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Level: Intermediate
Length: 13 mi (20.9 km)
Surface: 4x4 Trail
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +1,271/ -774 ft
Total: 9 riders

Mountain Biking Dusky Trail

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#154 of 387 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#8,311 in the world

The Dusky Trail is a pleasant back country ride, partly on singletrack and partly on four wheel drive track. Generally, but certainly not all the way, it's a relatively smooth ride on a grassy surface.

It makes a great out-and-back 21km ride to the picnic table at the high point and back. It's a steady climb up and a nice blat back down. There are two creek crossings, big enough to give you wet feet.

The trail also makes a good loop if you carry on towards Lake Pukaki and cross the Twizel River. After 23km you reach the Mount Cook highway (SH80), and from there you can loop back to the trail head on good roads for a 40km loop.

There is popular mountain bike race based on the circuit every 25 October. Google "Dusky Trail hard labour weekend" for more information.

First added by Jim Cummings on May 24, 2015. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Head out of Twizel on Glen Lyon Road which goes north on the bank of the Twizel River to the Pukaki Canal. Cross the canal, turn left and the car park is just a few metres in front of you, complete with signage.
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Dusky Trail Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail conditions

(on Aug 21, 2018)
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Camping & Lodging

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Twizel, New Zealand

Intermediate | 16 mi
Advanced | 11 mi

Rider questions

Q: How do you get to trail?
A: Head up Glen lyon rd over the canal, turn left. 200m on the right is the start

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  • Carl.vaughan.mtb

    A gradual climb from the canal carpark with some river crossings. Great views of the lakes. Turn at the picnic table to return or carry on to the mt cook rd and return via the canals or ride to pukaki and link onto the alps to Ocean track. To add more to the start, ride up the pyramid, down dorcy track to join dusky and right out through alps track for a 52km loop. Pay attention to tbe weather and river heights.

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  • Jim Cummings

    This trail takes you gently into the foothills of the Southern Alps. At the top there are expansive views back down the valley. Both Lake Pukaki and Lake Benmore are visible. In only a few kilometres it gives you a feeling for the local back-country but no views of the big mountains which are so close behind the near hills. Going up will not strain a muscle and on the way down it's fast and fun.

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