Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur’s Pass National Park NZ

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.

Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park

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).

Track notes at the end.

Mt Bealey ascent: The Scenery

Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Climbing through beech forest.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
First views of the walk: a 118m falls on Rough Creek.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Looking back down towards Arthur’s Pass Village from above the bushline.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Avalanche Peak and Mt Rolleston in the background.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Bare slopes higher up. Point 1760m centre. Point 1805m at the back. Now I’m not sure of that is the summit to the right, or whether that was behind 1706m.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Looking south-east towards the Waimakariri Valley.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
I liked this shot with the rocky outcrops in the foreground. Looking back down to the Bealey River Valley.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Sophia arriving at 1760m, with the prominent point 1805m to the right.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Looking south.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Sophia in the small saddle, with the summit ahead.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
A bit of scrambling required.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
The Crow Valley from the summit.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
The Bealey River Valley from the summit.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
A panorama south-west from the summit of Mt Bealey (1836m).
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
The Crow Valley and high peaks in the Southern Alps to the right.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
A panorama looking north-west.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Looking south-east.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Sophia in one of her signature poses on the summit of Mt Bealey (1836m), with the Crow Valley behind.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Mt Rolleston with Avalanche Peak camouflaged in the mid ground.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Layers of ridges and peaks looking east. Sophia down there for scale. I think it’s the Polar Range to the left, or else the Aicken Range.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
A panorama as we descended from the summit, with point 1805 centre.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Climbing back up to point 1760m from the small saddle.

Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park

Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Looking back up to the summit (left) with Mt Rolleston on the right.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Sophia with Mt Aicken, Mt Cassidy and Blimit across the valley.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Descending from the low peak along the ridge back down to the bushline.
Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
A panorama taking in various peaks to the east.

Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park

Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Last look at the views before we re-entered the beech forest. A 118m falls on one of the tributaries of Rough Creek. (There were actually a couple of spots in the forest with views as well.)

Track Notes

Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
On a marked and obvious track through the forest, then an unmarked route, sometimes on a discernible track, to the summit. A bit of scrambling required between 1760m and the summit but nothing difficult or dangerous if you used to that sort of thing.

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.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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