This trail offers challenging, mixed riding through stunning scenery of mountain peaks, crystal clear waters, high country lakes, alpine meadows, subalpine beech forest, and expansive grassy flats.
In spring the alpine meadows are in full bloom while summers offers long evenings and the chance to see the famous St James wild horses.
- The best time to ride is from November to April.
- Start at the Maling Pass entrance and finish at St James Homestead - travelling in this direction provides more downhill riding and the prevailing wind is more favourable.
- For young families or riders with insufficient time or experience to attempt the full trail, the Peters Loop will give you a taste.
The nearest airport to Hanmer Springs is a 90 minute drive away in Christchurch. You can drive or catch a bus from Christchurch - if driving, take SH1, SH7 and SH7A to get to Hanmer Springs.
From Hanmer Springs take Clarence Valley Road over Jacks Pass to connect with Tophouse Road (13 km from Hanmer Springs).
Local Trail Association
More Stats for St James Cycle Trail mountain bike trail
Altitude change-784 ft
Altitude min1,967 ft
Altitude max4,333 ft
Altitude start3,472 ft
Altitude end2,688 ft
Distance climb15 miles
Distance down17 miles
Distance flat6 miles
Avg reverse time00:01:53
- view trail stats
- Snow Packed
- Snow Covered
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
St James Cycle Trail Trail Reports
Jan 23, 2018 @ 3:21pmJan 23, 2018
|We've done the whole loop from the homestay (trail end), spending the night at the lake Guyon - great place for a swim too. Pool but had the vasp...|
Jan 9, 2018 @ 1:02pmJan 9, 2018
|Very dry and hot. Was pleased to get 4WD lift out from Scotties. Getting quite overgrown in places - though the route is still clear. Pool Hut...|
Dec 29, 2017 @ 11:20amDec 29, 2017
|Very dry and fast trail. Temperature averaged low to mid 30s and peaked at 37. Take plenty of water. Lake Guyon is worth the visit. The creek /...|
Oct 30, 2017 @ 11:32amOct 30, 2017
|At the end of the trails you have to cross the river several times. Water is sometimes violent and high|
Dec 14, 2016 @ 8:55pmDec 14, 2016
|reporter Largely dry, despite recent rain. Easy to navigate thanks to the DoC signage throughout. Huts all in good condition and the views are spectacular.|
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