Important note: the distances provided are only estimates and ride times will vary depending on fitness and weather conditions.
The route is not suited to gravel bikes, and if you’re planning to ride an e-Bike make sure that you have sufficient range in your battery and be aware that there are several stream crossings to negotiate.
Very hot and dry conditions are common in summer - it was 32°C when this story was written - so carry plenty of water (there is no water on the ridges and the creek water is open to livestock) and wear adequate sun protection as there is little or no shade or shelter from the elements.
Alpine conditions may be experienced at any time of the year, and the high-country is subject to snow and ice during winter months. Check the forecast and carry warm and waterproof clothing as required. The terrain is also exposed and remote, so you’ll need to be fully independent and carry a toolkit and first aid kit. With no cell phone coverage, a personal locator beacon in case of emergencies is a good idea.
DOC describe the track grades as intermediate to advanced as below, and these were accurate for the Cluden Creek – McPhies Ridge Track loop route described (as of January 2023).
- Intermediate – steep slopes and/or avoidable obstacles, possibly on narrow track and/or with poor traction. There may be exposure at track’s outer edge.
- Advanced – a mixture of long, steep climbs, narrow track, poor traction, and difficult obstacles to avoid or jump over. Generally exposed at the track’s outer edge. Most riders will find some sections easier to walk.
Always follow the Outdoor Safety Code
- Plan your trip
- Tell someone your plans
- Be aware of the weather
- Know your limits
- Take sufficient supplies
Visit Adventure Smart for more information.