- Mt Richmond Forest Park
- Total Ascent
- From Nelson, follow Maitai Valley Rd for 10km and park next to the gate that closes at 5pm
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- Dun Mountain (gpx, yo 21 KB)
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Dun Mountain is the easiest-to-reach summit in the Richmond Range from the Nelson side. The dunite rock beneath the surface forms infertile soil, meaning despite the peak,s modest 1129m height, it has no tree growth at the top and boasts glorious views across the length of the range.Start at the Maitai River – a 20-minute drive from the city – and head along the track towards the reservoir, turning right after 200m to cross the river via a footbridge. The path leads up a bank to a track which you follow upstream to the true left of the river, following signs to either Dun or Coppermine Saddle.
The wide track narrows before reaching a fork. This is easily missed – make sure you take the left fork over the footbridge, rather than continuing straight on.
Follow the rocky mountain bike trail as it zigzags through forest and, eventually, scant vegetation when it levels a little as it follows the base of the mountain towards Coppermine Saddle.
As the saddle becomes tantalisingly close, head left at the sign saying Dun Saddle 30min.This path was much rougher and narrower. Once at the saddle there’s a terrific view over towards the likes of Mts Starveall, Richmond and Fishtail.From here, the climb to the top is steep, quick and fun with plenty of rocks to negotiate and you,re soon on the summit plateau following red and white markers to the tiny Dun Shelter. One final short climb takes you to the summit before a steep descent to a saddle where alpine forest begins once more.
Twin Peak, 1143m, is shaped like a volcano so the ascent starts gradually before steepening. The top is bush-covered but still offers lovely views to the south. The descent from here begins steeply before the gradient eases and the track is boggy reaching the track heading towards Rush Pool.
It’s worth taking the two-minute detour to Dew Lakes before taking the relentlessly downhill track past Rush Pool to pine forest, where you turn left at a forest track which leads back to the car.