Mesa Butte

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1-2h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
3.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
229 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.8
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Read Reviews
Directions to Trailhead
Panorama from the Mesa Butte hike in Bragg Creek, Kananaskis near Canmore

At only 3.5 km round trip this is a short and easy hike that is perfect for after work. Mesa Butte is a mid elevation hill with tremendous views of the surrounding area. The fire pit at the top it also made for a great picnic.

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Route Description for Mesa Butte

There is a complex network of trails in this area, many leading to the summit, but the one we followed was the most direct and started a few hundred meters north of the Mesa Butte equestrian area at a short access road to a gas well. Follow this road for a very short distance, then turn onto a trail to the left just before reaching the fenced well. It's impossible to miss. Ascend briefly, then emerge into a regrowth area.

There are a number of less worn trails that provide alternative paths to the summit and others used by hunters and game in the area. Stick to the most worn and you will be in great shape. The destination is in view for most of the hike so it is hard to steer wrong.

As we gain elevation we zig zag through the trees for a time before entering a beautiful grassy meadow full of wild flowers. Continue to gain elevation following the treeline (to your left) until you reach the summit.

The views from the top are top drawer for such a short hike ,and ample wildlife (we saw many mule deer, a couple partridge, and potentially wild horses) make this a nice outing. If you're competent with campfires, the fire pit at the top is a nice addition as well. Just be certain it's out when you leave (there is no water, so either bring some or use snow).

Insider Hints for Mesa Butte

  • Pack a picnic and enjoy one of the more scenic fire pits you will find.
  • If you travel in the winter the path may be snow covered so bring our map on a mobile device to help you find the route.
  • There are a number of other trails including a longer version of this hike that set off from the rec centre.

Getting to the Mesa Butte Trailhead

Take highway 549 from Millarville, park either at the Mesa Butte Provincial Recreation Area, or slightly closer to the trail head in the ditch before the access road which is the first right after the Rec Area.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Year Round

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Yes

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Mesa Butte Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Mesa Butte Reviews

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