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Level: Beginner
Length: 12 mi (19.3 km)
Surface: 4x4 Trail
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +129/ -126 ft
Total: 2 riders

Mountain Biking Hopkins Valley to Monument Hut

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#223 of 387 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#11,663 in the world

The Hopkins River starts below the jagged peaks of the main divide and braids its way down the Hopkins Valley - a huge, glacier gouged affair with a wide, gently sloping gravel floor.

A four wheel drive track runs up the valley and makes for a slightly jittery but pleasant and easy mountain bike ride. After 9km you'll come to Monument Hut beside the river. You could stay there overnight if you wanted to ($5 hut pass from DOC). You could also continue up the valley to the next hut - Red Hut which you'd come to after another 6km and a few river crossings on a somewhat more challenging track. When you've gone as far as you want just turn around and return the way you came.

There are toilets at the huts and they normally have drinking water.

This trail is best ridden in summer but don't count on a relaxing swim - the river is shallow and cold. In winter you could have problems with mud in a few places.

Overall, it's an easy ride in a stunning alpine environment - the kind of place that will fill you with awe and remind you of the intransigence of life.

First added by Jim Cummings on Mar 30, 2017. Last updated Apr 21, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • 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
The turnoff to Lake Ohau is midway between Omarama and Twizel on highway 8. It's 17km from both. From the turnoff you follow the Lake Ohau Road which dead-ends at the trailhead after 40km. Along the way you'll pass the Lake Ohau Lodge at 23km when the road surface becomes gravel. You'll come to Lake Ohau Station homestead at 30km. There is no pass through the Southern Alps here so you have to go back the way you came in for a total drive to the trailhead of 57km each way from either Omarama or Twizel. The good news is that it's scenic all the way - rolling hills, mountains, and the lake.
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Hopkins Valley to Monument Hut Trail map

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Jim Cummings (on Mar 29, 2017)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Mar 30, 2017)
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  • Jim Cummings

    While it's a scenic drive to get to the Hopkins Valley it's still something of a mission. You'll probably think it was worth it if you prefer easy grade tracks - there is no other easy ride that will take you into such majestic alpine grandeur.

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