Hiking Mt Crichton Loop Track


By Orla O Muiri

2 minute read

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If you were to rank Queenstown hikes in order of popularity, the Mt Crichton Loop Track would be right up there. This 2.5 hour (6km) looped walk follows the Twelve Mile Creek out to stunning views of Lake Dispute. This walk is educational as well as recreational, teaching you about the life of the gold prospectors who once mined this area back in the 1800s. Red beech, mountain beech and manuka dominate this trail, which is suitable for all abilities! Here’s everything you need to know about the Mt Crichton Loop Track.

Sam Summers Hut along the Mt Crichton Loop Track

Sam Summers Hut makes for the perfect photo op!

Fun facts about Mount Crichton

  • Goldmining enthusiasts will love the Mt Crichton Loop Track. En route, you will discover relics, including the 24m long tailrace tunnel used to wash the gold-bearing gravel.

  • Sam Summers Hut can also be found along the route. Built in the 1930s, the hut is still in use today, providing accommodation for passing hikers. The hut is located on the site of a Chinese gold miners’ camp.

Tips to hike Mt Crichton Loop Track 

  • As with every outdoor pursuit, it is essential to check the weather forecast before you go. If in doubt, a quick visit to the local DOC (Department of Conservation) is always helpful!

  • Don’t leave it too late to head off. We always recommend starting your hike nice and early so as you have plenty of daylight hours.

  • A correctly packed daypack is a must when playing in the great outdoors. Essential items include sunscreen, a headtorch, a couple of extra layers, food and water!

Crichton Loop on one of our favourite Queenstown hikes

The views of Lake Wakatipu from Mt Crichton are superb.

Best time to hike Mt Crichton

Mount Crichton can be hiked all year round! New Zealand’s summer runs from December through to February, and that’s your best chance of ideal weather. However, the track is low enough that it rarely gets snow, so on a good winter’s day, it can make for a great little outing.

How to get there

The track can be found just 20 minutes outside of Queenstown on the Glenorchy–Queenstown Road.

Hiking Mt Crichton with New Zealand Trails

On day 12 of your Masterpiece, you will hike the beautiful Mt Crichton Loop Track. After waking up in the quaint town of Wanaka, we’ll head down the road to Queenstown for our morning hike along the Mt Crichton Loop Track before heading to Fiordland National Park in preparation for the following day’s adventure in Milford Sound.


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