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Crucible Lake

  4.5 ( 2 ) Favorite


5.3 mile 8.6 kilometer loop
71% Runnable


Ascent: 2,040' 622 m
Descent: -2,040' -622 m
High: 3,763' 1,147 m
Low: 1,942' 592 m


Avg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 53% (28°)


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Trail shared by Almonzo Wilder


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A challenging walk to a spectacular alpine lake high in Mount Aspiring National Park.

Almonzo Wilder

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers


The walk to Crucible Lake is an outstanding day trip from the Siberia Valley. The trail is steep and strenuous, but the rewards are many. The Crucible Valley has gorgeous wildflowers, huge views of glaciated Mount Alba, and a beautiful stream at its bottom. At the head of the valley, the moraine-bound Crucible Lake is a true gem. Fed by falling ice from the glaciers above and waterfalls streaming down sheer rock faces, Crucible Lake is a worthwhile destination.

Runner Notes

This route is nearly un-runnable from 0.8 mi to 1.3 mi and ascending the last pitch to Crucible Lake as the grade is far too steep.


Beginning in the Siberia Valley, the Crucible Lake Track departs from the Gillespie Pass Circuit about an hour above the Siberia Hut. The walk starts by crossing open meadows, with great views up to Mount Dreadful at the head of Siberia Valley. Fords of Gillespie Stream and Siberia Stream are necessary when crossing the valley, and care should be taken in high water.

The trail to Crucible Lake ascends steeply out of Siberia Valley on the true left of Crucible Stream. This section of the trail is very steep and forested, and may require use of hands to ascend some of the near-vertical tangles of roots on the track. Eventually, this steep section relents and the track contours into the Crucible Valley. After a short descent the trail crosses the Crucible Stream, aided by impressively positioned rocks that will help to keep your feet dry. Above the crossing the trail passes the bush line and heads gently up the valley toward the moraine wall that hides Crucible Lake. Mount Alba looms above and provides an impressive backdrop to the valley.

The final push up the face of the moraine is steep, but rewarded by increasingly impressive views down the valley. Not until the very crest does Crucible Lake become visible, and it is a truly impressive finale to the walk. Early in summer, the lake earns its name as glacial ice from above drops in to form melting icebergs. The rock basin in which the lake is set is strewn with waterfalls that cascade down from high above. It's a worthwhile place to linger and enjoy before turning around and heading back the way you came.

Flora & Fauna

Look for the elusive endemic South Island Rock Wren on the moraine just below Crucible Lake.

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes


  4.5 from 2 votes
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in New Zealand


160 Views Last Month
7,352 Since Feb 9, 2015



Gillespie Stream is easy to cross in low water.
Feb 15, 2015 near Makarora, NZ
Mount Alba and the Crucible Valley
Feb 15, 2015 near Makarora, NZ
Crucible Lake
Feb 15, 2015 near Makarora, NZ


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