“A steep climb through spectacular forest to a beautiful alpine basin.
— Almonzo Wilder
Glacier Burn Track climbs steeply through beautiful beech forest to a basin tucked beneath towering Mount Bonpland in the Humboldt Mountains. The reward for this tough walk is fantastic alpine scenery free from any crowds.
From the carpark, the trail quickly approaches Glacier Burn, which must be forded (usually easy, but cold). After this crossing, the trail quickly enters the forest and begins a relentless climb. The trail is well marked and easy to follow, but can be very steep and muddy. In many areas, the beech forest is simply spectacular and is home to a good variety of native birdlife.
The trail continues through the forest to the bush line, where Glacier Basin opens above. A bit of scrambling leads to your choice of viewpoints where you can take in the waterfalls, glaciers and magnificent alpine scenery of the Humboldt Mountains. Take your time exploring the basin before heading back down the way you came.
Look for Kea above treeline. Riflemen are easy to spot in the beech forest. New Zealand Falcons favor the open country near the trailhead.