Bealey Spur to point 1545m, Arthur’s Pass National Park NZ

The Bealey Spur Track is a classic walk to viewpoints over the braided Waimakariri River Valley. For 360 degree views continue to a minor peak at 1545m.

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park

The classic and reasonably popular walk up the Bealey Spur Track offers excellent views over Arthur’s Pass National Park for less effort than climbing nearby mountains. There’s also no avalanche danger, so after significant spring snowfall we headed out there on a weekday to see some magical snowy scenes. And being on a weekday we had the place to ourselves. You can get great views of the braided Waimakariri River Valley from quite early on in the walk at roughly 980m of elevation. Most people continue through attractive beech forest and over plains of tussock grass to Bealey Top Hut, but for the full experience I recommend continuing past the hut to a minor peak at 1545m.

The snow you see in these pictures had already melted by the afternoon at lower altitudes, despite it being one of the colder days of the year. So if you are hoping to get the best of a snowy but sunny day in spring then set off early.

Track notes at the end. Another good alternative is to climb nearby Mt Bruce. I’d say this is a better walk but involves more effort to get the best views.

Bealey Spur to point 1545m: The Scenery

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
The view down the Waimakariri Valley as we reached the bushline for the first time. We were to re-enter forest a a few more times on the walk.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Mid Hill (1831m)
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
The Bealey River joining the Waimakariri River.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Looking up the Waimakariri Valley. The Bealey River Valley to the right, which leads to Arthur’s Pass Village.

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
A very snowy scene.

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Looking up the Bealey River.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
It was very atmospheric in the forest after quite heavy snowfall.

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Sophia at Top Bealey Hut. This is a turnaround for some people but if you have more energy then I recommend you continue up to point 1545m for 360 degree views.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Sophia adding a bit of colour to this wintery scene.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
A panorama looking east as we climbed above the hut.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Some rugged hillsides.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Looking east.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Seep snow as we climbed the higher up Bealey Spur.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Sophia looking very alpine.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Power Stream and point 1907m centre left. You can do a long circuit over that point and down Blind Spur (out of shot to the left). One for longer summer days perhaps.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
The weather was turning around midday.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Sophia hamming it up on point 1545m, the minor peak which makes for a good turnaround point.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
A panorama looking east from point 1545m.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Looking at Power Stream from point 1545m, our turnaround point and lunch spot.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Sophia backed by mountains in the Black Range. Mt Bruce is to the left in the mid ground, another really excellent walk in the area.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Nice colours and light in the afternoon made up for losing higher peaks of the Southern Alps in cloud.

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Back into snowy forest as we left the hut.

Here’s a short video in the forest as we descended. Apologies for the heavy breathing: it was actually hard work trying to keep my phone steady as I walked. Sophia says at the end, “Welcome to fairyland”; it really was.

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
A change of light and weather conditions as we descended in the afternoon.
Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
Power Stream formed a gorge on its mid sections.

Track Notes

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
A marked track to the hut then a marked route to the bushline (there may have been a track but we couldn’t see anything in snow). From there it’s obvious travel to the cairn at point 1545m.

It’s an obvious track to Bealey Top Hut, then a marked route through a final patch of beech forest, then open tussock to the cairn that marks the minor peak at 1545m.You have to park your car below the small settlement of Bealey, and then walk 700m along a road to the trail head. And there’s more information if you need it on the DOC website.

It’s also possible to continue on and do a long circuit walk over point 1907m and back along Blind Spur. One for longer summer days.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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