Pell Stream Hut | Lewis Pass National Reserve

Visited by fewer than 80 parties in the last 10 years, and some haven’t stayed due to underestimating the time and effort required to get there.

Officially there is no track, but the reality is one exists for a good section of the way. It’s most sensible to cross the Mariua River and follow up the four-wheel-drive track because if you can’t get across the river, you’re not gonna find negotiating Pell Stream any easier. The walking track is not marked on the latest LINZ Topo50 maps, but one starts near the high point on the four-wheel-drive track into the Pell Stream gold mining operations, and is excellent as far as Gilchrist Stream. From there it is easiest to bash up Pell Stream, crossing as required almost as far as the unnamed stream where a well-marked track climbs to a series of river terraces to avoid the gorge, before dropping to open river flats a couple of kilometres before the hut.

The hut is becoming well hidden by vegetation, and it is possible to wander past if unobservant. It’s near the start of the second big river flats. Look out for the long drop and follow that track to the hut.

Cold and mouldy in winter. The hut itself is an anomaly. A standard six bunk SF 70 style NZFS hut in reasonable condition, but with only four rather short bunks, the remainder of the area taken up with an oversized gun rack. Tall people, you were warned.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

category . . . basic hut

hut fee . . . Free

elevation . . . 720 m

bunks . . . 4 mattresses. Note to tall people: the bunks are short!!

built . . . May 1961

heating . . . open fire

water . . . 20 m to small stream, or 100 m to Pell Stream. Bucket provided

toilet . . . longdrop

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