Scrambles in Kananaskis Country

Region in Alberta, Canada

The best scrambles in the Kananaskis is a special list of incredible peaks and views of the rugged Canadian Rockies. These scrambles are for experienced scramblers, and require a head for heights. The best scrambles in the Kananaskis include scrambles along Highway 40, scrambles along the Smith-Dorrien and scrambles around Kananaskis Lakes.

THE TOP 10 SCRAMBLES AROUND KANANASKIS TRAIL, ALBERTA

  1. Mist Mountain (11.0 km, 1,245 m, 5-8h): Scrambling Mist Mountain takes you up the largest peak in the immediate area, which is a sure-fire guarantee for an awesome summit view! Not only that, but the scramble route is a scenic and pleasant approach that can’t be beat.
  2. Mount Sparrowhawk (9.1 km, 1,285 m, 5-7h): Scrambling up Mount Sparrowhawk is the perfect scramble for those new to scrambling or families with older children. It is not too technical, but provides an unbeatable view of the vast Spray Lakes reservoir.
  3. Mount Lougheed (13.1 km, 1,365 m, 5-7h): Mount Lougheed, a peak so huge and prominent that it even has its own sign and small viewing area on the trans-Canada highway, offers one of the most scenic approaches and best summit panoramas in Kananaskis! The face visible from the highway, however, is not a scramble, so don’t be put off - an easy scramble route does exist on the other side.
  4. The Fortress (18.0 km, 1,104 m, 7-10h): The Fortress is aptly named for its ominous appearance from Highway 40, however a scramble to the summit can be fairly easily achieved via two ascent routes. The scramble to the top of the Fortress is not only fun, but also provides a stunning view!
  5. Mount Indefatigable (7.1 km, 943 m, 5-7h): The scramble up the South Peak of Mount Indefatigable is on the more challenging side of scrambles, however the views of Upper Kananaskis Lake from the summit are unparalleled!
  6. Snow Peak (19.1 km, 868 m, 6-9h): Scrambling Snow Peak brings you rising over scenic Burstall Pass. Snow Peak can be an easy or difficult scramble depending on the time of year, but since it straddles the continental divide there are spectacular views of massive peaks in BC.
  7. Smutwood Peak (17.9 km, 782 m, 7-9h): Scrambling Smutwood Peak offers spectacular views of the two jagged mountains from which it derives its name: Mount Smuts and Birdwood. A lively mountain creek, waterfalls, and deep blue alpine lakes guarantee a wonderful scramble.
  8. Grotto Mountain (11.2 km, 1,352 m, 7-10h): Scrambling up Grotto Mountain offers a commanding aerial view of Canmore and the Bow Valley. Often thought of as a quick scramble, the route is a bit more technical than meets the eye, making a scramble up Grotto Mountain really fun!
  9. Mount Howard (20.1 km, 1,052 m, 7-10h): The views from the summit of Mount Howard are as spectacular as any, but it is the long and wonderfully scenic ridge walk to get there that sets it apart from others in the area.
  10. Mount James Walker (17.9 km, 1,175 m, 6-9h): A scramble up Mount James Walker is an engaging adventure! Amazing summit views combine with a beautiful approach beside a lively creek, past multiple tarns, and up an isolated valley to make a Mount James Walker Scramble worthy of any bucket list!
  11. East End of Rundle Route (EEOR) (5.9 km, 855 m, 5-6h): Scrambling the East End of Rundle or EEOR is a popular scramble close to Canmore. It is often under-estimated, and there are tricky sections on this for new scramblers. This scenic scramble has stunning views of the surrounding peaks from the summit.

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Best Scrambles in Kananaskis Country

Open details for Mist Mountain

Mist Mountain

Easy
11.0 km
1,245 m
5-8h

Scrambling Mist Mountain takes you up the largest peak in the immediate area, which is a sure-fire guarantee for an awesome summit view! Not only that, but scramble route is a scenic and pleasant approach that can’t be beat.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.6
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Mount Sparrowhawk

Mount Sparrowhawk

Easy
9.1 km
1,285 m
5-7h

Scrambling up Mount Sparrowhawk is the perfect scramble for those new to scrambling or families with older children. It is not too technical, but provides an unbeatable view of the vast Spray Lakes reservoir.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Mount Lougheed

Mount Lougheed

Moderate
13.1 km
1,365 m
5-7h

Mount Lougheed, a peak so huge and prominent that it even has its own sign and small viewing area on the trans-Canada highway., offers one of the most scenic approaches and best summit panoramas in Kananaskis! The face visible from the highway, however, is not a scramble, so don’t be put off - an easy scramble route does exist on the other side.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
8.5
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for The Fortress

The Fortress

Hard
18.0 km
1,104 m
7-10h

The Fortress is aptly named for its ominous appearance from Highway 40, however a scramble to the summit can be fairly easily achieved via two ascent routes. The scramble to the top of the Fortress is not only fun, but also provides a stunning view!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.5
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Snow Peak

Snow Peak

Hard
19.1 km
868 m
6-9h

Scrambling Snow Peak brings you rising over scenic Burstall Pass. Snow Peak can be an easy or difficult scramble depending on the time of year, but since it straddles the continental divide there are spectacular views of massive peaks in BC.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Smutwood Peak

Smutwood Peak

Moderate
17.9 km
782 m
7-9h

Scrambling Smutwood Peak offers spectacular views of the two jagged mountains from which it derives its name: Mount Smuts and Birdwood. A lively mountain creek, waterfalls, and deep blue alpine lakes guarantee a wonderful scramble.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Grotto Mountain

Grotto Mountain

Moderate
11.2 km
1,352 m
7-10h

Scrambling up Grotto Mountain offers a commanding aerial view of Canmore and the Bow Valley. Often thought of as a quick scramble, the route is a bit more technical than meets the eye, making a scramble up Grotto Mountain really fun!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Mount Howard

Mount Howard

Easy
20.1 km
1,052 m
7-10h

The views from the summit of Mount Howard are as spectacular as any, but it is the long and wonderfully scenic ridge walk to get there that sets it apart from others in the area.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Mount James Walker

Mount James Walker

Hard
17.9 km
1,175 m
6-9h

A scramble up Mount James Walker is an engaging adventure! Amazing summit views combine with a beautiful approach beside a lively creek, past multiple tarns, and up an isolated valley to make a Mount James Walker Scramble worthy of any bucket list!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for East End of Rundle Route (EEOR)

East End of Rundle Route (EEOR)

Moderate
6.7 km
855 m
5-6h

Scrambling the East End of Rundle or EEOR is a popular scramble close to Canmore. It is often under-estimated, and there are tricky sections on this for new scramblers. This scenic scramble has stunning views of the surrounding peaks from the summit.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
7.5
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.

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