Panorama from the Lineham Ridge hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
Panorama from the Lineham Ridge hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada

Lineham Ridge hike

Waterton Lakes National Park
View Photos
Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park has beautiful views of Mount LinehamMount Rowe from the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaBuchanan Ridge from the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaView of Buchanan Ridge from the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaLineham Lakes on the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaRidge and Mount Lineham on the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaBeautiful views from the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaMount Hawkins from the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaHeadwalls and Lineham Lakes on the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaLineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaViews of the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaMount Hawkins view from the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaValley view from the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, AlbertaRidge of the Lineham Ridge Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

Lineham Ridge hike

Distance: 10.7mi
Elevation: 3,150ft
Time: 5.5-8h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.8 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

The epic Lineham Ridge hike is one of our favorites. You’ll travel from a creek-side, to the forest, and through meadows. Then, you’ll curve along the sweeping expanse of the towering headwall with superb views. Finally, top out on Lineham Ridge with incredible panoramic views of Rowe Valley, Rowe Lakes, and Lineham Lakes.

Lineham Ridge hike Map

Getting there

Drive 6.6mi up Akamina Parkway to the Rowe Lakes trailhead. The trailhead is on the right (north) side of the road.

I’ve done this 34 people have done this
I want to do this 32 want to do this route

About

When to do

July to September

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

No

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Low

Route Type

Out and back


Lineham Ridge
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Lineham Ridge

Note that much of Waterton National Park was severely impacted by the 2017 Kenow Wildfire. To find out what trails are open, please check the Parks Canada website.

Just a short distance from the trailhead the senses are awakened with the sight and sound of the Rowe creek streambed, with its beautiful red argillite. As you follow the trail up Rowe Creek valley, look back for views of Buchanan Ridge.

You’ll gain elevation, through the woods, at moderate grade on a pleasant trail. At 2.4mi, you’ll reach a junction with Lower Rowe Lake, which is just 656ft down the trail to the left. Continue straight for Lineham Ridge, travelling along with a gentle ascent.

At 3.2mi, you’ll reach open ground at the beautiful Rowe Basin. In the right season, the meadows explode with wildflowers. We think this makes the meadow a wonderful place for a snack break. Take a minute to gaze at the amazing rock formations on the headwall to the west.

Walk through the meadow. You’ll cross over the creek on the log bridge to continue on the trail for Upper Rowe Lakes and Lineham Ridge. You’ll reach a signed junction just past the meadows: turn right to Lineham ridge.

After travelling on a short, moderately steep section, emerge from the trees for views of the trail ahead: a sweeping traverse across the headwall. Begin the gradual ascent along the curve of the scree trail. Upper and Lower Rowe Lakes come into view behind you as you gain elevation. Continue to travel the arc until you reach the switchback, which will ease the final ascent.

The ridge continues towards Mount Lineham straight ahead. Follow the trail left until reaching a cairn, marking the high point of the ridge. Look for orange trail markers, sometimes easier to spot in the scree than the stony path.

Soak in the glorious views surrounding you. Lineham Lakes appear 1312ft below, ringed by spectacular headwalls. To the west, the trail drops down to the valley as the Tamarack Trail continues, running north to Lone Lake. Mount Hawkins dominates the north view, with Mount Blakiston to the northeast and Mount Lineham to the east. Looking south, the beautiful Akamina ridge is visible, with peaks further afield in Glacier National Park, Montana.

After soaking in the views, pick up your jaw and return the way you came. You can take a detour to Upper Rowe Lake at the Junction on the way back if you like it’ll add a couple kilometres onto your trip as it’s an out and back trip, but we think it’s worth it.

Insider Hints

  • Adventurous scramblers can continue east along the ridge to the peak of Mount Lineham. Guidebooks list this as an “easy” scramble from the ridge.

  • The Lakeside Chophouse at the Bayshore Inn has a wonderful patio right by Waterton Lake. It’s a great place for an après hike drink or dinner.

Comments

LyleM 2 years ago

Quite a rocky ledge and a lot of route finding. An uphill grunt mostly in the trees. Once you get out of the trees-beautiful views!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
John Savage 2 years ago

The work of art by the nature is really amazing. Make sure to capture the beautiful views.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Heidon 2 years ago

The amazingly extensive views of three lakes on the top of Lineham Ridge is a must-see.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
7h 00m Time Taken
hikertom12 3 years ago

Bigger challenge, rewarding views. Wish we started a bit earlier in the day so we weren't chasing sunlight, but wow, what a hike.

jackiesmith88 3 years ago

Lineham Ridge hike was perfect. Everything, the forests, the meadows, the views, the birds we've spotted. We had a perfect day out.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
VicTor 3 years ago

The Lineham ridge trail was really diverse. It allows you to see different landscapes and enjoy the wilderness.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
HighRyder 3 years ago

Lineham ridge trail was spectacular. And it really was one of the better challenges in Waterton, that I've done. I really recommend it to everyone who loves a good challenge and heights.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Wicked T 3 years ago

Great scenery and a nice level of exercise

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6h 00m Time Taken
WanderlustKing 3 years ago

The scenery was always changing and this hike was one of my favourites.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6h 30m Time Taken
gowest 3 years ago

This is one of the best hikes in Waterton. It's also the gateway to the Hawkin's Horseshoe - 3 peaks - Lineham, Hawkins and Blakiston. See the scramble section for this (if not now, later, for sure). Mount Lineham is, however, a relatively easy hike up to your right once you reach the ridge. Only experienced scramblers should attempt the Horseshoe.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
10 Comments

Similar hikes to the Lineham Ridge hike

Horseshoe Basin Hike

Horseshoe Basin Hike

Difficulty:
14.9mi
3159ft
7-9.5h

The incredible Horseshoe Basin Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park climbs from the Bison Paddock area towards the saddle below…

Rowe Lake Trail

Rowe Lakes Trail

Difficulty:
8mi
2126ft
4-5.5h

Hiking to Rowe Lakes is an excellent way to spend a few hours in Waterton National Park. It’s a pleasant…

Goat Lake Trail

Goat Lake Trail

Difficulty:
8.7mi
2162ft
4.5-6h

The Goat Lake trail in Waterton Lakes National Park leaves from the Red Rock Parkway and makes its way up…