Rising above the clouds, the 2518 m summit of this dormant volcano offers spectacular views to those who make the challenging climb to its peak.
Summer route description only – upper route changes in winter conditions. As of a snowfall we had in mid April 2018 winter conditions now exist on the mountain. The summer cimbing season has finished.
In winter/spring conditions snow and ice on the mountain requires New Zealand mountaineering experience and alpine equipment, and a different route into the crater than described below.
The best time of year to attempt the summit without alpine equipment is February to mid April. Always check with the Egmont National Park Visitor Centre for up to date information as conditions can change suddenly. WARNING thick cloud can descend suddenly on the mountain anytime, making navigation very difficult - turn back.
While the distance may not seem far to the summit - it's the elevation gain that will get you puffing. In 6.3 km from North Egmont to the summit area, the gain in height is 1.6 km - that's steep!
The Puffer on route to the summit of Mt Taranaki
North Egmont to Tahurangi Lodge (1,492 m)
Time: 1 hr 30 min - 2 hr
The summit track begins above the North Egmont car park adjacent to the red Camphouse building. Walk through the small "kissing" gate and wind up the gravel road to Tahurangi Lodge (private). Sections of this track are very steep. There is a public toilet 100m below the lodge.
Tahurangi Lodge to the summit (2,518 m)
Time: 3 - 4 hr
The track passes in front of the Tahurangi Lodge and continues upwards, via the poled route through the rock covered Hongi Valley. A series of steps leads out of the valley onto the steep scoria slopes.
Take care on these slopes as trampers above you may dislodge rocks.
The scoria slope continues west of the Snow Valley to the Lizard (2,314 m) a prominent rocky ridge which leads up to the crater entrance. Sections of this route involve clambering over rocks. The route then crosses the crater ice to the final short climb up to the summit rock (2,518 m). Warning: There is ice in the crater all year round. Crampons and/or ice axe may be required to cross the crater at any time.
Mt Taranaki has great spiritual significance to local Maori: the crater and summit is the sacred head of Taranaki, the rocks and ridge are his bones, rivers his blood and plants and trees are his cloak and offer protection from the weather.
Respect the mountain. Do not stand directly on the summit stone, and do not litter or camp on the summit.
Return via the same route.
The Mount Taranaki Summit Track is located in the Egmont National Park in Taranaki.
The track access point is at the North Egmont Visitor Centre, approximately 30 min drive from New Plymouth. Drive south on SH3 to Egmont Village and turn right onto Egmont Road. North Egmont is at the end of this road.
Know before you go
Only attempt this track in good weather. Mt Taranaki has changeable and unpredictable weather. Get the latest forecast before you go on MetService website, or phone the MetPhone mountain and ski service line 0900 99 24.
Carry enough clothing and equipment to ensure you are equipped for any type of weather. Carrying a torch, fully charged cellphone and personal locator beacon is recommended.
There is no drinking water on the track - take plenty with you.
In winter conditions avalanches may be an issue - get the latest avalanche advisory before you go (New Zealand Avalanche Advisory website), and carry a transceiver and self rescue equipment.
There is nowhere in Taranaki to hire ice axe and crampons/alpine equipment or tramping gear. Either bring your own or hire gear prior to your arrival.
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.