Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track, Canterbury NZ

A walk up Mt Guy (1319m) for excellent views of the Ashburton Lakes, and a return route via the Lake Clearwater Circuit Track.

Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track

As a shortish tracked route to the top of a mountain with views I had been thinking about climbing Mt Guy (1319m) ever since we moved to Christchurch. Somehow though it took us a year to get up there. The views from the mountain are very good, although the summit was clouded in so we missed all but the views south over the Ashburton Lakes. It was a pretty short trip up, so we’ll be back on a clear winter’s day to get those missing views. To compensate for a short walk and limited views we decided to finish the walk the long way, completing the Lake Clearwater Circuit Track. The weather actually cleared as we descended from Mt Guy so we got views from ground level of the Southern Alps and other peaks.

You can have a look at my post for Mt Harper to see how the area looks in sunny weather, at least those views to the north-east. It is possible to do a circuit on Mt Guy, returning off-track via point 1274m to the north-west. We’ll probably do that next time, so stay tuned.

Track notes at the end.

Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track

Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Lake Clearwater and Lake Camp.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
A panorama of the Ashburton Lakes to the south as we ascended in quite cloudy weather.

Then it was up to the cloudy summit, and back down again…

Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
The cloud beginning to clear as we descended. I didn’t take any picture on the summit due to it being clouded in. We mainly missed the views to the north. I’ll repeat the walk again perhaps this winter, but you can see some of the same scenes in my post on Mt Harper from last winter.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Looking towards the Rangitata River. The Southern Alps are still obscured by cloud, but they would clear later.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
A panorama of the Ashburton Lakes to the south.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Lake Clearwater (the big one) and Lake Camp.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Lambies Lagoon and the Harper Range inn cloud.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Sophia backed by Lake Clearwater.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Lake Emma and Lake Roundabout.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Lakes Clearwater and Camp.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Lake Clearwater and Mt Harper behind. We climbed this in winter – was a great walk. You can see more pictures of this area in that blog post, including some of Mt Taylor and neighbouring peaks which we couldn’t see earlier due to cloud on the summit.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Sophia taking a picture of Mt D’Archiac (2,875m). It’s a good looking mountain.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
The Southern Alps viewed from Lake Clearwater. (Well, nearby, not actually on the lake).
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Mt Guy looking frustratingly clear, after the summit and surrounding peaks being clouded in earlier in the day.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Back at the start of the walk here, looking towards Mt Potts, on the right, which we climbed in spring.
Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
Mt Guy behind poplars at the car park.

Track Notes

Mt Guy & Lake Clearwater Circuit Track
On marked tracks the whole way. You can park at the Lake Clearwater Village and walk to the base of Mt Guy on a vehicle track, then up. Or in a 4WD you can drive to where the vehicle track fords the edge of the lake, or indeed go on through the ford to the Mt Guy Track junction.

On marked tracks the whole way. You can park at the Lake Clearwater Village at the lake’s edge and walk to the base of Mt Guy on a vehicle track, then up to the summit (maybe 1.5 – 2 hours). Or in a 4WD you can drive along the lakes edge on the easy vehicle track to where it fords the edge of the lake, or indeed go on through the ford to the Mt Guy Track junction. There’s more information on the DOC website.

You can also do a circuit returning off-track via point 1274m to the north-west, then along Te Araroa and the Eastern Link Track to the start.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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