Sections of the Larapinta Trail

There are 12 sections on the Larapinta Trail.

Get suggested itineraries and check the facilities available at each section.

Section 1: Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Simpsons Gap

Distance: 24.7kms

Recommended time: 9hrs. You will need to camp overnight.

Grade: 4 - moderate to difficult. Long distance with some steep ascents.

You will get views over Alice Springs and the surrounding lowlands. Good birdwatching opportunities.

Get the Section 1 information sheet and map PDF (1.2 MB).

Section 2: Simpsons Gap to Jay Creek

Distance: 26.2kms

Recommended time: 8.5hrs. You will need to camp overnight.

Grade: 4 - moderate to difficult. Long distance with some steep ascents.

Walk through the home of the few brushtail possum colonies in Central Australia.

Explore a landscape of rock outcrops over 2 billion years old.

Get the Section 2 information sheet and map PDF (1.6 MB).

Section 3: Jay Creek to Standley Chasm

Distance: 13.6kms

Recommended time: 5.5hrs. Can be completed in one day but a good level of fitness is required.

Grade: 4 - moderate to difficult. A challenging walk through some of the steepest and most rugged country in the ranges. The low route is available to those with an average level of fitness.

Get the Section 3 information sheet and map PDF (954.2 KB).

Section 4: Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole

Distance: 17.9kms

Recommended time: 8.5hrs. You will need to camp overnight.

Grade: 5 - difficult.

The trail follows the high quartzite ridges of the Chewings Range to the summit of Brinkley Bluff, where you will be rewarded with breathtaking views in all directions.

Steeply descending from the Bluff, the trail enters Stuart's Pass, an upper branch of the Hugh River. It then follows this river valley to Birthday Waterhole.

Get the Section 4 information sheet and map PDF (1.0 MB).

Section 5: Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge

Distance: 14.9kms

Recommended time: 9.5hrs. You will need to camp overnight.

Grade: 5 - difficult.

This challenging section of the trail passes through Spencer Gorge, along the spine of Razorback Ridge and then down the narrow Linear Valley to the junction with the Hugh River.

The trail follows natural watercourses and you may need to walk around pools of water in Hugh Gorge.

Get the Section 5 information sheet and map PDF (1016.1 KB).

Section 6: Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek

Distance: 30.3kms

Recommended time: 11hrs. You will need to camp overnight.

Grade: 4 - moderate to difficult.

This section takes you across the Alice Valley from Hugh Gorge, in the Chewings Range, to Ellery Creek Big Hole in the Heavitree Range.

It is one of the longest sections of the trail.

Get the Section 6 information sheet and map PDF (1.3 MB).

Section 7: Ellery Creek to Serpentine Gorge

Distance: 13.1kms

Recommended time: 5.5hrs.

Grade: 4 - moderate to difficult.

The sharp rocks on the first part of the trail can be hard on tender feet, but the rocks show the long geological history of the West MacDonnell Ranges.

There is an abundance of birds, including the hard to find spinifex bird.

Get the Section 7 information sheet and map PDF (1.3 MB).

Section 8: Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam

Distance: 13kms

Recommended time: 5.5hrs.

Grade: 4 - moderate to difficult.

Is has exhilarating views of the high quartzite ridgelines typical of the West MacDonnell Ranges, including Haasts Bluff and Mt Zeil, which is the highest point in the Northern Territory (NT).

Get the Section 8 information sheet and map PDF (1.3 MB).

Section 9: Serpentine Chalet Dam to Ormiston Gorge

Distance: 28.3kms

Recommended time: 12hrs. You will need to camp overnight.

Grade: 5 - difficult. This is one of the more difficult sections of the trail and takes you into the rugged heart of the range country.

There is no reliable surface water along the way, so if you decide to walk this section you will have to carry a heavy pack with a two-day supply of drinking water.

Get the Section 9 information sheet and map PDF (1.2 MB).

Section 10: Ormiston Gorge to Finke River

Distance: 9.1kms

Recommended time: 4hrs.

Grade: 3 - moderate.

This has some steep ascents and is one of the shorter sections of the Larapinta Trail. This section winds through limestone hills at the headwaters of the Finke River, one of the world's oldest rivers.

Get the Section 10 information sheet and map PDF (1.3 MB).

Section 11: Finke River to Redbank Gorge

Distance: 26.3kms

Recommended time: 9.5hrs. You will need to camp overnight.

Grade: 4 - moderate to difficult.

The first part of the trail goes across spinifex-covered hills with the spectacular backdrop of Mt Sonder, then crosses the Davenport River and climbs to a hilltop lookout.

It descends to shady and peaceful Rocky Bar Gap at the base of Mt Sonder. It passes through this gap and travels along the southern side of Mt Sonder to Redbank Creek.

Get the Section 11 information sheet and map PDF (1.1 MB).

Section 12: Redbank Gorge to Mt Sonder return

Distance: 15kms

Recommended time: 6hrs.

Grade: 4 - moderate to difficult.

It is a very difficult climb to the peak of Mt Sonder but is worth the effort. There are breathtaking views in all directions.

The view looks over ranges, plains, valleys and salt lakes. This is a place to experience the grandeur of the desert landscape.

Get the Section 12 information sheet and map PDF (1.2 MB).

Last updated: 27 May 2020

Share this page:

Was this page useful?

Describe your experience

More feedback options

To provide comments or suggestions about the NT.GOV.AU website, complete our feedback form.

For all other feedback or enquiries, you must contact the relevant government agency.