The Upper Caples Hut is at the cross roads to Steele Creek and Kay Creek. It is just off the path and it is tucked in a clearing by the river.
Download DOC track booklet for complete track info
Upper Caples Hut to Caples/Greenstone car park end: Time to walk between 4hrs – 6 hours, 20 km
As the hut is a little further to the road than the lower Caples DOC hut, it’s worth mentioning, it will be an early start to get to the road end if you are catching the bus back to Queenstown as the last one departs the car park at noon.
Lower Caples DOC Hut to NZDA Upper Caples Hut: Time to walk between 1 hr 15 mins – 3 hours
A shorter day for many, great if you want time to explore the river or dry out if the weather has been wet/cold
Upper Caples NZDA Hut to Mid Greenstone NZDA Hut: Time to walk approx 10 - 12 hours
There are 2 routes, round via McKellar or up and over Steele Creek Saddle, regardless it is a long day to walk from both our huts (but possible) so we recommend staying at the McKellar DOC Hut if you are not an experienced hiker
There are NO SIGNPOSTS to the hut so if is a good idea to print off the directions and or maps, especially if you are arriving after dark
Finding the Hut
As for finding the hut, there is no obvious path to it and a few have missed it, especially when getting dark although we recently placed reflective markers on the trees from the turnoff
Coming from the Glenorchy side
So with a heavy pack, it’s approximately 3 hours to the mid Caples Hut, then another 2 hours to the Upper Caples Hut. The track crosses large areas of grass with the sun setting right in your eyes and crosses small patches on forest each about 10 mins each, when you finally get into the trees for a longer period it’s about a 50 min walk to the turnoff. The path is obviously newish – lots of rocks blasted away and not yet covered by moss. Look for the DOC sign saying “Caples Track” which is on the left of this new path. The hut is to your right below beyond the trees and can be seen if you look hard. Look for a stone lined junction in the path on the right and that leads you down through the trees to a clearing where the hut is. If you miss this and walk to the Kay Creek turnoff – you have gone too far
Coming from the McKellar Saddle
You will pass the junction to Fraser and Kay Creek that has a swing bridge at the start of that track, about 5-10 mins after this you will come to a Caples Track signpost. From this direction the DOC signpost is on your right. In the trees behind it is also a signpost for Steele Creek Track. Look for the stone lined junction on the left (look behind you) and the hut is down in the clearing to your left.