Stay at Carroll Hut

Rate this Adventure 1.6 miles 2296.6 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by David Boschwitz

Steep hike to priceless views of Arthur's Pass atop Kelly's Saddle.

This hike begins at a hidden parking lot just North/East of Kelly's Creek, about 2km north of Otira, drive carefully through to the car park and trailhead, a gravel lot with a latrine, near the creek.  

Once ready, begin the hike, to the west.  In the first 5 minutes you'll cross a small tributary, once across look for the orange triangle trail markers, and follow signs for Carroll Hut/Kelly Saddle (not Hunts Creek Hut, which runs along Kelly's creek).

From here, the trail winds steeply up the mountain for around 3 hours.  At the time of writing, there are several downed trees to climb over, and several spots where climbing on all fours may be necessary.  However, the trail is do-able without any extra equipment during the summer and shoulder seasons.  Make sure to check with the Arthur's pass Department of Conservation (DOC) office before you depart.  Take your time, and plenty of breaks.

Once at the top, you can drop pack, and explore the saddle, from the northern side, near some tarns, you can see the sunset over the West Coast (on a good day).  You can also follow a poled route to the summit of Kelly's Hill to the northeast.

Water can be taken from a small stream just west of the hut, but you may want to bring extra water during the dryer seasons, just in case the stream is dry.

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