Incredible views are guaranteed from the summit of Mt Guy, reached by a short but intensive walk. By Nikki Addison
From Lake Clearwater village, the track curves around the eastern edge of the lake on a four-wheel-drive gravel track.
This first part of the trail is suitable for all fitness levels, with even ground and a mild gradient. It is wide enough for people to walk three-abreast.
After following the lake for approximately 30-minutes, a wooden footbridge crosses Lambies Stream, from where there are views of Lake Clearwater to the left. Then, a sign directs hikers to leave the main trail to reach the summit of Mt Guy (1319m).
Cross a stile and follow the orange markers to the base of the mountain. These markers guide walkers for the remainder of the trail. The ground is initially flat and even underfoot, but after a brief, gradual ascent, steepens considerably.
Large tussock grasses flank the track, which passes alongside a deep mountain ravine before winding up towards the summit where the grasses give way to mountain flowers and spiky shrubs. Here, the terrain turns rocky, and the trail needs more attention. The ground can be slippery, so appropriate footwear is required.
The summit is a short climb past a rocky outcrop, easily distinguishable on the mountainside. A small rock cairn marks the summit, which is expansive, providing plenty of room to sit and eat lunch. The 360-degree view is breathtaking, looking over Lake Clearwater towards the Southern Alps, with snow-capped summits in winter, and across the Canterbury Plains. It can be cold and windy on the summit, so appropriate clothing is recommended.
The descent follows the same track back to the stile at the base of Mt Guy. While it is quicker going down the mountain, the first section can be particularly slippery in places. From the stile, return via the same route, or turn right and continue on the Lake Clearwater Circuit Track (approximately another 2.5hr to the car park).
- Total Ascent
- To summit, 2-3hr; To car park, 2hr
- From Lake Clearwater Campground, Mount Darchiac Drive