Raspberry Creek to the French Ridge Hut

Fiordland National Park

A beautiful valley walk to a remote hut

Hiking Moderate

Distance
17 km
Ascent
1.4 km
Descent
286 m
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
370 m
High Point
1.5 km
Gradient
30˚
Raspberry Creek to the French Ridge Hut Map

The French Ridge hut is a beautifully positioned 20 bunk alpine hut above the Matukituki valley. No bookings are required for the hut and places are available on a first come, first served basis. It's a popular place to stay in high season and provides great access to Mt French and the Bonar Glacier as well as a beautiful return walk with lofty views above and across the Matukituki valley.

Description

From the car park follow the popular valley footpath to the Aspiring hut. The path is predominantly on a 4x4 track and gently undulating. You can also mountain bike this section, which although involves some hard work on the way up but a pleasant roll on the way back. If you do this you can leave your bike outside the Aspiring hut - just check with the guardian first.

From the Aspiring hut continue along the well marked and signposted valley track through beautiful woodland at first over a couple of suspension bridges. You then come into beautiful open meadows and a great spot to have lunch. Stick with the valley path beyond the meadows to cross two suspension bridges. The second suspension bridge crosses the west branch of the Matukituki river. On the far side of this suspension bridge take the right hand fork (signposted) leading up the steep and arduous ascent to the French Ridge hut. The following ascent is something of a slog as you climb through the dwindling woodland, but you begin to be rewarded with improving views and an alpine feel as you climb the final section of ridge to the French Ridge hut.

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, October, November, December

Guidebooks in this area