Mid Hill via Lagoon Saddle, Craigieburn Forest Park, Canterbury NZ
Great views and nice variety on this walk to Mid Hill (1831m) in Craigieburn Forest Park, with forest, tussock, a rocky ridge & lots of tarns.
The climb to Mid Hill (1831m) via Lagoon Saddle is mostly easy travel with maybe 300m of moderate scrambling along a rocky ridge to get to the summit. Once out of the beech and pine at the start there are views for the rest of the walk and many attractive tarns between Lagoon Saddle and the final climb up onto the ridge. Arthur’s Pass is to the north, but some of the best views are the Black Range to the south-east, a patchwork of dark green forest and grey scree. Views west are over rugged and remote country. A very satisfying walk.
First a few shots on the tracked section taken on the day we climbed Mt Bruce (in winter).
Off-track from here, and back to summer…
Back on to the track…
The route is on a marked track until near Lagoon Saddle, at first through beech forest (with a section of pine trees), then through tussock grass. At the left turn in the track near Lagoon Saddle go down the hill towards the outlet to the big tarn. It’s then up hill all the way to the upper tarn, and up onto the ridge. The ground was a bit boggy in places, and this was after a dry spell.
The final few hundred metres to the summit required moderate scrambling that could feel a bit scary in windy or wet weather. An alternative route (blue arrows on my map) would be to avoid the ridge and climb down then up scree slopes to near the summit, then an easy scramble (without exposure) to finish.
It will take roughly 7-8 hours. I did this as a day walk but you could spend a night at A-Frame Hut and make it a more leisurely two day walk.