Climbing Avalanche Peak (Day Trip) in Arthurs Pass
If you're travelling through Arthurs Pass and looking for a nice, challenging walk that you can do in a day, look no further than Avalanche Peak-a 6 hour or so round trip that will give you fantastic views from the top. There are two options either the up and down Avalanche Peak Track, or the Scotts track which is a round trip (and takes approx 6 hours). If you have the time, definitely do the Scotts Track. You can park all day for free in the train station car park. Just opposite the train station you'll find the Department of Conservation visitor centre, before you leave on the trip check for any weather warnings, the track can be pretty dangerous in spring or winter time. Just behind the visitor centre the track starts and it's a nice steady climb until you reach the top of the bush line. Once you reach the top of the bush line you'll be exposed to your first awesome view as you can see below (looking East toward Christchurch). We got lucky with the weather (climb took place in January) with 27 degree temperature and only a slight breeze to keep you cool during the hike up. We hiked up in just normal trainers which was fine, there were a couple of places on the way down that were a little dodgy. There's no chance of getting lost as the track is signposted all the way up. It's also quite a popular route with people from Christchurch coming out for a day trip, so there's no real chance of getting lost as long as you allow plenty of daylight. Once we got to the top it was one of the best views I've experienced in a while. The view south was even better, you start to get a real appreciation for the size of the Southern Alps! We stayed on the top and had lunch before heading back down Scotts Track. You end up about 600 metres north of the Arthurs Pass township but it's just a 5 minute stroll back down to your vehicle. If you're looking for accommodation while in Arthurs Pass, you might like to stay in one of the DOC campsites located around Arthurs Pass. The Avalanche Creek Shelter campsite is $6 per night and is right beside the train station, otherwise you have the free campsites Klondyke Corner and Greyneys campsites located between 6 and 8kms south of the township.