This is a nice but steep walk up through lush West Coast forest to Carroll Hut, then up to Kellys Hill (1394m) on a marked route for excellent views over Arthur’s Pass National Park and out to the West Coast. There’s some scrambling required in a few places to get up through the forest, but otherwise it’s a fairly straightforward and shorter walk than many in Arthur’s Pass. It’s a good option if you want a West Coast experience that is accessible from Christchurch in a day, and you don’t mind a rough forest track.
Track notes at the end.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut: The Scenery
Early on you need to cross a biggish stream, and you might get wet feet. We avoided this with waterproof boots and walking poles for stability. It’s then a steep and rough track (a section of the Harman Pass route) to Carroll’s Hut through native forest. There scrambling in a few places that requires some agility.
You continue on past Carroll Hut on the marked route to Kelly Saddle for a short while, but not as far as the tarns. Before the tarns take a right and head up Kellys Hill – you will soon see wooden poles marking a route to the summit. (They are hard to see from the route to Kelly’s Saddle). The high point of the tops has communications equipment and structures on it – the named summit is a bit further on.