Route: 5 Passes

Submitted by Eva Dethlefsen on Sat, 02/17/2024 - 09:46pm
New Zealand
63 km
Vertical Gain
3,500 m

The 5 Passes is a classic hiking route in Mt. Aspiring National Park. It is a satisfying loop in a remote backcountry environment and normally takes hikers around 4-6 days. The route is made up by the 5 passes that you will need to cross, Fohn Saddle, Fiery Col, Cow Saddle, Park pass and Sugar Loaf Pass. A big part of the route involves challenging off track travel and navigation. The terrain is very varied with the route going through dense forest with some honest bushbashing, alpine traverseing and river crossings. So while the route doesn’t look long on the map, travel is very slow and is not to be underestimated. 

The loop starts from the Routeburn Track carpark and heads down the gravel road to the Lake Sylvan trail head, then follows the trail the Rock Burn and along the Dart River untill you reach the Beans Burn which will then have to be forded. Then it’s all the way up the Beans Burn and up over Fohn Saddle, then a sidle before starting the climb to Fiery Col. Then it’s all down hill before you reach Cow saddle, then down Hidden Falls Creek, up Park Pass, down towards Theatre flat and then down along the Rock Burn before you start the last climb towards Sugar Loaf Pass. The route then finishes where it started at the Route Burn car park.

GPS Track
5_passes.gpx23.98 MB