The hike to Rummel Lake is a Kananaskis classic, with people returning year after year. The colours in autumn are spectacular, and if you have the energy push the trip a bit farther up to Rummel Pass for very special views.
From the Canmore Nordic Centre, continue west on the Smith-Dorrien (Hwy 742) as it winds up into the Spray Valley for 35.5km. You’ll notice a turn-off to your right for Mount Engadine Lodge. Park on the Smith-Dorrien or turn-off and park just before or after the bridge crossing.
|When to do|
Out and back
Rummel Lake is a popular summer hike as well as a popular snowshoe trail in winter. The views at the lake are spectacular, and the trail to the lake in winter is rated as simple avalanche terrain, provided you stay on the path.
We normally park on road to Mount Engadine Lodge, as that way our cars don’t get as dirty here as they do on the Smith-Dorrien.
Walk back to the Smith-Dorrien and cross the trail and take a path that heads off into the forest. The path is clear to follow as it heads SE and then switchbacks up to a NE direction. The trail is a good slope and not too steep, so you can make good time here.
As you hike up, you go through an old cut-block, which means you get some lovely views back towards Tent Ridge and the Spray Lakes Reservoir.
After roughly 2.8km, the trail heads SE again, running above Rummel Creek.
After roughly 2.0km the trail comes down and you cross Rummel Creek. The winter trail (shown in yellow) goes across the bridge and through the trees to Rummel Lake. In summer, there is a much more scenic hikers trail that goes right just before Rummel Creek and takes an alternate approach to Rummel Lake. If it’s dry out then take the more scenic hikers route, though also with a somewhat narrow ledge that some people may not enjoy. The hikers route has avalanche danger so keep clear when there is still snow up high above you.
Whichever way you go, you are soon on the shores of Rummel Lake. It is worthwhile to walk along the entirety of Rummel Lake, as the views change as you walk along it. Our favourite views are at the far end, though there is the danger of rockfall here.
Return the way you came.
If you have the energy, the path up to Rummel Pass and Lost Lake is stunning. The path up leaves from the western part of Rummel Lake. The route to Rummel Pass has avalanche danger, and should only be attempted in summer.
You could make a backpacking route over Rummel Pass to Galatea Lakes, over Guinn’s Pass to Ribbon Lakes and then up to Buller Pass and down to the Smith-Dorrien, with a 3.9km walk along the Smith-Dorrien to your car. Talk about incredible views! There is some route-finding to Lost Lake though. Let us know if you’ve done it!
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