Cycling the Cascade Hut Trail is something that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Kosciuszko National Park if you’re a keen rider. You can cycle to the hut and back to the carpark within half a day, or choose the more leisurely option with some side trips for taking photos and making a day of it!
Known for its spectacular views of the Australian Alps, the trail will give you a unique experience of cycling in the high country environment.
One of the highlights for many on this trail is that it is common to see brumbies. While the Brumbies presence in the National Park is controversial, for many they are an inspiring sight running wild across the high plains.
About the Cascade Hut Trail
The Cascade Hut Trail is a national parks fire track, one of many in the area, utilised by bushwalk enthusiasts and mountain bike riders who are looking for a more remote adventure than the resort based MTB trails. The trail is well suited to intermediate to advanced cyclists and hikers, but it isn’t a family ride, especially if you have young children. There are some long hill climbs and descents. For a fit rider they are manageable.
Bring a picnic for your trip with things like snacks, sandwiches and muesli bars and enjoy a break at the hut or on the banks of the pristine Cascade River before heading back to your vehicle and civilisation for a shower and a relax.
Where does it start from?
The trail starts at the Cascades Trail car park with the end point of this journey being Cascade Hut. There are a few other huts or cabins in the area, but Cascade Hut is your destination.
From Lantern Apartments in Thredbo, drive for 4km on the Alpine Way to the Cascade Trail car park on the Alpine Way, just before Dead Horse Gap.
The NSW National Parks website has further information about the trail and what you need to know to plan for your trip.
How long is the trail?
The Cascade Hut Trail is a total of 10 km one-way. Depending on your speed, fitness level, age, and weather conditions, this trail takes around three hours to hike each way and around two hours to cycle.
Visitors should leave from the Cascade Hut about 2 hours before sunset, and start the ride or hike back, to ensure they complete the return trip in daylight. Along the way, there are plenty of sights, including amazing views of the Ramshead Range and the Pilot Wilderness. So stop and take photos and enjoy this special part of the national park as you follow the alpine trail back down again.
The varied terrain on the park's trail is a nice way to switch up your normal cycling or hiking routine. You'll get that mountain trail experience, watching the vegetation changes as you climb the ridge and then the beautiful Alpine Ash forest as you head downhill into the Cascade Valley!
What other activities can you do apart from biking?
The activities you can do around Thredbo depend on the season, but there's always something to keep you busy!
In the summer season, visitors can do a lot of different things. Around Thredbo you can go hiking for an afternoon on the many trails, riding the chairlift up if you don’t want to climb. You will see larger trees and forest on the lower slopes giving way to the Alpine landscape higher up, with the beautiful Snow Gums and age old weathered granite rock boulders. If you work up a sweat you can take a dip in one of the many rivers in the area, like the Thredbo River, Merrits Creek or the Cascade Creek.
Of course, there is also a large network of Mountain bike trails for riders. Some are chairlift accessed for the more experienced riders looking for some gravity riding. Other trails like the Thredbo Valley Trail are great for those who want to explore but don't want to cycle on a trail with too many obstacles like rocks and trees! Another adventure option you could tackle in Spring is white water rafting on the Murray River or the Snowy River, which are close by.
Some less travelled choices are a picnic at some of the national park campgrounds on the Alpine Way to Khancoban or head to the Northern End of the park in the Selwyn and Yarrangobilly area for some limestone caves and natural springs.
Winter time in the Snowy Mountains is famous and people flock here for skiing and snowboarding in the resort. However you can get away from the crowds on a snowshoeing or cross-country skiing trip in the snow covered national park and see unique views at every turn. Check out back country skiing to find out more.
Weather conditions in Kosciuszko National Park
Kosciuszko National Park is a perfect place to visit during warmer months between October and February when you’ll get more opportunities to enjoy an outdoor picnic. The average temperature recorded for the last 30 years during summer ranges from 16°C to 20°C.
During colder months, it is a perfect place for winter sports enthusiasts to take in the beauty and serenity that only nature can provide. When it’s colder, between March and September, expect temperatures below 7°C or as low as -12°C!
MTB essentials to consider before going into the National Park
It is important to be prepared when cycling any trail. You don't want to be caught out with no food, an empty water bottle or unprepared if the weather turns nasty. Be sure to include these!
Make sure you have everything sorted before leaving, like how much food and water to bring, as well as what MTB gear to wear. Always make sure that your group has a mobile phone for emergencies. It's also best if someone is carrying a first aid kit during the trip just in case something happens while you are out on a steep trail!
Before you set out on the Cascade Hut Trail, take a look at the map and familiarise yourself with the route and region as much as possible! The Trail has signs but you are heading into a remote part of the park.
And just to be sure, if there are sections of the track that have no trail head sign or trail markers (such as newly constructed trails or scenic viewpoints that may not always be listed), bring along a topographical map or a navigating App like Avenza - they'll help keep track of where the trail actually goes!
3. BIKING GEAR
Make sure you have the right cycling gear with you. Triple check before you drive off to the trail head. Your cycling gear checklist starts with a helmet, shoes and gloves. You will also need to pack any tools that may be needed for on-trail fixes, such as a pump, repair kit, multi tool and tire levers.
Why cycle the Cascade Hut Trail?
The Cascade Hut Trail is one of the more popular mountain biking trails in Kosciuszko National Park if you are looking for a remote ride. It gives you a chance to get reunited with nature and share this park with your family and friends. You also get the breathtaking views and scenery and, of course, the chance to see wild brumbies.
Always book your accommodation prior to the trip. Here at Lantern Apartment, we ensure you get the most out of your stay by providing you with a comfortable, modern apartment with room enough for all your peeps. Visit this page to book your stay.
Pack up and prep your cycle trip to Cascade Hut Trail today. We're looking forward to seeing you out on the trails with us!