• Distance 19.8km
  • Altitude max 1813m
  • Altitude min 1545m
  • Duration 6.5 hours
  • Trail type Return
Three Stars

Three Stars

Worth Doing

The Australian Hiker Experience Rating is a measure of the overall quality of a walk. It is intended to help you decide whether to walk a trail, not to measure anything objective. Consider this our personal take on the walk.

Grade Four

Grade Four

Bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.

The Australian Grading system is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds

Cascade Hut Trail NSW (19.8km)

Kosciuszko National Park

Nearest Town

Thredbo Village, NSW

Starting Location

Trailhead approximately 6km past Thredbo Village on the left side of Alpine Way


Finish Location

Trailhead approximately 6km past Thredbo Village on the left side of Alpine Way

Best Time of the Year to Walk

Late November to late March

1 or 2 days?

This walk can be done in two ways:

  • 1 day walk
    • The majority of this walk is on management road and even with the hills and the 19.8km distance, if you have the fitness it can be done in on day
  • 2 day walk
    • If you don’t feel like walking just on 20km in a single day or feel like an overnight camping adventure then this is a great option. This site has a toilet and is also relatively close to the river for water

Cascade Hut Trail Review

This hike has been on my to-do list for a while but I never quite got around to doing. The main reason was because I was progressively working my way down Alpine Way and this trailhead is relatively close to the Victorian border. The drive up to the Kosciuszko National Park was a relatively sunny one but the higher in altitude we got, the mist and cloud settled in and the scene was set for an overcast and rainy afternoon.

I scheduled in this walk for early February and while there is usually the odd snow drift hanging around at the higher altitudes in the Alps, the walk on this day was a bit of a surprise packet and we ended up walking through snow and even getting snowfall, all be it a very short and isolated flurry.

We started this walk just before 8:30am being the first people at the car park and at this stage the weather was very much winter rather than summer. You’ll notice in the photos below that we are dressed for the cold. The car park is small catering for around 6-8 cars at best and has an information kiosk with information on the local walks. If you’re searching on Google Maps, the pin location is actually the ‘Dead Horse Gap Walking Track’ which is across the road.

We headed off through the gate and along the management road paralleling the Thredbo River that ran along the right side of the trail. The trail commences with a gradual incline before heading down towards the first of two river crossings. One thing I hadn’t been able to determine was whether there was a need to get wet on the crossings. Some of the trails in this area, including this one, require vehicles to directly cross the river and many of them require hikers to do the same. On this trail however there are short metal mesh bridges that ensure a relatively dry experience. Having said that there were a couple of low points on the trail where the water was sitting on the road which requires a bit of rock and log balancing to keep your feet dry.

This trail takes you through a valley before the first river crossing and then makes its way up the hill before heading into eucalyptus forest and as the trail increases in altitude, the snow was a persistent companion. At its highest point only the vehicle tread on the management road was bare soil. The mist also became heavier on the ascent and at its thickest, visibility was down to about 40 metres.

The trail itself is reasonably easy to follow even without any signage and the only difficult part being after the second bridge crossing, you need to pay attention to the turnoff to the hut which is on the left side of the trail about 1-1.5km further on. This turnoff isn’t as obvious at it could be and the hut isn’t visible until you turn down the trail. The hut is about 100 metres off the main track and has a nice open area out the front and access to water is close by. The trip to the hut took around 2.25 hours.

There is also a long drop toilet about 40 metres away. This is a lovely site with the hut sitting amongst the trees. The hut itself is basic and while it has a fibreglass panel in the roof it lacks windows and isn’t overly light. Like all other huts in the alps, this one is for emergency use only so in that respect it does the job. We had lunch at the hut and then headed back.

The walk back up the hill wasn’t as bad as I had imagined – it’s mostly a steady climb interrupted by flatter sections. Where the trip back changed was that the occasional spitting we were getting on the way to the hut was now heavier and accompanied by sleet with occasional snow flakes thrown in for good measure; so much for summer! Despite the deteriorating weather, the views of the river were more impressive from the return direction.

Plant an animal wise the landscape was very much alpine forest and on the day we did this walk we didn’t come across any bird or animal life and flowering plants were very limited having gone past peak wildflower season. Animal wise we did hear horses neighing and there was plenty of manure on the management trail but due to the mist we didn’t see them at.

We arrived back at the car park at just over 6 hours after we started and were definitely glad to get into a warm car.  Even given the prevailing weather, we did enjoy this walk but it definitely would have provided better views. One stop off point we didn’t benefit from was Bob’s Ridge Lookout – while we passed the sign the weather prevented any views down into the valley below.

Maccas at Cooma, our usual breakfast stop

Approaching Lake Jindabyne

Pull into the car park for the Cascade Hut Trail

Cascade Hut Trail information kiosk

A close up of the information kiosk

Trail information at the kiosk

Away we go

Gill and John on the trail

Thredbo River at the start of the trail

On the Cascade Hut Trail

Vehicle crossing 1. If you hit this the hiker crossing is back about 40 metres

Hiker crossing over the Thredbo River. One of two crossings on this trail

Heading upwards

As we made our way uphill increasing in altitude as we went snow started to appear on the ground

More snow increasing

Cascade Hut Trail as the snow gets heavier

Snow free as we head down hill

Water crossing on the management road. We just need to skirt the edge to avoid getting wet


Second water crossing. This is where vehicles cross. The walker crossing is out of shot to the left

Gill and John at the second hiker crossing

Heading along the valley towards Cascade Hut

Mobile horse yard

Turn off to Cascade Hut. There is no signage and the hut isn’t visible at this point so play close attention – the turnoff is about 1-1.5km past the water crossing

Approaching Cascade Hut

Tim and Gill at Cascade Hut

Chimney of Cascade Hut

Inside the Cascade Hut

Toilet at Cascade Hut

Fire area at Cascade Hut

Heading back up the hill from Cascade Hut

Back into the snow on the way up

And its snowing (just)

Heading down into the Thredbo River Valley

Water crossing on the way above

Thredbo River view. The views of the river are better on the way back

Approaching the trail head

Back to the car park

Trail video


Getting There

Google Map from Thredbo Village to the trailhead which is a distance of approximately 6.5km

The start and end of the graph is at the trailhead. The low point on this graph is the Cascade Hut locale

Things to know

  • Phone: There is occasional phone signal on this trail (Telstra) but its very limited
  • Water: Bring your own water otherwise bring a filter and draw water from the river
  • Toilets: There is a toilet on this trail at Cascade Hut
  • Trail: This walk is on management road
  • Dogs: Dogs not allowed
  • Camping: Camping allowed
  • Other: 
    • Unless you are into snow snowshoeing or skiing, do this walk late November to late March. Even then, check the conditions just in case
    • Check the weather conditions – we did this walk in February and look at the snow!
    • Bring a broad brimmed hat, long sleeved top and long pants as the UV index can be brutal in the Alps (see below)
    • Wear long sleeves and pants to ward off the March Flies


This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

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cascade hut walking track