Te Araroa Trail – Day 111

Monday February 26, 2024
Distance/ Total: 30.2 km / 18.8 mi

Shaun and I were up and on the trail about 7:10am. The trail from Crooked Spur Hut was a steady climb for 500m (1500’). This was a steep climb at times and the trail was through tussock fields making the route a little harder to find at times. The views down the valley and into the next valley were pretty amazing.

The trail down into the valley had a little scree at the top but some entered the tussocks as we continued down toward stone hut. We passed by stone hut about 10:30 planning to reach royal hut by lunch.

The trail from stone hut followed the Bush stream into a narrow valley and we were rock hopping from side to side as we made our way upstream. We reached the Royal Hut about 12:30 and stopped there to eat lunch.

After lunch we got back on the trail and began our ascent up to stag saddle. The trail followed another narrow canyon up a stream with some more rock hopping from side to side and more tussocks to find our way through. It was a gradual ascent up the stream , but the trail left the stream as it neared stag saddle and headed steeply uphill. Once again the saddle afforded some awesome views both back to where we came from and forward into Camp Stream valley.

The TA trail has been unofficially rerouted along the ridgeline after Stag Saddle, but there are to post or markers identifying the trail. Shaun and I used the Far Out route as our guide as we headed across the rocks looking for a way down the ridge line. After fighting our way through the rocks for over an hour we finally decided to climb up to the ridge line and sure enough there was a nice trail there.

Finally on a decent trail it was a fairly quick hike down the ridge line to Camp Stream Hut. It is an older private hut and looked like it had seen better days. We both decided to setup our tents for the night.

We cooked dinner, cleaned up, and filtered water as we visited with some of the other hikers there for the night. As darkness approached the air became cold and everyone turned in for the night.

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