Mt Urchin

Kaimanawa Road turns off State Highway 1, 15 km south of Turangi.

U2U: Urchin to Umukarikari loop - 18.5 km 
Time: 8.5 - 10 hours
Starting on the Urchin track, climb up onto the tops, but instead of dropping down to the Waipakihi River Valley, carry on straight ahead towards Sharp Cone (1481 m) following a bushed ridge line. Once you meet the Umukarikari track, the track carries on west along the tops and then drops down to the Umukarikari carpark. This has become a popular long one day loop, but please note a car shuttle is required, as there is a distance between Urchin and Umukarikari carparks.

Mount Urchin Summit

Mount Urchin Track to Waipakihi Valley - 7 km 
Time: 3 to 4 hours
This Kaimanawa Forest track gives access to the mid reaches of Waipakihi River Valley. The track climbs steadily up to Mount Urchin Summit (1391 m) then travels for about 2 km across open tops before dropping sharply down to the river valley. There are many great places to camp in the valley or you can continue upstream to Waipakihi Hut near the top of the valley (an additional 5 – 6 hours walk).

Umukarikari Track to Waipakihi Hut - 14 km
Time: 6 to 8 hours
This Kaimanawa Forest track climbs steadily through beech forest to the treeline. From there poles mark the route along the Umukarikari Range before dropping down to Waipakihi Hut (12 bunks). The walk along the tops can offer wonderful views but conditions can change quickly. In bad weather the route is very exposed and visibility can be reduced to a few metres. Be prepared for all weather conditions.

Urchin Trig return - 6.6 km
Time: 3 to 4 hours
The track climbs steadily up through beech forest and above the bush line to the Urchin Trig (1391 m). The upper section of the track has an interesting array of alpine plants and a wide vista of Lake Taupo and the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park.

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