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Ben Lomond Track

Difficult
 4.9 (36) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An iconic peak climb above Queesntown via a stunning open ridge. A must-do.


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Map Key

6.9

Miles

11.1

KM

Out and Back

5,696' 1,736 m

High

2,547' 776 m

Low

3,236' 986 m

Up

3,236' 986 m

Down

18%

Avg Grade (10°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views

Overview

Ben Lomond towers above Queenstown and offers a rare opportunity to ascend a lofty New Zealand peak via a well-trodden route. Expect a very steep trail along exposed ridgelines with panoramic views gracing the entire route.

Need to Know

Despite the ease of access, this is a serious climb up a major peak. Be prepared for changeable conditions.

Description

Although Ben Lomond can be done from Queenstown proper, a start from the top of the Skyline Gondola will save an hour of work (not to mention around 400 metres of vertical climb). From the gondola complex look for the well-signed route that veers into the woods from the luge track. After an initial short walk through plantation forest the trail descends as it emerges into open tussocks that give your first views of Ben Lomond towering above - an impressive sight!

Early on, the trail contours along the side of a major ridge, briefly crossing a patch of native forest, but otherwise sticking to open country with Ben Lomond getting gradually nearer with each step. The trail eventually joins the top of the ridgeline, where expansive views open up of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables beyond. From here the trail is pure joy, though steady work to climb uphill toward Ben Lomond Saddle.

Near the saddle is the intersection with the Moonlight Track, and a bench that provides a convenient resting point and chance to assess conditions. Above the saddle the climb to the peak becomes increasingly committing as the trail steepens and exposure increases. In clear weather the views are wildly impressive, and just keep getting better as you go higher. Keep heading up, with occasional small switchbacks and a few steps that may require hands for balance. Eventually you'll top out on the summit and can enjoy commanding views of the Queenstown area and surrounding mountains. A mounted sight-map on the summit will help you make sense of the peaks in every direction. When you've soaked in the epic views long enough, retrace your steps the way you came.

Flora & Fauna

At the lower levels the main tree is the introduced Douglas Fir which is being actively managed. The main native tree is Mountain Beech while the above the treeline the mountain is covered in tussock. The main bird on seen is the Pipit. Commonly seen are goats and if not seen are definitely smelt!

Shared By:

Almonzo Wilder

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 36 votes

#1

in Queenstown

#104

Overall
  4.9 from 36 votes
5 Star
86%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Queenstown

#1

in New Zealand

#104

Overall
402 Views Last Month
61,831 Since Nov 22, 2014
Difficult

0%
0%
15%
0%
85%
0%

Photos

View from the peak.
Mar 29, 2018 near Queenstown, NZ
Awesome views of Lake Waktipu, Queenstown and the Remarkables.
Nov 23, 2014 near Queenstown, NZ
Beginning of Ben Lomond
Apr 3, 2018 near Queenstown, NZ
Unfolding views of the ranges to the west.
Nov 23, 2014 near Queenstown, NZ
Awesome view from the summit.
May 10, 2016 near Queenstown, NZ
The view from the bottom (imagine what it is at the top!).
Jun 2, 2015 near Queenstown, NZ

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Check-Ins

Jan 13, 2020
Nicole Kelly
Brutal in blazing sun. Lovely route. 6.9mi — 6h 53m
Jul 16, 2019
Jarod Mcintyre
Track is extremely muddy and can get really icy toward the summit, decent shoes are highly recommended. My trek started and ended on tiki trail 10.2mi — 4h 45m
Apr 27, 2019
Alec Haahr
6.9mi
Apr 23, 2019
Chris Huskey
Trail was great with a foggy view of Queenstown until noon. Bring warmer clothes for higher elevations since it is starting to cool down. 6.9mi — 3h 58m
Apr 21, 2019
Charlie Capen
Beautiful view. Incredible experience. Final ascent for the last mile is very steep. Some mud and sliding rock. But doable for even a layperson. 7.6mi — 4h 20m
Feb 16, 2019
Lori David
Feb 4, 2019
Geoff B
Skyline Gondola halfway up/down 6.9mi
Jan 13, 2019
Jon O
Great hike. Hard work, but worth it. 6mi