Added by Alex Tande
Lagoon Saddle is a very easily accessible track just outside the town of Arthur’s Pass in Arthur’s Pass National Park. This track offers excellent views over the river basin and the mountain peaks surrounding it.
Round trip about 5 hours including stops to enjoy the views and take pictures, it was a perfect day hike in the full sun compared to the rest of the park. The track starts out by heading uphill, and it doesn’t really stop until you get to the saddle. The first hour of the track is all through beech forest, offering a beautiful wander amongst all the moss and the plentiful little streams and waterfalls. After the beech forest you start through the pine forest, just to give you a little bit different track experience. It is amazing the difference in the smell as you cross the threshold from beech to pine. After the pine forest the trail brings you out onto the open face of the hill.
The trail winds its away along the face of the hill, offering the scenic views of the river valley and the mountain peaks all around. When I went, there had been a rainstorm that swept over just about the entirety of New Zealand, so the trail was sopping wet. It was more of a bog than anything. For this reason I strongly recommend waterproof shoes. It was somewhat slow moving trying to pick my way around the worst parts, but I still spent just over an hour on the exposed section. One possible detour is to head up Mt. Bruce, as you look to the left there is a stand-alone peak, there is no set trail, but the DOC employee said it is fair game to scramble up it.
You do have the option to head all the way down into the woods again to come across the lagoon shelter. Not really worth it. Just before the track starts heading back downhill, stop there. Those are the best views and the shelter doesn’t offer anything better.
The return trip is the same route as the way in. Back down through the forest until you reach the car park.
- Good waterproof shoes
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