19 km one way
Via the Larches Carpark, the Cardrona River to the Little Criffel section of track is closed annually for lambing from 10 October till 10 November inclusive.
Avalon car park to Little Criffel Summit: 3–4 hrs, 9 km
Little Criffel Summit to The Larches car park: 3–4 hrs, 10 km
The route up to 1,341 m Little Criffel from Avalon car park is on a steep and unformed track. It provides a good opportunity for fit, experienced walkers to enjoy extensive views over the Upper Clutha Basin. It also gives a spectacular panorama of the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiro o te Moana.
From the car park, cross the Cardrona River and follow the markers and stiles up the hill to the summit of Little Criffel.
The marked route from the Larches car park to the summit of Little Criffel is mostly on a 4WD track apart from where it crosses through the Larches Conservation Area. This conservation area is a small pocket of shrubland dominated by kanuka, matagouri and native broom.
A special lease area provides access between two sections of the Pisa Conservation Area – there are no marked tracks in this section to follow.
Mountain biking is permitted on the Larches track. This is an advanced level rated cycle track that involves some steep climbs and poor traction. Some sections will require riders to get off their bikes and walk.
Access to/from the route is signposted from either the Larches car park (9.5 km from Wanaka) or the Avalon car park (12 km from Wanaka); Cardrona Valley Road.
Be avalanche alert: This area has terrain that can produce avalanches that cross the track, usually from May into November. View avalanche information and the terrain rating for this track.
Unbridged rivers: There are river and stream crossings that become hazardous in heavy rain or snowmelt. Be prepared to turn back or wait for the river to drop.
Private property: This track crosses private land. Respect the landowner's livestock and property: stay on the marked track until you reach the conservation land, leave gates as you find them and use stiles where provided. Livestock can be unpredictable – keep your distance at all times/go around if necessary.
No camping until the conservation area boundary.
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.