Summit Trail - Charlotte Pass to Snowy River
Ngarigo Country

3 h to 6 h

9 km
return

↑ 143 m
↓ -143 m

Hard track
Starting at the end of the road at Charlotte Pass, this walk follows the old Kosciuszko Road towards the main range, stopping at the bridge over the Snowy River. At this point the Snowy River is still in its infancy, as is starts its long journey to the ocean in Victoria. The walk follows a well defined management trail that was a public road until 1976. Let us begin by acknowledging the Ngarigo people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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public toilets at charlottes pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Start of the Summit Trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Among the snow gums near Charlotte Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Looking towards the Main range from near Charlottes Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Looking back on Blue Lake track from Summit Walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Snow Gum leaf. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Walks on Summit track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
8km to Mt Kosciuszko. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
1KM from Charlottes Pass on Summit track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Summit track from Charlotte Pass is popular with cyclists and walkers. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Once of several creek running under the Summit Walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Old Mile stone from when this was a public road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Merritts Creek Bridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Merritts Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Flowers beside the old road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Snowy River Bridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Information sign on the Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk & Kosciuszko Road (-36.4318081,148.3283279)
Mode Car (A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the end of Kosciuszko Rd at Charlotte Pass (just near the toilet block), this walk heads along a wide management trail, following the large 'Summit walk' sign. The walk initially dips down a bit and heads through a grove of snow gums. This walk soon leaves the snow gums and the landscape opens to a fantastic view of the Snowy River and the valley (on your right). After about 1km, the walk passes a yellow 'MT K 8' sign on a snow pole. This walk continues along the management trail and gently undulates up along the side of the long ridge, passing several more 'Mt K' milestone signs counting down. After a while, the old road heads up and over a ridge, passing the 'MT K 5' and the original 'K 3' milestone (on your left) to find the un-signposted concrete bridge over Merritts Creek.....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk & Kosciuszko Road Start heading along Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk (a vehicle track).
Snow Gums and the Alpine Tree Line (about 70 m back from the start).
Snow Gums and the Alpine Tree Line
Snow Gums and the Alpine Tree Line

Snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora) are the dominant tree found in Kosciuszko National Park. These slow-growing, distinctive plants have a light grey trunk with smooth red-brown bark, which peels unevenly with a mottled effect. They can be found south along the tablelands into Victoria, and also in Tasmania. Trees are covered with beautiful white flowers from October through to January, which attract lots of bird life. The alpine tree line is the highest altitude at which trees can survive, due to the cold temperatures. However, you will notice that, in some areas, there are no trees in the valleys, while they thrive on the surrounding hills. This is because cool air settles in the alpine valleys, making them colder and less hospitable than slightly higher altitudes.
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Snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora) are the dominant tree found in Kosciuszko National Park. These slow-growing, distinctive plants have a light grey trunk with smooth red-brown bark, which peels unevenly with a mottled effect. They can be found south along the tablelands into Victoria, and also in Tasmania. Trees are covered with beautiful white flowers from October through to January, which attract lots of bird life. The alpine tree line is the highest altitude at which trees can survive, due to the cold temperatures. However, you will notice that, in some areas, there are no trees in the valleys, while they thrive on the surrounding hills. This is because cool air settles in the alpine valleys, making them colder and less hospitable than slightly higher altitudes.

Charlotte Pass lookout (about 65 m back from the start).
Charlotte Pass lookout
Charlotte Pass lookout

The Charlotte Pass lookout is a partially fenced lookout, north of the turning circle at the end of Kosciuszko Rd. The view is great, looking up the headwaters of the Snowy River up to the Main Range. To the left is Charlotte Pass (the actual pass only - there is no view of the village from here). There are also a few information signs explaining the local flora and geology.
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The Charlotte Pass lookout is a partially fenced lookout, north of the turning circle at the end of Kosciuszko Rd. The view is great, looking up the headwaters of the Snowy River up to the Main Range. To the left is Charlotte Pass (the actual pass only - there is no view of the village from here). There are also a few information signs explaining the local flora and geology.

There is a car park (about 40 m back from the start).
Covered in snow part of the year (about 30 m back from the start).
Covered in snow part of the year
Covered in snow part of the year

This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should carry and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months. Between the long weekend in June and October, the road between Perisher Village and Charlotte Pass is closed by the RTA. It is possible to organise oversnow transport.
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This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should carry and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months. Between the long weekend in June and October, the road between Perisher Village and Charlotte Pass is closed by the RTA. It is possible to organise oversnow transport.

After another 90 m pass the toilet (25 m on your left).
After another 1.2 km cross the ford.
After another 860 m cross the ford.
After another 2.4 km cross the bridge
Continue another 30 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 4.5 km to get back to the start.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Summit Trail - Charlotte Pass to Snowy River


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 9 km
Time 3 h to 6 h
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Gradient Flat, no steps (1/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (1/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Foretasted & unexpected storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 100 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
100 m[toilet]
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Articles
Discover more details to thrive on track
Covered in snow part of the year
This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with
Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should carry and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months. Between the long weekend in June and October, the road between Perisher Village and Charlotte Pass is closed by the RTA. It is possible to organise oversnow transport.
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