37 miles
5,458 ft
-6,242 ft
Avg time


  • Difficulty rating
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
  • Physical rating
  • Global Ranking
  • Land Manager

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.

Riding options:

- 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.

Access Info

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 min
    1,967 ft
  • Altitude max
    4,333 ft
  • Altitude start
    3,472 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,688 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    15 miles
  • Distance down
    17 miles
  • Distance flat
    6 miles
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Jan 23, 2018
Avg: 4 (3 votes)

view (19)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to st-james-cycle-trail trailhead (-42.228910, 172.757050)
update trails status or condition

St James Cycle Trail Trail Reports

Jan 23, 2018 @ 3:21pm
Jan 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 @ 1:02pm
Jan 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 @ 11:20am
Dec 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 @ 11:32am
Oct 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 @ 8:55pm
Dec 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.
view all reports »


more »
27 |
Nov 27, 2017 @ 7:55am
Nov 27, 2017
St James Cycle Trail
41 |
Nov 27, 2017 @ 7:54am
Nov 27, 2017
St James Cycle Trail
35 |
Nov 27, 2017 @ 7:53am
Nov 27, 2017
St James Cycle Trail
35 |
Nov 27, 2017 @ 7:53am
Nov 27, 2017
St James Cycle Trail

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