Panorama from the Mesa Butte hike in Bragg Creek, Kananaskis near Canmore

Mesa Butte hike

Bragg Creek and Sheep River
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Mesa Butte hike

Distance: 3.5km
Elevation: 229m
Time: 1-2h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

At only 3.5km 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.

Mesa Butte hike Map

Getting there

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.

I’ve done this 8 people have done this
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About

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


Route Description for Mesa Butte hike

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

  • 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.

Comments

Ines Martin 4 months ago

Very nice hike. Some parts were steep or very windy but overall very enjoyable. We went in mid/end July and wildflowers bloomed everywhere. There were lots of mushrooms to see too. The fire pit on top is hidden from the wind, and on a tree you find pots & pans and even a shovel... and a picnic table! It took us 2hrs. It's a wonderful family hike. I wished I could post some of my photos here.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
swander23 6 months ago

beautiful views. really nice hike and it doesn't take too much time.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
SJ 7 months ago

Mesa Butte hike is a fun family day out/

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3 Comments

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