Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur’s Pass National Park NZ

A steep climb through lush West Coast forest to Kellys Hill (1394m) via Carroll Hut for excellent views over numerous peaks and valleys in Arthur’s Pass National Park and to the west.

Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass

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

Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
Lush West Coast forest on our way up.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
Climbing up onto the tops.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
A panorama of the summit area. Mt Alexander on the left.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
The Otira River. We stopped at the quirky Otira Stagecoach Hotel for a coffee on our way back.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
Deception Valley and the Aicken Range.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
Mt Alexander (1958m).

Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass

Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
Sophia posing just before our descent.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
You can just see Carroll Hut down there.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
At first I thought this was looking towards the sea, but now I’m not so sure.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
Taken just before we dropped back down to the hut.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
A gnarly old tree on our way down.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
Kelly’s Creek near the start.

Track Notes

Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
There’s a marked track to Carroll’s Hut, then a poled route to Kelly Saddle. To visit Kellys Hill, go off track before you get to the tarns and saddle, and you will soon see wooden poles marking the route up to the tops.

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.

About 5 hours return. You can get information on Carroll Hut and the Harman Pass route from the DOC website.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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