Hut Point Ridge Details
Words by the guys at McMurdo Station:
The Hut Point Ridge trail is one of the newest addition to hiking opportunities in the Ross Island area. Dedicated in December of 2004, it gives hikers new terrain to explore, and provides a different perspective of McMurdo and expansive views to the west and north. You may begin this trail at either end (the route is described for both directions). Because the trail is comprised of loose rock, the climbing portion is easier if you take the Arrival Heights Road Junction to Hut Point route, using the road to gain elevation.
Hut Point to Arrival Heights Road Junction
Begin by walking out to Hut Point. Across from Scott’s Hut on your right, you see a rock cairn (pile of rocks approximately 2 feet high) with a red-sleeved, 4-foot bamboo pole in the middle. This is the official start. Follow similar poles for the length of your hike. They are spaced so that often, while standing at one, you can see the next.
The trail gradually ascends and passes side trails to Our Lady of Snows Shrine to your right. You now begin to ascend more quickly and then cross a steep side slope. This slope is comprised of loose rock and can be treacherous; therefore, use extreme caution while traversing.
Continue to follow the trail as it drops into a small depression with a pond on the right. The trail immediately ascends toward the ridgeline. At the top, the markers are further apart. After another ½ mile you come to the base of a climb at a low saddle. The trail continues by dropping off the saddle to your right.
After dropping off the saddle, cross the flagged mini bridge over cables (these provide services to the Arrival Heights complex). Start a gradual descent into the depression with a snowfield ahead. As you approach land on the far side, the trail ascends back up and meets a road. Stay to the left and follow the road out toward the white radome (looks like a golf ball). At the junction, stay right for 250 feet, then turn left at the junction in front of the radome. Pass the turnoff to the Castle Rock Trail on the left. You quickly descend to McMurdo.
Arrival Heights Road Junction to Hut Point
Begin by leaving town and following the road past the VMF, toward the Castle Rock Loop trailhead. After passing the turnoff to the Castle Rock Loop on your right, and reaching the road junction abreast of the white radome (looks like a golf ball), turn right. After 250 feet, you come to a “Y” road split marked with a rock cairn (pile of rocks approximately 2 feet high) with a red-sleeved, 4-foot bamboo pole. Stay left.
Follow the road for approximately 500 feet. The trail then gently drops to the right, and a rock cairn with red-sleeved bamboo pole marks the start. Cross the snowfield and ascend the other side, following the markers. Cross the flagged mini bridge over cables (these provide services for Arrival Heights). Traverse the flat area before ascending to a low saddle. From the saddle, a trail branches off to the right and ascends a small hill. If you want to climb to the top, you must come back down and resume the trail at this point because hiking any further brings you to the boundary of the ASPA.
From the saddle, continue along the ridgeline and follow the markers. After ½ mile, you begin to drop away from the ridgeline and quickly descend. There is loose rock as you drop to a small pond on your left before ascending briefly and traversing the side slope. Use extreme caution while traversing this slop e, especially early in the season before the snow melts. The trail descends toward Hut Point and turns to the left and to Our Lady of the Snows Shrine. From the shrine, turn right and follow the markers.
Continue until you reach the road to Scott’s Hut, which is the end of the trail.
The Hut Point Ridge is composed of varied terrain, which includes steep slopes, exposed ridgelines, snow cornices and loose rock. Use caution and turn around when route conditions exceed your abilities. Gusty winds can be very strong along the ridgeline; therefore, remain well clear of the edge.
This trail is Unsanctioned, Ride at your own Risk!
More Stats for Hut Point Ridge mountain bike trail
Altitude change466 ft
Altitude min37 ft
Altitude start37 ft
Altitude end503 ft
Distance climb4,341 ft
Distance down1,075 ft
Distance flat192 ft
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