Mount Bourgeau Scramble

Banff National Park
View Photos

Mount Bourgeau Scramble

Distance: 22.4km
Elevation: 1,442m
Time: 7-10h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
8 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

The scramble up Mount Bourgeau gives way to a commanding view of the Bow Valley near Banff. The trip takes you by scenic Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass en route to the summit, which means you’ll still have an amazing day even if you abort your summit bid.

Mount Bourgeau Scramble Map

Getting there

The Bourgeau parking lot is on south side of the Trans-Canada Highway, roughly 13.0km west of Banff. There is a turnaround on the Trans-Canada for those who are heading to the route from Banff.

I’ve done this 4 people have done this
I want to do this 18 want to do this route

About

When to do

July - September

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Trailhead

Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Scarmbling Rating

Grade 1

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Mount Bourgeau
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Mount Bourgeau Scramble

Mt. Bourgeau is a popular and demanding route in the Canadian Rockies. Reaching the summit of Mt. Bourgeau is little more than a hike, though it is technically a Class I scramble. Getting to the top takes you on a 24.0km round trip with over 1500m of elevation gain. Energy and motivation are key, especially as a full 16.0km of the hike is in the forest. This being said, the views in the alpine section more than make up for this, if forests aren’t your forte.

The signed trailhead is located to the west of Banff, just west of where the highway becomes divided by a small forest. Follow the highway signs, which will guide you to the correct location. Arrive early, as it seems to be on Banff Tourism’s list of places to send people and the small parking lot fills up quickly.

Initially the trail is wide, hard-packed, and slippery, with a 700m ascension at a gentle to moderate grade. At a good pace, 2 hours of hiking will take you the 7.5km to Bourgeau Lake. From here the trail heads up through the obvious gap to the west and passes another lake. Next it heads to the left to crest Harvey Pass, 2.0km further and 300m higher than Bourgeau Lake. This is a very pretty viewpoint, and many come just for this view.

From the south end of the lake (locally known as Harvey Lake) the route up Mt. Bourgeau to the east is visible. Still, the summit is still over 2.0km away and 500m higher, so should not be underestimated. A reasonably clear trail guides you all the way to the top.

Views from the summit are truly incredible, but be warned, weather this high up is typically windy and cold, even if it’s clement in the valley below. Make sure you bring layers, so you can spend some time up high in relative comfort.

Return the way you ascended.

Insider Hints

  • Keep your eyes open for marmot and ptarmigan between Bourgeau and Harvey Lakes.

  • This is a long day, and the hike to Bourgeau Lake is popular, so make sure you start early.

Comments

To add rating to your comment you need to log In or sign up.

Wicked T 3 months ago

It was really windy. I mean really windy. My face felt as if someone was throwing needles at it. I would recommend getting something to cover your face and a good windbreaker jacket.

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
8h 00m Time Taken
1 Comment

Similar Scrambles to the Mount Bourgeau Scramble

Panorama Ridge

Difficulty:
9.8km
960m
5-7h

The challenging scramble up Panorama Ridge has incredible views combined with a very challenging ascent over moving scree. Some people…

The Onion

Difficulty:
19.7km
840m
6-9h

The scramble up to the Onion brings you incredibly close to the Wapta Icefield which is (the source of Calgary’s…

Mount Richardson

Difficulty:
21.8km
1350m
6-9h

Scrambling Mount Richardson is a joy and takes you to the highest peak in the world-famous Skoki region. Go in…