Day Hike to Harris Saddle (Routeburn Track)

14.3 Miles Round Trip - 2460.6 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Routeburn Shelter - Search Nearby - Added by Tobin Akehurst

Enjoy the world famous Routeburn Track without a heavy pack or costly shuttle busses by day hiking over half of the route in a single day! 

The Routeburn Track is world famous, and with good reason. But the because it is a through hike that requires multiple hut reservations and an expensive car-shuttle or two day bus ride to complete, many people feel overwhelmed or underprepared. This day hike options allows you a no-strings-attached option to seeing the best parts of this 5-star hike.

Start at the Routeburn Shelter end (East end) of the track. The hike begins in beautiful beech forest under the sweeping walls of rocky mountains.

At the half-way point you will pass the Routeburn Flats and begin climbing the south wall of the valley up to the impressive Routeburn Falls Hut passing a recent landslide and remarkable views of the Humboldt Mountains. Climb above the Falls and into an expansive alpine basin. Wind around the left side of the basin and climb among giant boulders as you approach Lake Harris, which will surely leave you speechless.

From your first vantage of Lake Harris, a short walk walk along the bluffs on the south side will bring you to the emergency shelter and your final destination, Harris Saddle.

Views from Harris Saddle include the impressive display of glaciated Mounts Crosscut, Sabre, Adelaide and Gifford.

Turn about and return the way you came.


Easy Parking
Picnic Area


14.3 Miles
2460.6 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

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Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great experience

The beautiful scenery, boardwalks and accomodating cabins create an amazing walk for both beginner and advanced walkers. Great experience to meet so many different people!!

It's a lot to take in...

Due to weather conditions starting from The Divide, we had couldn't reach The Harris Saddle on the first attempt. But on our second trip around we did this exact hike! (Couldn't say we were mad about leaving all that extra weight at the base ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) In this hike, you get flat valleys, waterfalls, mountains, and more! You really just have to see it for yourself, it's unbelievably breathtaking.