Southwest of Taupo, the 42 Traverse Mountain Bike Route (aka Tongariro Forest Crossing) is a 35km ride along old forest logging roads in the Tongariro Forest. You can expect to find fast downhills, grueling uphills and river crossings. There are vistas across this volcanic terrain and views of the Canyon Valley.
Starting at Kapoors Road, Taurewa on Highway 47, the trail is around 46 kilometres long with an overall descent of 570 metres. It takes four to seven hours to complete depending on fitness and experience. The ground varies from gravel to mud. About two-thirds of the route is 4WD track.
To reach the trailhead from National Park village on SH4, head northeast on SH47 for 15.1km. Turn left heading west on dirt Kapoors Road for 6.1km (stay to the left) to official trailhead (limited parking). Note, many people start the 42 Traverse from SH47 and ride in the 6.1km with a total mileage of 41km.
To reach the trailhead from Turangi in the north, head southwest on SH47 to the intersection with SH46. Continue south in SH47 for 9.6km. Turn right heading west on dirt Kapoors Road for 6.1km (stay to the left) to official trailhead (limited parking). Note, many people start the 42 Traverse from SH47 and ride in the 6.1km.
The first couple kilometers from SH47 were freshly logged in 2009.
Overall, 42 Traverse is the 12th most popular mountain bike trail of all 41 mountain biking rides in New Zealand.