Mount Lyford Trail Guide
Located on State Highway 70, smack bang between Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura, Mt Lyford is a fun and friendly family operated ski area for all abilities. The upper slopes bask in sunshine and in recent years it’s consistently been the first to open. It’s an uncrowded mountain and a favourite of locals and Christchurch residents alike. A fleet of groomers keep the piste in great condition and wide open faces let you open up your riding on powder days.
About Mt Lyford
A variety of lifts service the ski area, including a long fixed-grip rope tow for first timers. Two platters service either side of Paradise Valley and a T-bar opens up plenty of sunny groomed slopes. For those wanting a powder fix the Terako Rope Tow offers 450m of vertical drop. From the top of Mt Terako there’s a choice of an intermediate sunny slope which is a great pick in spring or the slightly more challenging shady side leading back to Paradise Valley.
The rental centre can kit you out with all your ski rental needs. The Terako Day Lodge and Chamois Café provide a great spot for lunch and oozes character with the exposed timber beams a focal point.
The access road ascends through native Black Beech and Totora Forest, providing amazing views over the Amuri Plains. A 2WD with chains and a competent driver is all that’s required, but if you’re unsure you can jump on board the low cost shuttles leaving Mt Lyford Lodge and Reserve (by the access gate), booking is essential.
Terrain and Weather Tip
Mt Lyford is one of New Zealand’s sunniest ski areas and even though it’s the second northern most mountain on the Chill pass, it receives plenty of snow. Watch out for early winter south/south-easterly storms that head up the east coast and unload on Mt Lyford, while missing many of the other mountains.
Wax your skis and snowboards pre-season ready for an early opening.
Be prepared for mountain driving with a quality set of chains.
For Beginners: Carve up the groomed slopes down Cloudy T-bar.
For Overnighters: Stay in the Log Chalet Village or Mt Lyford Lodge and make the most of 2 days riding.
For Rope Tow Virgins: Master the art on their mellow tows.
Mount Lyford Stats
Pistes Main Runs Groomed
Main Lifts 2x Rope Tow, 1x T-Bar, 2x Platters
Learner Lifts 1x Fixed Grip
Terrain Park Yes
Top Elevation 1750m
Bottom Elevation 1420m
Skiable Terrain 75 hectares
Ski/Board Hire Yes
Access 4WD or 2WD with chains when required
Day Pass Rates
Under 7 & 70+ FREE!
Draw Card: Sunny slopes and often the first mountain to open.
Chill Pass Offer: Non-Ski Day Offer: Private lesson (weekdays & excludes School holidays)
Mountain Phone: +64 27 4 710 717
The Chill Mountains
In 2019 The Chill6 accesses the 6 Ski Areas in the Selwyn District; Porters, Cheeseman, Broken River, Craigieburn Valley, Temple Basin and Mt Olympus.
The Chill12 accesses the six ski areas above plus Rainbow, Hanmer Springs, Mt Lyford, Fox Peak, Mt Dobson and Awakino.
The Chill Travel Pass accesses the 12 mountains on the Chill12 Pass. Up to two days on the Chill Travel Pass can be used at Porters.
The Chill Regions/Accommodation
Find out more about where to stay and play in the regions around the Chill Mountains. From Nelson Lakes & Marlborough in the North down to Queenstown & Wanaka in the South. In between there's Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs, Sensational Selwyn, the township of Methven, the Mackenzie District and Waitaki Valley and of course the home of Chill, Christchurch City. Here we share places to stay, eat, shop and explore to help plan your adventure in the Southern Alps.