Cass-Lagoon Saddle Track
Cass-Lagoon Saddle Track
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Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip. See website for the price of accommodation on this track.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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5.0
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soph273
Christchurch, New Zealand11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Couples
This is a comfortable loop to do in two days staying overnight at Hamilton hut, which is a serviced 20 bunk hut at around the halfway point. The first day from Cass to Hamilton hut going over the Cass Saddle begins with a long riverbed walk with cliffs either side. You then climb through the bush until reaching the alpine meadow below Cass Saddle which has incredible views. You then climb down a steep track back through the beech forest to the river flats and shortly after reach Hamilton hut. It is worth doing the short side trip to Mirror Tarn from the hut (around 20 minutes) although this track is also quite steep.

The second day from Hamilton hut to Cora Lynn requires more difficult climbing and when we did the track there were several slips, including a huge scree slip that had destroyed part of the track. It would have been easily possible to go down the riverbed instead of climbing it - if you encounter anything like this get your map out! There is again some gorgeous riverbed walking and beech forest track, then you come out on Mt Bruce above the bush line to the best views we have ever seen. You could reach this view from the Cora Lynn end but the track is relentless and it would be a pretty boring climb through beech forest for most of the way.

The track was very well formed and easy to follow 99% of the way, the only issue we encountered was the large slip after West Harper hut. There were a couple of points where we had to scramble/climb hands and feet but 4 trampers behind us carried mountain bikes the entire way so if you have a basic fitness level you should be fine!

Honestly if you do one overnight tramp while you are in the Canterbury region make it this one - we would turn around a redo it tomorrow!
Written 4 February 2019
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CASS-LAGOON SADDLE TRACK: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Cass-Lagoon Saddle Track