“A steady climb through a beach forest to outstanding views of the peaks, plains, and rivers of Arthur's Pass.”
— Kristen McGlynn
The steady grade and relatively easy footing along the route make for a great run with only a few rocky sections where you'll want to watch your footing.
Pick up the start of this track at the end of Cloudesley Road. The parking area for this track is located off the main highway; turn right on Cloudesley Road to get to the large dirt lot. To get to the start of the track, you'll just have to run up the road, past several small cabins and cottages, until the road dead-ends at the start of the trail. There is a pit toilet here.
The track starts as a gentle climb on a wide path that meanders through a young beech forest. The track is wide, well-used, and well-marked with DOC orange triangle blazes. This shaded section through the beech forest makes for a nice, easy start.
As the trail climbs, it emerges from the woods to a more scrubby landscape with a large canyon and a steep drop to Bruce Stream on the left-hand side. On the right, the wide plain of the braided Waimakariri River spreads out behind you. Be sure to take a moment to look over your shoulder as you continue the climb.
Further up, the track passes through tussock grasslands and subalpine scrub, and a boardwalk will take you past several tarns. From this vantage point, Waimakariri River Valley opens up in both directions, and the 360-degrees views are impressive.
The track ends Bealy Hut, a historic hut that was once used by musterers. The hut is a bit rough around the edges, and if you are spending the night, you would be well advised to secure your belongings from the mice that, according to the guest log, have also made themselves at home.
Flora & Fauna
A young beech forest and alpine tussock at the higher elevation. Birds such as fantails, wood pigeons, and maybe the mischievous Kea at the higher altitudes.