Buller Pass

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
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.
4.5-6.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
14.6 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.
685 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.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more 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 Buller Pass hike from Smith-Dorrien Trail in Kananaskis near Canmore

The hike to Buller Pass is one of the most spectacular in Canmore. It’s perfect for intermediate hikers, and despite the region still recovering from a forest fire, there are beautiful views and wildflowers throughout the trail. Once above treeline enjoy stunning views all the way to the pass!

Guide-book quality info for over 8,000 trails

View Buller Pass on Map

View Map

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Route Description for Buller Pass

From the parking lot, head back across the Smith-Dorrien Trail. The hike starts out in a thick forest, gently climbing upwards towards the meadow, gradually increasing in grade as you approach. The climb feels surprisingly long, but the shade of the trees keeps the temperature milder. Additionally, along the way you’ll pass a waterfall, another great way to cool off during a hot summer hike.

Right before the pass, you’ll encounter a flat, two-kilometer meadow. As you approach the pass, there are a number of switchbacks leading up to it and the pass itself is quite steep as well, with a scree slope near the top. Pace yourself. When you reach the top, take a lunch as a reward for all your hard work.

As you hike, you’ll also notice that the forest morphs from thick and lush to burnt out, with numerous wildflowers. The terrain then turns to an alpine meadow, and finally to the scree scramble above the treeline. Additionally, the overall difficulty of the hike gets progressively greater as you approach the pass. However, the trail is excellently marked.

Those with energy can continue on to Ribbon Lake, Guinn’s Pass or to North Buller Pass.

Descend on the same route you took up.

Check out other amazing hikes in Kananaskis – Smith Dorrien:

Insider Hints for Buller Pass

  • Try to spot the marmots and chipmunks in the meadow – they are too cute!
  • If you are feeling adventurous, continue another 4.0 km down the other side of the pass to Ribbon Lake. Just keep in mind that you will have to do the pass another time.

Getting to the Buller Pass Trailhead

From the Canmore Nordic Centre, take the Smith-Dorrien Trail (Highway 742) 32.0 km all the way to the Buller Mountain Day Use Area. The parking lot is on the west side of the road.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June through October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Trailhead

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Buller Pass Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

Check Area Weather

Buller Pass Reviews

Add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Nearby Trails

Nearby Regions

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Tours

Routes

Blogs