Hike from Thredbo to Eagles Nest, then return or continue to the Kosciuszko summit
Merritt’s Nature Walk is a steep and difficult hiking trail that goes from Thredbo, straight up the mountain to Eagles Nest.
The trail is a little under 4km each way, but it’s a tough 4 kms on the way up with a lot of stairs that will have you stretching your leg as far as they can go to get onto the next one. It’s a good idea to be quite fit or to take it very slow if you want to reach the top.
Once you’ve made it up to Eagles Nest, you’ve got the option of continuing to the Mount Kosciuszko Summit, which is a pretty easy walk for a further 6.5 kms (each way).
Merritt’s Nature Walk is a popular trail to reach Eagles Nest (for when you’re eager to get to the Kosciuszko summit) when the chair lift from Thredbo is out of action, which it often is when the wind picks up or you’re in the area at the wrong time of day (too early/late).
Other than being super steep, the trail is quite scenic and nice. The is mostly under the canopy of large eucalyptus trees where you’ll be surrounded by dense vegetation, pass some creeks and cascades, with the occasional view back down to Thredbo.
Someone with a decent level of fitness that’s a regular hiker should make it from Thredbo to Eagles Nest with-in about 1-1.5 hours, & come back down in about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how your knees can handle the steep descent.
It’s very steep and difficult to make your way up the mountain. Not only that, many of the stairs are 40-50 cms in height, making it difficult to continually step up each one. Coming back down is also a challenge as you’ll almost be required to hop down the occasional step and it can be tricky not to pick up too much speed on the way down the steep section where there aren’t any stairs.
Although it’s very steep, it’s only 4 kms, so if you take plenty of breaks, it’s completely manageable.
For those that are regular mountain hikers, you would have most likely been on similar trails in the past, yet this should be equally as steep as the most difficult of them.
The entire trail is about 8 kms, a bit under 4 kms each way, depending on exactly where you start from as it’s possibly to take some short cuts at the beginning of the trail.
Elevation gained is about 620 metres, which is a lot for a 4 km trail.
Toilets can be found in Thredbo as the start of the trail, then again near the top at one of the ski lift cafe’s. Once you make it to the top, there’s the Eagles Nest Restaurant.
Closest place to buy food & drinks
Much the same as the facilities, you can find food and drinks in Thredbo, then at a ski lift near the top and of course at the Eagles Nest Restaurant, although these are all only open at certain times of the day, so there’s a good chance that they’ll all be closed. Due to this, make sure you bring along plenty of water and some back up food.
Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on this trail.