A long weekend bash from Ohau up the grandly proportioned Hopkins Valley with great huts and camping spots. It’s a feast for fatbikes with numerous river crossings and river bed travel and an outstanding alpine setting.

The Hopkins Valley is a gem, and a fave of ours for loading up the fatbikes and taking the path less pedalled.

Highlights
  • Fording wide but shallow (when the conditions are good) river braids that are very rideable and fun on a fatbike.
  • Great huts with fireplaces so you can stoke up some heat to thaw the feet after all the river crossings!
Logistics
Sleeping
  • There are 6 DOC huts in the valley plus a rock biv at the very top of the valley.
  • Monument Hut can be easily reached for the first night if you are starting late on a Friday night for instance – easy riding on good 4WD track and no rivers to cross in the dark. It sleeps 6 and has a fireplace.
  • Red Hut is a historic tourist hut from 1916, and sleeps 12 and has a fireplace.
  • Dodger Hut is a standard 4 bunk forest service hut and has a fireplace.
  • Erceg Hut is a basic 4 bunk hut.

You will need hut tickets or a backcountry hut pass (purchase from DOC) to stay in the huts.

Extra info
  • The river crossings are numerous, and usually fairly frigid, especially in spring with the melt. Wearing thick wool socks inside plastic bags, or Sealskinz waterproof socks deals with the misery of frozen feet.