Snowy Mountains National Park: Dead Horse Gap walk 10km

Good Mrs and I are in Snowy Mountains for Easter, and today Easter Saturday, we are hiking Dead Horse Gap Walk.

You may wonder about Dead Horse angle…

The Dead Horse Gap at 1582 meters is the watershed between Thredbo and the Murray River. The reference to dead horses apparently refers to the brumbies. They sometimes became trapped there during unexpected snowfalls and died.

The Dead Horse Gap Track doesn’t actually pass Dead Horse Gap, which is further west on Alpine Way.

Back to today… Apart from an initial short ascent, it was down down down…

The reason for all that descent? Well, we drove to Thredbo, parked there and took the chairlift up to Thredbo Top Station. From where we started hiking. Hence, a circuit wasn’t necessary as the hike ended up back down in Thredbo village.

Top of the Thredbo chairlift

Good Mrs and I were staying with her auntie and uncle close to Jindabyne. Today, Uncle H and a family friend Ms. M joined us. Here is a “team photo”, after the chairlift ride and before hiking.

Hans The Hiker, Uncle H, Good Mrs. and Ms. M

The first 500 meters or so is along the same route as the crowds use to reach Mount Kosciuszko. Which as the sign says is straight ahead. Dead Horse Gap Track turns left. Bye crowds…

May the hiking begin…

The initial stretch is above the tree line and so provided brilliant views today.

On the trail

My fellow hikers may be waiting for me below there. Just snapping a few photos… Enjoying the views…

Come on. Finish up what you’re doing up there

On clear days, you can see into Victoria from New South Wales. Like here below.

Looking south/southwest

Trees reappeared. This may be Ramshead Range. My reference described it as “craggy peaks with forests of beautiful snow gum trees, open herb fields, and alpine heath”.

Slowly descending

Snowy Mountains had devastating bushfires some years ago. Some trees and vegetation recover fast but others like snow gums do not. Lots of gray timber around. Sad to see, although they provided fascinating outlooks in their own way.

Lotsa grey

Mid-April, Easter and positively balmy today. Jacket and outer layer removed and here I am in base layer and shirt only. Who would have expected that so late in the season?

Hans The Hiker in his element

As we descended, the car parking area next to the Cascade Hut Trail appeared (hike here). Another Snowy Mountains hiking favorite.

Alpine Way, Thredbo Valley and start of Cascade Hut Trail

First hiking half completed. The Dead Horse Gap Track is essentially in two parts. First part goes from Thredbo Top Station down to Thredbo River here. The second part follows Thredbo River back to Thredbo Village.

Some sign inconsistencies with distances. I measured 5+km from Thredbo Top Station to here, not 4km. The sign also claims 4km to Thredbo Village. My GPS later calculated 5km. So did the corresponding sign in Thredbo Village pointing back to here.

Add the two distances as per this sign and you get 8km. My Runkeeper app reported 10km. Frankly, I believe Runkeeper here…

Inaccurate(?) distances

The remaining hike followed Thredbo River, at times surrounded by tall vegetation. As per below.

Home stretch

You cross Thredbo River a few times. The below bridge provided the opportunity for another team photo. Except that the distance was too far for a selfie. So no Hans The Hiker in it…

Bridge across Thredbo River
Thredbo River from bridge

The last km or so is somewhat unattractive. You walk along a golf course which seems out of place here. Tourist groups started to appear the trail. Given Easter, there were plenty.

Our team returned to the car and drove down to Jindabyne for a well earned post-hike cuppa and a bite.

In summary, Dead Horse Gap Walk is pleasant, varied with fantastic views in clear weather. The descent does take a toll on knees and all four of us could feel that afterward. Nothing too bad though.

So, the next day I hiked Snowy Mountains again. A much more strenuous hike this time…

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