Maitland Ridge (Beebys–Red Hills) Track


Rating: Grade 4+, narrow technical singletrack with some steep descents. Allow 4–6 hours for the 22.5km loop.
Know before you go: There is no reliable water supply on this ride until Red Hills Hut so take plenty. Carry warm clothing and spares as this is high country and remote. The track is well marked with orange DOC triangles. Allow 2-3 days of fine weather before you ride for the track to dry out, especially during winter.
Getting there: Turn left off Hwy 6 just past Belgrove and take the road to Nelson Lakes National Park. Turn left when you reach Highway 63 and drive to the bottom of the hill past the Rainbow Skifield turnoff. Watch out on your left at the bottom of the hill for the entrance to the Upper Six Mile carpark. It is 100m before a one way bridge.

 

Park here and ride back up the hill on Hwy 63 past Rainbow Skifield Rd and turn right on to the Tophouse Road. About 1km along here you will come to the signposted 4wd road up to Beebys Knob. Grind your way up the road on your bike to the 1300 metre level. You will probably have to push some sections as it's pretty steep. It is the Trust's intention to build a climbing singletrack up here to make it more rideable. Work on this is expected to start later in 2015.



Where the road emerges from the bush on to open tussock tops, look for a rock cairn and a large orange triangle marking the start of the track in the last patch of bush on your right that's close to the road before coming out into open tussock.

Drop your seat and enjoy the descent down through stunted beech forest. There is a short graded climb to a clear knob before the descent continues down through the bush with some good technical riding to a low saddle at 1040 metres. From here the track tends north-east and zig-zags to gain height on to a long gradually rising spur. This leads through a number of large clearings which offer the opportunity of views up the Rainbow and down the Wairau Valleys. There is a final section of zig-zags up to spot height 1202m amongst stunted mountain beech forest. From spot height 1202m the track turns east and descends, gradually steepening into a section of steep technical corners that twist through the forest before reaching another broad saddle at 1000 metres from where the track swings north-east again.

  
The track descends through stunted beech forest. Open area allows view down Wairau Valley

A graded climb for 800 metres brings you to a rocky knoll at about 1050m where it joins an old 4wd track that leads down to Red Hills Hut at 917 metres. From the hut follow the road right down to the locked gate beside the grassy flats at the bottom then follow the orange triangle markers south-west to the Six Mile carpark. There are some challenging technical uphills on this section of track.

  
Working on the uphill corners. Attaching trail markers to the trees

 

The ridge heading east from Beebys Rd. Climbing to spot height 1202m

  
Beebys ridge in the distant background. Riding through stunted beech near spot height 1202m.

  
Part of the technical descent from spot height 1202m

  
Riding through clearings in the ultramafic belt above Red Hills Hut

  
Descending the old bulldozed track to Red Hills Hut and the first available water