Summit Trail - Charlotte Pass to Rawson Pass
Ngarigo Country

5 h to 5 h 30 min

15.2 km
return

↑ 338 m
↓ -338 m

Hard track
This walk starts at the end of the road at Charlotte Pass, and follows the Old Kosciuszko Road as it winds through the mountains to Rawson Pass. The walk passes the well known Snowy River and Seamans Hut. Rawson Pass is at the foot of Australia's highest mountain, and there are great views along the main range. Rawson Pass is also home to the highest public toilets in Australia. 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.
Information on the history of the area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Walking through the snow gums. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Snow gums beside the Summit Trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Walking along the Summit Trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Looking towards the Main range from near Charlottes Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Looking across the Snowy River Valley. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Natural beauty beside the Old Kosckiuszko Rd. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Celmisia Longifolia (Silver Snow Daisy). | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
8km to Mt Kosciuszko. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Summit track from Charlotte Pass is popular with cyclists and walkers. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Wildflowers in Kosciuszko National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The views change as clouds roll in but still stunning country. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Snow poles guide this section of the walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Granite tors beside the old road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Icy rivers. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Historic Kosciuszko milestone. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Icy Merritts Creek in autumn. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Merritts Creek Bridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Snowy River Bridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Upper Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Information sign on the Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The trail west of the Snowy River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Trail looking up towards Seamans Hut. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Seamans Hut. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Inside Seamans Hut. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Rocky hill south-west of Seamans Hut. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Trail above Seamans Hut. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Be prepared for all kinds of weather. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Public Toilets at Rawson Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Inside the toilet block at Rawson Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Rawson Pass Loo. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Bike Parking area at Rawson Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
End of the trail at Rawson Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Top of the Kosciuszko Walk metal walkway. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Rawson Pass Looking towads Mt Kosciuszko. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Intersection at Rawson Pass. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
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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 (-36.4318709,148.3283111)
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.
From the bridge, this walk follows the management trail west through the valley, where the trail soon bends right and passes a 'Snowy River' sign, coming to the bridge crossing the river.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Find the Covered in snow part of the year at 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.

Find the Snow Gums and the Alpine Tree Line at 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.

Find the Charlotte Pass lookout at 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.

Find the car park at the start.
After another 85 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 (about 30 m long)
After another 1.4 km continue straight, to head along Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk.
After another 60 m find the "Seamans Hut" (8 m on your right).
Seamans Hut
Seamans Hut

This hut was erected in 1929, after a young skier named Laurie Seaman perished in a blizzard when he was separated from his group. The hut was built using money donated by Seaman's parents, for the use of those who might need emergency shelter in the mountains. It was renovated in 1938 due to fire. Seamans Hut is a 7m x3m granite stone building with a wood stove, although there is little wood in the area.
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This hut was erected in 1929, after a young skier named Laurie Seaman perished in a blizzard when he was separated from his group. The hut was built using money donated by Seaman's parents, for the use of those who might need emergency shelter in the mountains. It was renovated in 1938 due to fire. Seamans Hut is a 7m x3m granite stone building with a wood stove, although there is little wood in the area.

After another 600 m continue straight, to head along Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk.
After another 235 m cross the ford.
After another 710 m pass the "Rawson Pass Toilets" (9 m on your left).
(Rawson Pass) Continue another 65 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 7.6 km to get back to the start.
About 20 m past the end is "Rawson Pass".
Rawson Pass
Rawson Pass

Rawson Pass is where the old Kosciuszko Road, from Charlotte Pass, meets the metal walkway from Thredbo. It is home to highest public toilet in Australia, this recently-added facility is perfectly positioned for those taking the walk up to the top of Kosciuszko. Rawson Pass is well signposted and 500m south east of Mt Kosciuszko (by straight line). There is also a place for to park mountain bikes for those cycling along the old road from Charlotte Pass.
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Rawson Pass is where the old Kosciuszko Road, from Charlotte Pass, meets the metal walkway from Thredbo. It is home to highest public toilet in Australia, this recently-added facility is perfectly positioned for those taking the walk up to the top of Kosciuszko. Rawson Pass is well signposted and 500m south east of Mt Kosciuszko (by straight line). There is also a place for to park mountain bikes for those cycling along the old road from Charlotte Pass.

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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Summit Trail - Charlotte Pass to Rawson Pass


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 15.2 km
Time 5 h to 5 h 30 min
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
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 are 2 on route, on average they are 5.1 km apart with the largest gap of 7.7 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
110 m[toilet]
Toilet
7.6 kmRawson Pass Toilets
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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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