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Cradle Mountain Summit day hike

A long but rewarding hike to the summit from Dove Lake carpark, returning to the main road via the high plains Horse Track

Hiking Difficult

13 km
755 m
830 m
3-4 hrs
Low Point
867 m
High Point
1.5 km
Cradle Mountain Summit day hike Map

I was lucky to have perfect weather. Most of the hike was moderate but the final summit climb (after the wooden overland hut at the cross-roads of the various paths) was very steep and difficult, and dangerous for those not very sure-footed. There are patches where climbing on hands and knees is required over giant boulders up near the granite spires. The route is marked by metal spikes among the rocks here and sometimes they are hard to see. It is usual for the summit to be cloud-covered, even in summer. The return route passed across a high plateau, and there was a long stretch of steps downwards towards the end. Plenty of beautiful scenic views along the way. Easy-to-walk boardwalks along the lower paths from Dove Lake.



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between September and April


  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area