Sudden Valley

Arthur's Pass National Park

  • 8 hr return via same track
  • Medium

A secluded hanging valley in the southeast corner of Arthur's Pass National Park

Old Sudden Valley Bivouac • By Byron.
Sudden Valley: Key information
Walking time
2 days
8 hr
Return via same track
Return via same track
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Sudden Valley: Find it
Hawdon Shelter, take the Mount White Bridge turnoff at Goldney Saddle, SH73
570m – 960m
Altitude change 390m

Note that wet weather can make the gorge section of this route impassable, leaving you trapped in the upper valley. 

Hawdon River flats • By matthew.

From Hawdon Shelter, cross the Hawdon River to the true right and follow the shingle streambed of Sudden Valley Stream. After 2km of gravel walking, the valley becomes a gorge requiring several crossings. A few short tracks lead around trickier sections of streambed.

After about an hour of gorge travel, a track leads steeply up the true left bank. This track climbs above the Barrier Falls a little farther upstream. These are impassable: if you miss the turn off, you will need to retrace your steps. The track, known as the "Devil's Chute" climbs directly up the wall of the gorge with the assistance of a rope and proceeds on a high sidle, dropping back to the stream just beyond the falls.

Beyond here, travel becomes easier, mostly on the true right, as the valley widens out. Sudden Valley Biv is another 2km upstream on the true right. It is very small and low, and not especially appealing. There is space for camping nearby.

ID 403

About this track

Added 28 June 2003 by matthewmatthew. 3 revisions, most recently 4 December 2006 by matthewmatthew.
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