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    Cruikshank Canyon Lookout

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    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.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    20.4 km
    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.
    770 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Cruikshank Canyon Lookout

    The hike to the Cruikshank Canyon Lookout is a lengthy 20.4 km out-and-back journey that will take you past countless lakes and over the Forbidden Plateau to reach a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the wooded expanse of the canyon. From the rocky outcrop on the canyon’s edge, you can take in the natural beauty of the rugged Strathcona landscape with its numerous mountain peaks and undulating ridgelines. This route can be done as a single day or multi-day trip with an overnight stay at one of several campsites along the trail.

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    Route Description for Cruikshank Canyon Lookout

    Making the trek out to the Cruikshank Canyon Lookout is a fun adventure for casual or experienced hikers looking for a long single-day hike or who want to take some extra time to explore Strathcona over a multi-day journey.

    The trail sets out from the Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre. It passes between the charming waters of Lake Helen Mackenzie and Battleship Lake before skirting around the southeastern side of Mount Elma. From here, the trail crosses over the Forbidden Plateau on a route towards Kwai Lake, where hikers often choose to stay overnight at the campsite.

    Around the lake’s western edge, the trail breaks off through the forest to the south and passes by the Mariwood and Beautiful Lakes. With a gentle climb through the trees, hikers will soon reach the Cruikshank Canyon Lookout, where they can experience the vast expanse of the forested landscape and rugged mountain peaks from atop the rocky bluff. This scenic hike should definitely be on your list if you are looking for a longer route without too much difficulty.

    Getting to the Cruikshank Canyon Lookout Trailhead

    To make your way to the trailhead for the Cruikshank Canyon Lookout from the Mount Washington Alpine Resort, head south on the Strathcona Pkwy for 1.3 km and turn right onto Nordic Drive. Continue along Nordic Drive for 2.4 km, and you will find the parking area beside the Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre.

    Route Information

    • When to do


    • Backcountry Campsites

      Kwai Lake Campground, Helen Mackenzie Lake Campground

    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Cruikshank Canyon Lookout Elevation Graph

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    Cruikshank Canyon Lookout Reviews

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