The hike to Rummel Pass is spectacular, and not nearly as popular as it should be. While hiking to Rummel Lake is a Kananaskis classic, pushing to Rummel Pass is completely worth it, offering interesting terrain and stunning views from Rummel Pass.
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|
June to early October
Winter only at Rummel Lake Backcountry Campground
Out and back
We normally park our car off of the Smith-Dorrien for this hike. You can fit a few cars here, and the benefit is they don’t get covered in dust like the cars on the Smith-Dorrien do.
Walk back to the Smith-Dorrien and cross the gravel road 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, 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 to Rummel Creek. The trail splits in two here. The winter trail (shown in yellow on the map) 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 we recommend taking the much more scenic hikers’ route. Note that the hikers route has 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.
Soon you reach Rummel Lake. It is a very pretty lake, though hard to capture due to how enormous the scenery is here.
From Rummel Lake, look for a path that goes off to the left, through the trees. The trail to Rummel Pass is clear and good, as it ascends and soon comes out of the trees. The views in this high valley are spectacular. Ahead the trail goes to Rummel Pass, though you can’t see it yet. On your left if The Tower, an imposing mountain. On your right is Mount Galatea.
Above the trees, the trail to Rummel Pass goes through a beautiful grassy meadow. You will soon come to a boulder field – hike through it and up and you quickly reach a tarn. Go around the left-hand side of this tarn and get ready for some more hiking over rocks. Finding the trail can be challenging, so keep looking for cairns that mark the route and keep heading forward.
Soon you come over a rise and see another very pretty tarn, with a clear path on the left-hand side. Follow this path to the end of the tarn and then follow the trail up.
Before you know it you’re at Rummel Pass, and you can enjoy the incredible views here.
The lake below you in the valley is Lost Lake. You can hike to it, though we’ve heard route-finding is tough. From Lost Lake, go left and you can then get to Lillian and Galatea Lakes.
Once you’re ready to return turn around and head back. The route back to Rummel Lake is better than the way up, with incredible views back down the valley.
Nearby Mt Engadine Lodge is a great base for your trip, and also offers afternoon tea!
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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