A classic walk in Arthur’s Pass National Park to the summit of Mt Bealey (1836m), with grand mountain and valley views most of the way.
Climbing Mt Bealey is one of a few classic walks starting conveniently on the highway through Arthur’s Pass Village. The others include the popular walk up neighbouring Avalanche Peak , Mt Aicken across the valley, plus more we’ve yet to do. As for all of these walks you start with a steep ascent in beech forest, then once above the bushline there are extensive views of very scenic country, with many a rugged peak and deep valley to feast your eyes upon.
The route to Mt Bealey is unmarked above the bushline, and involves just a bit of scrambling on the final section between the low peak (1760m) and summit. It’s not the hardest walk we’ve done, and if you want to extend the effort and views you can traverse Lyell Peak to return down via Avalanche Peak, and then along the road back to your car. This is quite a big walk and there are sections with significant exposure and falls risk, so not for beginners. (We’ve not done this yet, but it’s on the list).
You start on Mt Bealey Road just off the highway before you reach the village centre from the east. It’s up through beech forest on a marked track, then mostly along a ridge on tussock and a bit of scree to the low peak at 1760m. You drop down and then back up to the summit at 1836m, with just a bit of scrambling required. None of this is marked although there is an impact track you can follow some of the way. About 1100m of ascent and descent.
Pretty obvious navigation if you have a map with you and the weather is good. There’s further information if you need it on arthurspass.com.