The Hotham Falls Alpine Crossing is the perfect way to explore the Victorian High Country. Soak up the high altitude sun, fields of entrancing wildflowers and other-worldly Ghost gums


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Gunaikurnai and Taungurung people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

About the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing

The 37km, three day Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing is a spectacular way to explore Victoria’s High Country. Winding through the Alpine National Park, the route is accommodating for walkers with clear trails and designated camp facilities. Best of all, the 2000m elevation rewards hikers with plenty of gobsmacking views.


Day 2 – Dibbins Hut camp by the river

How to Get to the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing

The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing is a point-to-point walk, starting from the Heathy Spur car park near the Falls Creek Information Centre, and ending at Mount Loch car park in Mount Hotham.

The easiest way to reach the starting point of the hike is by car or shuttle service. Falls Creek is just under five hour’s drive from Melbourne and approximately a day’s drive from Sydney.

Over summer there are plenty of shuttle services that can transport you between the start and end point of the walk, just remember to book ahead.

If you’re hiking in a group, another option is to do a car shuffle before the walk. This involves driving two cars to the end of the walk and dropping off one vehicle, before piling into the other car and heading to the starting point. Keep in mind that the drive takes about 2.5 hours one way, so leave plenty of time to get out on the track.


Day 2 – blue skies and beautiful views

Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Highlights

  • Journeying through a beautiful part of Victoria that’s only accessible in summer
  • Sleeping under the stars, amongst the giant Snow gums
  • Taking in the colourful wildflowers, as far as the eye can see
  • Unimpeded views of the picturesque alpine forests, grasslands, ridgelines, and peaks

Falls Creek and Mount Hotham History

The Victorian High Country has been an important gathering place for First Nations Australians for over 20,000 years. Every summer, groups would travel great distances to the alpine region for corroborees, ceremonies, and trading. The famous Bogong Moths – that make their annual migration south from Queensland – provided a fatty and tasty feast for the visiting communities.


Day 2 – View from the Cope Hut


From the early 1800s, the area became popular with grazing stock, and miners hoping to strike gold. Skiing actually began as a mode of transport for miners trying to get around Mount Hotham in the winter months, before it became a popular tourist activity in the early 1900s.

Read more: Alpine Back Country Winter Safety

Skill Level – Moderate

The trails are well maintained and marked, making it an easy hike to navigate on your own (as long as you keep your eyes peeled for markers). A reasonable level of fitness is recommended to get you through the steep sections.

Please note! Remember to fill out a Trip Intention Form before heading out!

Distance Covered / Duration / Elevation Gain

37km / 3 Days / 1820.70m

Most people tackle the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing in sections over three days. Plans are currently in place to expand the walking track to 57km, linking existing tracks and potentially providing options for some shorter overnight walks.

There are some gruelling ascents, but the reward is worth it, and there are plenty of more cruisey sections along the way to catch your breath.

Essential Gear

  • A good quality pair of boots
  • A waterproof tent
  • Spare pairs of dry socks in case you squelch into camp with waterlogged shoes
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Hot chocolate for an after-dinner treat (always essential)
  • A camera for capturing those epic landscape shots
  • A reliable sleeping system
  • Hiking stove and gas
  • Hiking first aid kit

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

The Experience of Hiking the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing

Day 1 – Falls Creek to Cope Hut

Distance: 14km
Time: 4 hours

We set off from the Heathy Spur car park into what can only be described as a literal blanket of fog. It’s an eerie beginning, with the visibility so low that we have no real sense of where we’re headed.


Smoke coming out of it

Day 1 – setting out into the fog


But the excitement of heading out of reception and into the crisp and clean alpine air is enough to keep the vibes high. We track through thick (wet) snow grass before reaching an aqueduct and following this all the way to the Cope Hut track. It’s lucky that the track is so well-marked, as the mist shrouds anything beyond 10m ahead of us.

By late afternoon we make it to the large grassy campground, surrounded by imposing Snow gums.


Day 1 – Camping amongst the Snow gums


The mist at the campsite somewhat obscures the views from Cope Hut, but of course the clouds have a silver lining, delivering a kaleidoscope of colours at sunset.


Day 2 – Cope Hut to Dibbins Hut

Distance: 14km
Time: 5 hours

Setting out on day two, we’re buoyed by some sunshine peeking through the clouds and giving us a taste of what we missed the previous day. The 360-degree views are stunning as we make our way across the alpine meadows towards Dibbins Hut. Hiking in summertime gifts us with vibrant wildflowers in full bloom, as far as the eye can see. We stop near pole 333 for lunch and take it all in – salad wraps never tasted so good.

After lunch we make our way south until we eventually descend into Cobungra Gap. The descent is hard work that requires a lot of concentration, which is made infinitely harder by the distraction of such amazing views all the way down. It’s a rocky and steep path so we need to be vigilant, especially given my tired legs are starting to feel like jelly and my foot placement isn’t as precise as it could be. Thankfully, the consistently gorgeous outlook gives me an excuse to take regular breaks for photos (and general contented sighing).


Day 2 – preparing for the descent into Cobgrunga Gap


Tonight’s campground is a reward in itself; it’s one of the best I’ve ever enjoyed. The platforms are nestled at the base of the valley, right alongside the creek. We’re all feeling pretty pleased with ourselves as we enjoy a hard-earned dinner in such an idyllic spot. I’m lulled to sleep by the soothing sounds of the creek just metres from my tent.


Day 3 – Dibbins Hut to Mount Hotham

Distance: 9km
Time: 3 hours

After yesterday’s descent into the valley, we’re confronted with the fact that, yes, we have to hike back out the other side. We psych ourselves up for the steep 1.4km climb. Although the 320m elevation is a tough slog, mentally preparing ourselves definitely helps. We take it slow and actually feel like we make it to the top in no time. Here, we find yet another gorgeous view to stop and have our morning snacks.


Day 3 – Morning tea after the climb out of Cobungra


Meandering through Swindlers Spur, we make our way to Derricks Hut. The hut is equal parts quaint and intriguing. Derricks Hut was built as a day refuge for skiers by Wangaratta Ski Club, in honour of Charles Derrick. The story goes that Derrick died after being caught in a blizzard, trying to ski from Mount Bogong to Mount Hotham. We stop a moment to feel grateful for the sun beating down on us, before pushing onwards towards our final destination.

The last part of the hike is fairly relaxed, ambling along the boardwalk and dirt tracks until we see the tell-tale sign that we’re approaching Mount Hotham: the ski lifts.

The last part of the walk takes us directly to Mount Hotham central. After a quick toilet stop and water refill, we decide to jump in the car and make our way to Bright, where we treat ourselves to some well-deserved burgers. For some reason the other patrons give us a wide berth, maybe it has something to do with the smell…


Day 3 – a rest and a stretch after the steep ascent up Swindlers Spur

Tips for Hiking the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing

Be prepared for all conditions

Traversing the mountaintops means you’re exposed to all the elements, so it’s good to be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you. While temperatures remain fairly mild in summer, remember to pack sun protection as well as warm, waterproof gear.

Stay hydrated

There are tanks located at each campsite to refill your water, but these aren’t always full. There’s plenty of water in nearby creeks and streams, so have your water purifying tablets on hand just in case.

Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing FAQs

When is the best time to hike the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing?

The hike is best tackled in the summer months and is usually accessible between November and April. It’s not recommended to hike between June and October as the track is often covered by snow.

Is the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing suitable for beginners?

Some experience hiking with a heavy pack is recommended, but anyone with a reasonable level of fitness will be able to tackle the trail.

Can you drive the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing?

One of the great aspects of the hike is that many parts are only accessible to walkers, which means you get all of the tranquillity and none of the crowds. There are a number of day walks in the surrounding area, in particular Mt Hotham that are accessible by car.

What facilities are on the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing trail?

The track from Falls Creek to Mount Hotham is well maintained and equipped with everything a hiker needs, including water tanks, camping platforms and drop-toilets (they’re great, I promise!).

How do I book to walk the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing?

The two campsites need to be booked in advance, via the Parks Victoria website.