Time: 2 hr Distance: 3.2 km
From the top of Pearl Flat the track enters the bush on the river’s true right. After 10 minutes the track branches, giving access to a swing bridge across the river for the route to French Ridge Hut. Continue up the river’s true right and cross a major avalanche chute from Mt Barff.
The track then climbs through the beech forest to emerge from a patch of mountain ribbonwood to open, scrubby country. Cross the swingbridge over the West Matukituki River here. Some 500 metres upstream, 50 metres from the river, is Scotts Rock Biv, a small and not entirely waterproof rock shelter. Easy open travelling leads from the biv back across the river to the head of the valley.
The route beyond the head of the valley to Bevan Col is for experienced trampers and climbers only.