Frenchmans Cap Track Return Walk

Level:

Advanced

Distance:

54 KM

Duration:

3-5 Days

Location:

Frenchmans Cap, Southwest TAS 7139, Australia

About this hike

This hike up one of Tasmania’s most iconic peaks is a truly grand and rewarding experience with breath taking views. The return hike is certainly one of tassies most challenging but worth every bit of the climb as the experience of walking over bridges, through native rainforest, hike hut camping and finally views from the summit of Frenchmans Cap (1446m) can be life changing.

Frenchmans Cap Track Return Walk

Image: Francois Fourie

Track Overview

3-5 Days, 2-4 Nights - 54KM


Day One – Lyell Highway to Lake Vera Hut (15.5KM)


Setting of on Frenchmans Cap Track this hike starts by crossing Franklin River via a swing bridge before rising up to the sections of rainforest in the area before passing the slopes of Mount Mullens. Continuing from here the hike takes a slight drop over foothills through native forest before arriving at your stay overnight at Lake Vera Hut. Note that Lake Vera Hut has a maximum capacity of 20 people.



Day Two – Lake Vera Hut to Lake Tahune Hut (5.6KM)


Setting off on day two you will start with a short walk along the side of lake Vera before taking a turn into lush rainforest and a steep climb to Barron Pass. From here good views should be present (weather permitting) not only of the Frenchmans Cap you will summit but also of the area you have already traversed. Continuing further through Artichoke Valley and up the stairs on the trail you another plateau before seeing Lake Tahune Hut hidden behind the lush native plant life. Note that Lake Tahune Hut has a maximum capacity of 24 people and a few more amenities than Lake Vera Hut.



Day Three – Lake Tahune Hut to Lake Tahune Hut via Frenchmans Cap Summit (3.2KM)


Setting off from Lake Tahune Hut this day consists of the summit walk to Frenchmans Cap Summit, this walk is only to be attempted in good weather and should be delayed if the weather is bad. Finding your way should not be too difficult with lots of cairns to guide the way along some zig-zaging tracks followed by some rock scrambling before summiting at Frenchmans Cap (1446m). When weather is clear the views can be spectacular but dangerous if otherwise. Then head back down from the summit back to Tahune Hut where you will spend the night.



Day Four – Lake Tahune Hut to Lake Vera Hut (5.6KM)


Turn back along the trail to Lake Vera Hut following the instructions of day two in a reverse order.



Day Five – Lake Vera Hut to Lyell Highway (15.5KM)


Turn back along the trail to Lyell Highway following the instructions of day one in a reverse order.


*Please note that parts of this hike can be compressed into 4 or even 3 days to make it shorter but this will significantly add to the challenge of the hike.


**Also note that parts of this hike should not be attempted in pour weather that effects visibility or create icy/snowy conditions, alongside this some park entry fees apply and for more info about this make sure to visit the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service.

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