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 Oct 30, 2017
Avg: 3.5 (2 votes)

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Directions to st-james-cycle-trail trailhead (-42.228910, 172.757050)
update trails status or condition

St James Cycle Trail Trail Reports

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 »
67 |
Sep 29, 2017 @ 5:28pm
Sep 29, 2017
St James Cycle Trail
62 |
Sep 29, 2017 @ 5:28pm
Sep 29, 2017
St James Cycle Trail
48 |
Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:03pm
Dec 14, 2016
St James Cycle Trail
45 |
Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:00pm
Dec 14, 2016
St James Cycle Trail

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