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blueBlack Ben Lomond Track

  4.9 ( 30 )

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6.9 mile 11.1 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 3,236' 986 m
Descent: -3,236' -986 m
High: 5,696' 1,736 m
Low: 2,547' 776 m


Avg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)


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Trail shared by Almonzo Wilder

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Current trail conditions

Minor Issues 8 days ago See History
Muddy - Trail gets muddy above the tree line. Not so muddy where you could get stuck more so that you slip around

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

Almonzo Wilder

Features Birding · Views


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.


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!

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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
Dec 13, 2018
Ernestas Suraučius
Dec 9, 2018
Tom Kappert
Nov 30, 2018
Gabriel Pierson
Nov 29, 2018
Russell Bader
Amazing trail. Recommend taking the gondola to skyline then go to summit from there but walk all the way down as there’s pretty nature on the trail 6.9mi

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 30 votes


in Queenstown


  4.9 from 30 votes
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in New Zealand


1,995 Views Last Month
43,599 Since Nov 22, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



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