of the ridge if you are planning on doing this hike.

Descending towards Lake Lyndon from Mount Lyndon
Top: Just before getting swamped by matagouri and our legs getting torn up.
Bottom: Descending to where we initially had parked the car