Altitude: 412m to 792m. Gain: 405m. Loss: 34m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
From the Earl Mountain Tracks car park follow a well marked track through the forest to the Eglinton River and on up to a 3 wire bridge which spans it. The bush around here was full of trapping lines in April 2016 so make sure you are following the orange DOC triangles. Cross the Eglinton on the 3 wire then follow the track down river on the true right. After about 15 minutes from the bridge a small DOC sign at a track junction points the way to Mistake Creek.
Continue to follow markers up the true left of Mistake Creek. Cross a small clearing beside the stream near the mouth of the valley and push on up through bush until you reach the place where you need to ford Mistake Creek. Under normal conditions Mistake Creek is a simple crossing but the ford was moved by the Southland tramping club following a drowning a couple of years ago so caution is advised following rain.
Continue up valley on the true right, the markers carry on through tall scrub beyond what the map indicates until the upper tussocky flats are reached. For those coming down Mistake Creek, the last (first) marker of the track is small triangle on a stick in the tussock, not the usual large triangle that normally marks the start of a track, so keep an eye out for it. Head straight up the middle of the valley. A bouldery scrub covered hillock is bypassed on it's eastern side and the tarn shown on the map is just passed it, stretching all the way to the western side of the valley. Loop around the east side of the tarn and reach Mistake Creek just north of the tarn as the stream snakes its way across the valley floor. Follow the true right of Mistake Creek until past scrub on the western side of the valley, then connect with the west branch of Mistake Creek and follow it to the tree line. There are sheltered camp sites here on the bush edge of the west branch.