IntroductionThis circuit via Old Man Hut makes a good weekend tramp.
30 km loop
Forestry operations in the area can close roads into Mount Richmond Forest Park. Check the status of roads into Mount Richmond Forest Park.
Staircase Road to Lake Chalice Hut
Time: 1 hr
Distance: 2.6 km
From the car park a benched tramping track leads down to Lake Chalice Hut near the eastern end of the lake.
Lake Chalice Hut
Lake Chalice Hut to Old Man Hut
Time: 7 hr
Distance: 10 km
From Lake Chalice Hut follow the eastern side of the lake for 15 minutes to the Old Man Track junction. Climb to point 1522 m, down a spur to a saddle, then continue up the other side to Old Man (1514 m). Continue west along the Richmond Range before descending to the hut.
Old Man Hut
Old Man Hut to Staircase Road via Goulter River
Time: 7 hr
Distance: 17.3 km
From Old Man Hut descend steeply to a stream, following it to the Goulter River. From there, follow the undulating track to the western end of Lake Chalice and on to Lake Chalice Hut. From the hut the benched track climbs to Staircase Road.
5 km north Renwick (just over the Wairau River bridge) turn off SH6 onto Northbank Road. Follow this for 33 km then turn into Top Valley Road. Continue for 6 km then turn into Staircase Road and follow this for 18 km to the car park.
Make sure you have enough experience for your trip. Always fill in hut books and ensure someone knows your intentions.
- Snow, wind and fog are hazards of the open tops – you will need the skill to tramp in these conditions. Check the Mount Richmond weather forecast to prepare (external site).
- Water should be carried in dry conditions – there is a river/creek at the bottom but this water becomes scarce further up, especially in summer.
- Water in the park may not be safe to drink. If you doubt the safety of any water source, you should boil, filter or chemically treat it.
- Bad weather can occur at any time - be prepared with warm, waterproof clothing and extra food.
- Wasps are common from December until April. Carry antihistamine if you are allergic to their stings.
Rivers and streams
In normal flows unbridged streams and rivers can be crossed. However, in flood they can become impassable and you will need to be prepared to wait until flood waters recede.
Stay safe when crossing rivers
If you plan to cross unbridged rivers, know how to cross safely and be prepared for if you cannot cross.
Do not cross if the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe. Turn back or wait for the river to drop. If in doubt, stay out.