Dead Horse Gap walking track

Thredbo-Perisher area in Kosciuszko National Park

Overview

Dead Horse Gap walking track is the ideal Snowy Mountains walk for sweeping views of the Ramshead Range, Crackenback Mountain and the Thredbo Valley, in Kosciuszko National Park.

Where
Thredbo-Perisher area in Kosciuszko National Park
Distance
5km one-way
Time suggested
1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 4
Trip Intention Form

It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.

If you're planning to loan a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) from one of these locations, wait and fill out your trip intention form in person.

Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Opening times

The track is open to walkers between the October and June long weekends. You can cross-country ski or snowshoe in winter but there are no snow poles marking the route.

What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, snacks, sturdy shoes, clothes for all weather conditions, topographic map, gps, compass
Please note
  • Costs apply if you plan to catch the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift, which takes 15mins. For chairlift prices visit the Thredbo website
  • Read our safety tips before you set out.

Dead Horse Gap walking track rewards you with sweeping views across Thredbo's high alpine country. At almost 600m above the valley floor, this track is a favourite with hikers visiting Kosciuszko National Park and the Australian Alps.

The signposted track, which forms part of the Australian Alps walking track, can be walked in either direction. Start from Dead Horse Gap on Alpine Way or just beyond the top of Thredbo's Kosciuszko Express chairlift (costs apply).

It winds beneath the craggy peaks of the Ramshead Range through remarkable scenery, including a forest of beautiful snow gums, open herb fields and alpine heath. You may even spot a wombat or kangaroo.

The track is quite steep in sections, especially on the climb from Alpine Way up the Ramshead Range. You may prefer to catch the chairlift and arrange to be picked up at Dead Horse Gap. Feeling fit? Return to the village along the Thredbo River track.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/dead-horse-gap-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

  • in the Thredbo-Perisher area of Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountains region
  • The Thredbo-Perisher area is open all year, but some roads and trails may close due to weather conditions or park management issues. Kosciuszko Road is closed between Perisher and Charlotte Pass in winter (June to October long weekends).
  • Park entry fees apply on Alpine Way and Kosciuszko Road

    Winter (June to October long weekends): $29 per vehicle per day (24hrs from purchase); motorcycles $12; bus passengers $11.45 per adult, $3.60 per child per day. Find out more about the winter entry surcharge.

    Rest of Year: $17 per vehicle per day (24hrs); motorcycles $7; bus passengers $6.60 per adult, $2.20 per child per day.

    Passes: Day passes, multi-day passes and annual All Parks Pass available from NPWS visitor centres, local agents and operating vehicle entry stations. Read our Annual Pass FAQs for information. Short Breaks Pass: $68 for 5 days park entry at price of 4 days (not valid winter). Eligible pensioners can apply for a complementary NPWS concession pass, to get free park entry. Download the exemption form (154KB doc).

    Buy annual pass (//pass.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/).
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Dead Horse Gap walking track.

Track grading

Grade 4

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Very steep

  • Distance

    5km one-way

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Dead Horse Gap walking track is in the central/Thredbo section of Kosciuszko National Park. To get there from Jindabyne:

    • Take Kosciuszko Road, which turns onto Alpine Way.
    • Follow Alpine Way for 32km until you reach Thredbo Village
    • After parking, proceed to the Crackenback chairlift, where the track begins.

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    All 2WD vehicles need to carry snow chains in winter, between June and October long weekends, on:

    • Kosciuszko Road (to Perisher)
    • Guthega Road
    • Alpine Way between Thredbo and Tom Groggin

    Snow chains are recommended for all vehicles driving in the park, including 4WD and AWD, in the event of extreme weather. Read our snow driving in Kosciuszko tips.

    Parking

    Bus and car parking is available at Thredbo, including several designated disabled spots.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Weather can change quickly in the Snowy Mountains and snow can fall at any time. Check weather conditions before your journey, and avoid setting out if bad weather is approaching.

    Alpine safety

    Alpine areas present special safety issues. Conditions can be extreme and may change rapidly, particularly in winter. It’s important to be prepared and find out how to stay safe in alpine areas.

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    River and lake safety

    The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

    Permitted

    • You can cross-country ski or snowshoe this track in winter but there are no snow poles marking the route.
    • Walking isn't recommended when this track is snowbound.

    Prohibited

    • Cycling, including fat bikes or snow bikes, is not permitted on this track.

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas. The alpine resorts of Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass, Selwyn, Ski Rider and Kosciuszko Tourist Park are exempt, though some commercial and outdoor places within these resorts may have no smoking areas.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    Cooma (89 km)

    The Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre is a state-of-the-art visitor facility showcasing the story of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme from the early construction days to the role the scheme plays today in the development of Australia.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Jindabyne (36 km)

    For those heading to the Snowy Mountains snowfields, Jindabyne is a great place to hire or buy all of your skiing and snowboarding essentials from equipment to fashion.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Thredbo (3 km)

    If you're thinking of taking to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko or want a fabulous photo opportunity, the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift is the best way to go. From Threbo village, the chairlift hoists you up the mountainside and close to the summit. From here, it's a short walk to fabulous views in all directions.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Dead Horse Gap walking track is in Thredbo-Perisher area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Explore the rooftop of Australia

    Snowy Region Visitor in Jindabyne, gateway to Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

    Skiers and snowboarders will be familiar with the fabulous snow sport facilities at Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass, but there are endless activities year-round. This area is a mecca for walkers and riders. Take in the spectacular 3600 views from Snow Gums boardwalk or Dead Horse Gap walk. A hike to Mount Kosciuszko is a must, while the awe-inspiring Main Range loop explores glacial lakes and the dramatic Western Fall. Take to 2 wheels on Thredbo Valley track, or get an adrenaline charge on the famous Cannonball Run. If you need some inspiration, stop by the Snowy Region Visitor Centre for tips on top experiences, guided tours, and where to stay. Kids can also learn more on a school excursion to the Kosciuszko Education Centre.

    • Kosciuszko walk - Thredbo to Mount Kosciuszko This iconic day walk from Thredbo will have you conquering the summit of Mount Kosciuszko in a couple of hours. You'll quite literally be on a high as you soak in the epic views from Australia's highest point.
    • Perisher Visitor Office Perisher Visitor Office, in the heart of Perisher Valley, is a handy last-minute stop for advice, maps, hiking essentials and important information before your alpine adventures in Kosciuszko National Park.
    • Schlink Hut walking track Schlink Hut walking track is a high alpine hiking or mountain biking adventure near Perisher, visiting 3 historic huts in Kosciuszko National Park. Winter access is by snowshoe or cross-country skiing only.
    • Snowy Region Visitor Centre Snowy Region Visitor Centre, in Jindabyne, is a great place for visitors to get information, brochures, maps and park entry passes before heading into Kosciuszko National Park.
    • Thredbo Valley track adventure rides Experienced mountain bike riders can get their thrills on Thredbo Valley track in Kosciuszko National Park. From the world-class 35km ride, to short technical sections, try these adventure options.
    • Thredbo Valley track easy rides If you're looking for an easy mountain bike ride in the Snowy Mountains, try these family-friendly sections of the famous Thredbo Valley track, between Thredbo village and historic Bullocks Hut.
    • Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) geography students. Learn about the management of water quality at a ski resort and the importance of protected catchments in this area.
    Show more

    World-class wilderness

    Blue Lake, on Main Range walk in Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH

    In recognition of Kosciuszko's unique value as a conservation area, it's been named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. More than half of the area of the park, over 350,000ha, has been declared wilderness, including the rugged Western Fall wilderness of the Main Range. It also contains Blue Lake, a rare cirque lake formed by the head of a glacier. Blue Lake is a listed  Ramsar site, recognised for the role it plays in preserving rare and threatened species. The Australian Alps received National Heritage recognition in 2008, and were named one of Australia's National Landscapes.

    • Schlink Hut walking track Schlink Hut walking track is a high alpine hiking or mountain biking adventure near Perisher, visiting 3 historic huts in Kosciuszko National Park. Winter access is by snowshoe or cross-country skiing only.

    Alpine plants and animals

    Corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree), Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The park has over 200 species of alpine flowering plants and provides important habitat to nationally endangered species, such as southern corroboree frogs and broad-toothed rats. Ancient snow gums, twisted and stunted from the blasting effects of wind, snow and ice, mix with alpine ash and fragrant alpine mint bush. Above the treeline only heath, snow grass and the hardiest plants face the cold. Slow-growing mountain plum pine, some over 500 years-old, cling to boulders for warmth, providing shelter and food for threatened mountain pygmy-possums. Bogs of spongy sphagnum moss soak up the snow melt, to be released into alpine streams. From late spring to early summer, the heath is dotted with patches of wildflowers like alpine sunrays and snow daisies, yellow billy buttons, and the anemone buttercup, found only in Kosciuszko National Park.

    • Biodiversity survey The biodiversity survey school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) students focuses on science. Investigate what 'biodiversity' means and use field equipment to assess the biodiversity of sample quadrats along a transect in the montane forest.
    • Biodiversity survey The biodiversity survey school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 5 (Years 9-10) students focuses on science. Investigate what 'biodiversity' means and use field equipment to assess the biodiversity of sample quadrats along a transect in the montane forest.
    • Going up the mountain Going up the mountain is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 6 (Years 11-12) students focusing on Geography. Students will use field work to record and compare the geology, weather, native plants, animals, human use and sustainability of the montane, sub-alpine and alpine ecosystems.
    • Kosciuszko - a special place Kosciuszko a special place is a presentation for stage 6 (year 11-12) students focusing on Geography. This excursion highlights the unique natural and cultural features of Kosciuszko National Park, interaction of the four spheres, human impacts, sustainability and park management. Students have the opportunity to have their questions answered by an NPWS education officer.
    • Main Range walk Intrepid hikers can tackle the challenging Main Range walk, which takes in glacial lakes, historic huts, and the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, across alpine high country in Kosciuszko National Park.
    • Muzzlewood track Muzzlewood track is a summer mountain bike trail between Thredbo Diggings campground and Bullocks Flat, in Kosciuszko National Park. It’s popular with experienced riders, and is easily combined with Thredbo Valley track.
    • Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) geography students. Learn about the management of water quality at a ski resort and the importance of protected catchments in this area.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion to explore the forest and alpine grasslands. Designed for Stage 1 students and focusing on science and technology, investigate the living world in this part of Kosciuszko National Park, home to amazing plants and animals.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker excursion designed for Stage 2 students focusing on science and technology. Carry out investigations to explore the living world in Kosciuszko National Park.
    Show more

    Unique landscapes

    Snowy River crossing at Charlotte Pass on Main Range walk, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/DPIE

    Kosciuszko National Park is a huge park containing Australia's only true alpine environment, the highest part of the Great Dividing Range, and all of NSW's ski resorts. Above the treeline of snow gums - the only trees to grow at this altitude - is a unique landscape of alpine herb fields, feldmark, bogs and tarns. A walk to the highest peak in mainland Australia, Mount Kosciuszko, is the perfect way to see this landscape. Walk from Thredbo or Charlotte Pass, and marvel at the huge granite tors and lakes carved out during Australia's last Ice Age, between 35,000 and 10,000 years ago.

    • 7-day Snowy Mountains and Mount Kosciuszko walk Cross Kosciuszko National Park on a 7-day, self-guided walk with Auswalk. Absorb the sights of the Snowy Mountains, including Thredbo Valley, Charlotte Pass and the summit of Mount Kosciuszko.
    • Cross-country mountain bike tours Challenge yourself on the brilliant trails of Kosciuszko National Park with K7 Adventures. From beginner to advanced level, there's a mountain bike experience waiting for you in the Snowy Mountains.
    • E-bike tour: Lake Crackenback to Hatchery Bay Take off on a guided e-bike tour from Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa along lower Thredbo Valley track in Koscuiszko National Park. This 1-day, 28km wilderness adventure is great for intermediate riders.
    • Fly fishing tuition and guided tours Explore the peaceful beauty of Thredbo River on a fly fishing guided tour in Kosciuszko National Park. Learn new skills or practise old ones with the help of The Fly Program. All equipment provided.
    • Going up the mountain Going up the mountain is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 6 (Years 11-12) students focusing on Geography. Students will use field work to record and compare the geology, weather, native plants, animals, human use and sustainability of the montane, sub-alpine and alpine ecosystems.
    • Kosciuszko - a special place Kosciuszko a special place is a presentation for stage 6 (year 11-12) students focusing on Geography. This excursion highlights the unique natural and cultural features of Kosciuszko National Park, interaction of the four spheres, human impacts, sustainability and park management. Students have the opportunity to have their questions answered by an NPWS education officer.
    • Kosciuszko walk - Thredbo to Mount Kosciuszko This iconic day walk from Thredbo will have you conquering the summit of Mount Kosciuszko in a couple of hours. You'll quite literally be on a high as you soak in the epic views from Australia's highest point.
    • Mountain bike adventures for schools Mountain biking on Thredbo Valley track in Kosciuszko National Park is a fantastic experience for students. Let Action Learning Initiatives design the perfect program for your school group.
    • Snowy Mountains 5-day walking tour Escape to the Snowy Mountains and explore Kosciuszko National Park with Park Trek. This 5-day guided walking holiday visits highlights like Blue Lake, Thredbo Valley and Mount Kosciuszko.
    • Thredbo Valley trail guided mountain bike ride Enjoy a guided mountain bike tour along Thredbo Valley trail with Bike and Fitness. Their professional mountain bike coaches will lead you on a fun ride along one of Australia’s most scenic trails.
    • Women's mountain bike retreats Enjoy a weekend away with a women's mountain bike retreat at Lake Crackenback. With Dirt Skills and Frills, you'll take on Thredbo Valley track but also get to relax with a massage or yoga.
    Show more

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Common wombat. Photo: Ingo Oeland

      Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

      A large, squat marsupial, the Australian common wombat is a burrowing mammal found in coastal forests and mountain ranges across NSW and Victoria. The only other remaining species of wombat in NSW, the endangered southern hairy-nosed wombat, was considered extinct until relatively recently.

    • Emu, Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

      Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

      The largest of Australian birds, the emu stands up to 2m high and is the second largest bird in the world, after the ostrich. Emus live in pairs or family groups. The male emu incubates and rears the young, which will stay with the adult emus for up to 2 years.

    • Platypus climbing on to a submerged tree branch. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton/OEH

      Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

      One of the most fascinating and unusual Australian animals, the duck-billed platypus, along with the echidna, are the only known monotremes, or egg-laying mammals, in existence. The platypus is generally found in permanent river systems and lakes in southern and eastern NSW and east and west of the Great Dividing Range.

    • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

      One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

    • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

      Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

    • Short-beaked echidna in Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton/OEH

      Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

      One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

    • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

      Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

      With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

    Plants

    • Billy Button flowers at Peery Lake picnic area. Photo: Dinitee Haskard OEH

      Billy buttons (Craspedia spp. )

      Billy buttons are attractive Australian native plants that are widespread throughout eastern NSW in dry forest, grassland and alpine regions such as Kosciuszko National Park. The golden-yellow globe-shaped flowers are also known as woollyheads. Related to the daisy, billy buttons are an erect herb growing to a height of 50cm.

    Environments in this area

    School excursions (28)

    Dead Horse Gap walking track, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Murray Vanderveer