Hikers: Finn, Seonaid, Jay, Andrea, Mylène
Bealey Spur is a beautiful day walk in the Arthur’s Pass area. The DOC time to Bealey Spur Hut is 2hr 30min hours and around 6.4km (615m climb), but we made there in 1hr 45min. Up to the ridge was another 55min for a total of 8.35km and 906m climbed!
There is a carpark at the bottom of the hill in a small field - the track is popular so don’t go and park on the road, you’ll just get in everyone’s way! Google Maps says that there is a carpark up the road, but it’s lying. There’s a portaloo at the carpark, a long drop toilet at the start of the track, and also a long drop at Bealey Spur Hut so plenty of options for when nature calls.
Starting from the bottom there’s a 600m walk up the road to the start of the track, and then you’ll mostly be in the bush, but there’s a wonderful viewpoint at around 4km where you can see out over the valley! We saw a paraglider start his flight here, and later on, we saw him crest the mountains and pass into one of the adjoining valleys. Super impressive.
From here you’ll walk through a mixture of bush and tussocks up to Bealey Spur Hut which you’ll reach around 6.4km. Here’s a great place for a rest in the shade if it’s a sunny day (it was) or to huddle inside the very cosy looking Bealey Spur Hut. From here you can see the ridgeline of the aptly named, Bealey Spur. It continues up to a couple of peaks at 1875m and 1907m but it’s a long walk, so just take it easy and cruise along the spur until you find a nice place to stop. We found a large cairn and decided that made a great place to bathe in the sun and eat our lunch.
The way down follows the same track as the way up, but definitely offers some stunning views which you might not have noticed on the way up if you were busy focusing on the climb ahead! If you look south-east from the track you can see another saddle - this is Lagoon Saddle of the Cass Lagoon Saddle Track which is a wonderful weekend trip for another day. Lagoon Saddle Hut and Lagoon Saddle A-Frame are both nestled in the bush just behind the small lagoon visible on the saddle.
All in all, this is a great walk, not too steep, not too long, and the track is well formed. It would make a great walk for anyone just getting into it, or needing to work on their fitness!