“A steep run to a beautiful hanging valley high in the Darran Mountains.”
— Almonzo Wilder
Lake · River/Creek · Views
Lake Marian is a serenely beautiful body of water set in a stunning alpine basin in the Darran Mountains. The steep and challenging run to the lake features a gorgeous section alongside the raging Marian Creek.
Need to Know
Watch for mud in wet weather.
The Lake Marian carpark is approximately 1 kilometer down the Hollyford Road from the intersection with the Milford Highway. The walk begins with a swing-bridge crossing of the lovely Hollyford River, followed by a pleasant walk through southern beech forest. Shortly, the track approaches Marian Creek, which plummets down into the Hollyford River. The walk along the creek via "The Gantry" is a highlight of the track, with the raging water of Marian Falls absolutely spectacular. The 20-minute return walk to The Gantry is a worthwhile easy excursion for those looking for a shorter outing than the full run to Lake Marian.
Above The Gantry the track steepens and the footing becomes more difficult. The trail climbs continuously through forest and avalanche clearings. Views across the valley toward Key Summit
and the Alisa Mountains are fantastic along the way. Occasional short sections require hands and balance and make for the biggest challenges on the walk. The grade lessens as the track climbs into the "hanging" portion of the valley, and Lake Marian is reached after a short descent. Views up the valley of Mount Crosscut and Sabre Peak are spectacular, and reflections on the lake can be superb if the weather is calm. After exploring around the lake, return the way you came.