Fowlers Pass (1296 m) connects Fowlers Hut on Tophouse Road with Stanley Vale and Lake Guyon huts, St James Conservation Area. It also links to the St James Cycle Trail.
This marked track has river crossings, scree slopes and a variety of gradients. Note that particuarly in winter, snow can make travel difficult and the area is prone to avalanches.
Time: 4 hr
Distance: 12 km
Time: 1 hr 30 min
Distance: 4 km
Fowlers Hut is on Tophouse Road.
From Hanmer Springs take Clarence Valley Road over Jacks Pass to connect with Tophouse Road (about 13 km from Hanmer Springs). This road follows the eastern boundary of St James Conservation Area.
While access into St James is relatively easy, this remains a remote backcountry area. There is no cell phone coverage. Before your trip ensure you have:
Avalanches can occur every year when there is snow in the mountains. Most occur during winter storms or in spring/early summer when warmer temperatures or rain make the snow unstable. Even if you can not see snow from the track there may be enough snow out of sight on upper slopes to form an avalanche that could reach the track.
Fowlers Pass Track is challenging avalanche terrain.
NZTopo50 map sheet: BT24
Auckland and parts of the Waikato are at Level 3. DOC huts and campsites are closed in these regions. The rest of New Zealand is at Level 2.