Mount Ernest Ross

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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.
5 - 8h
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
8.2 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.
1,069 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Mount Ernest Ross

The trail to the top of Ernest Ross Mount is a little challenging, but a fun scramble. You will find yourself on a quiet path with constantly changing surroundings: from bushes, trees, scree to almost vertical rock boulders. Although most of the trail is not too hard, one section will make you sweat a little: the scrambly part is a little steep and you will have to use some of your rock-climbing skills. But it’s worth all the effort, as the views from the top will take your breath away. From the surrounding peaks, to Kootenay Plains, and Abraham Lake – the panorama here is stunning!

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Route Description for Mount Ernest Ross

Mount Ernest Ross scramble is a great trail. The trail ascends quite steeply, but evenly throughout the route with an exception of the last bit to reach the summit, where you will find yourself climbing up on rather steep rocks. This part is rather short and exposure here is minimal, but turn back if it’s too much for you.

The trail starts at the northern bank of the creek near the bottom of the ridge. Don’t look for any signs marking the trailhead, as there aren’t any, just approach the mountain on the path in front of you!

The path leading through the forest shortly will start ascending quite steeply.

Soon, you will reach the ridge crest. Continue towards the top. Sometimes the path will get closer to steep cliffs – some people find these stretches to be quite exposed. If you are afraid of heights, you can walk a bit further from the edge, but you will have to bush-walk then.

Continue hiking and you will find yourself in an open area with beautiful views rising around you. From here you will notice that the last bit to the top is quite steep, but don’t give up before checking it out.

Soon the path will get slightly steeper, as you will be ascending to the peak. There will be some exposure on your left side.

For the last bit, follow the path of the least resistance to reach the top. Rocks here are of good grip and you will find lots of options to place your foot and hands. And it’s not too exposed!

You will find the views around you breathtaking: Elliot Peak, Kootenay Plains, Abraham Lake, beautiful Two O-Clock Ridge and plenty of others – make sure to take plenty of pictures. Spend some time here, as the Mount Ernest Ross has a comfortable summit plateau.

You will notice another summit just next to you – it’s a second peak of the Ernest Ross Mountain. Quite a lot of hikers choose to ascend it too, but a path to it is steeper, a little loose and considered to be quite a challenging scramble. However, we haven’t heard anybody who would complain after reaching the second summit!

Return the same way you came.

Insider Hints for Mount Ernest Ross

  • Have a picnic at Preachers Point Staging Area – it’s only 1.5 km north to the trailhead.
  • Although dogs on leash are allowed on the Mount Earnest Ross trail, we think that the terrain of this hike is too challenging for pets. Even if the dog is capable of steep ascents, exposed sections along the ridge might be dangerous.

Getting to the Mount Ernest Ross Trailhead

You can leave your car near the ditch on the north side of an unmarked creek that is right at the bottom of the Ernest Ross Ridge. You can also walk from Preachers Point Staging Area, but that would add 1.5 km one-way to your hike.

Route Information

  • When to do


  • Backcountry Campsites


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Mount Ernest Ross Elevation Graph

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