This rugged hike leads into a spectacular and enormous alpine basin under the Earnslaw Glacier, surrounded by dozens of waterfalls.

Once you identify the parking area (Right turn off Glenorchy Paradise Road just before crossing the Earnslaw Burn, park a the bend in the road.) Cross the boggy meadow in a NW direction until you see the orange trail markers on trees.

The trail below bush line is long, very rugged and covered with blowdowns, but clean water sources are plentiful. Once you break out of the bush you are surrounded by soaring rock walls, countless waterfalls and glaciers. Continue along the river edge past several nice campsites into the head of the basin, and Gilkison Falls flowing from the lower ice cliffs of the Earnslaw Burn.

Keep an eye on the glacier and you will likely see some impressive ice avalanches!

Looking for more adventure? Check out Climb Mt. Earnslaw

Pack List

This adventure is best done as an over night. The trail is rugged and the basin can be subject to severe and unpredictable weather. 

  • 10 essentials 
  • Backpacking gear
  • Layers
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RT Distance 8.7 Miles
Elevation Gain 1968.5 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Advanced
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Climb Mount Earnslaw, Mount Aspiring National Park

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Hike the Rees Track to the Cascade Saddle

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Day Hike to Harris Saddle (Routeburn Track)

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