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Mt Rufus Circuit is a 19km, grade 4 Circuit hike located in Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park Tasmania. The hike should take approximately 7hrs to complete.
An easily accessible mountain walk giving outstanding views of Lake St Clair, Mt Olympus, Frenchmans Cap and the headwaters of the Franklin River.
As the altitude increases, vegetation changes from eucalypt forest to patches of cool temperate rainforest in the gullies. As you climb higher, the vegetation changes again to sub-alpine forest, dominated by snow gums (Eucalyptus coccifera) and stunted rainforest. Towards the summit, alpine plant communities dominate and during late spring and early summer they provide a colourful display of fragrant flowers.
Below the summit is an area of wind and rain sculptured sandstone that forms many weird and fascinating shapes. These sandstone blocks are almost 300 million years old and once formed a continuous layer across most of Tasmania. About 165 million years ago magma intruded up through the sandstone to form dolerite, which covered the sandstone layer. Both layers have been eroded over time by wind, rain, snow and glacial action.
Below the saddle between Mt Rufus and Mt Hugel the track winds through Richea Valley, named for the pandani and scoparia plants that grow here. These plants, which are both heaths, belong to the Richea genus of plants. The beautiful colours of flowering scoparia include reds, pinks, yellows and whites.
The Western Wilderness
Road C193 to Lake St Clair from the Lyell Highway (A10)
Park entry fees apply. (Self registration park entrance.)
Visitor centre, restaurant and accommodation.
Supervise children , tracks subject to severe weather conditions all year round, weather may change quickly, tracks are difficult to navigate when covered in snow and may be impassable.
No pets, firearms or bicycles.
Max elevation: 1395 m
Min elevation: 754 m
Total climbing: 765 m
Total descent: -765 m
For more information about this hiking trail please visit Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania