Dogs require a permit from the Dept of Conservation, St Arnaud.
The singletrack is a natural surface through sub-alpine native bush with some rougher sections. There are several sets of switchbacks (both climbing and descending), but there trail is still steep in places. One of the descending switchback sets is chock full of roots and large steps downs. An overlook provides extensive views down the Wairau Valley.
There is no water along the route until Red Hills Hut. This is an alpine route in remote country where cold temperatures can be experienced at any time of the year. Be prepared with warm clothing and wet weather gear.
The start of the trail is marked with a cairn and a large orange triangle on the right where the Beebys 4wd track emerges from the bush into open tussock country. The singletrack starts with a 2.5km descent to 1030m through sub-alpine beech forest to a saddle, then climbs in a series of switchbacks to a gently climbing ridge. The track passes through several tussock clearings offering views out to the surrounding country before climbing another set of switchbacks to 1202m through "Lord of the Rings" type forest.
From here, the track descends ever steeper, culminating in a section of steep, rooty switchbacks before reaching another saddle at 1000m. An easy graded climb through bush and low scrub is followed by a rocky 120m descent through stunted mineral belt scrub to Red Hills Hut.
History & Background
Parts of the track follow an old survey line that forms the boundary between Nelson and Marlborough. Several old original wooden survey pegs placed in 1916 were found in good condition when the track was being constructed.