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    Mount Lougheed

    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.
    13.1 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.
    1,365 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Overall Rating
    This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
    Physical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Advanced (Diamond)
    Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
    Technical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Panorama from Mount Lougheed scramble in Kananaskis, the Canadian Rockies

    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.

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    Route Description for Mount Lougheed

    We got an early start and began the hike up Spencer Creek at 7:45 am. We had expected this to involve a bit of bushwhacking on faint trail, but the trail that starts just north of the creek was in spectacular shape and better maintained than many of the official trails in Kananaskis. No bushwhacking or route finding whatsoever was necessary along its entire length. Nice mossy forest complete with a wonderful stream in the beginning and vast meadows near the end made for a very pleasant approach and had us thinking a lazy return trip up Spencer Creek would be worth it on its own. Even if you have zero interest in scrambling you might want to check the creek trail out.

    From the back of the valley we began to make our way up the steep grass and rock slopes to the north, detouring from the best ascent slope to avoid some resting sheep. A small grassy plateau above this granted a view of the impossible-looking ascent slopes of the Mount Lougheed scramble route, but armed with the knowledge from many reports on the web we started up the enormous 300 m high scree cone in high confidence. Thankfully our ascent was greatly aided by a stiff breeze and frequent cloudy periods that kept us from overheating too much. Near the top, the scree cone cliffs started to block the way, but a visible trail in the scree and a few cairns led us easily through. Unlike many other scrambles, this route seemed obvious. Above the second small cliff band we detoured a bit from our planned route, ascending quite high on a scree rib before cutting across a scree and slab bowl, but this worked well and there was even a good trail through the scree. After this, it was a straightforward 200 m slog to the summit ridge, followed by an easy walk to the summit.

    Our summit stay was unusually pleasant too! With the cloud gone the combination of sun and a stiff breeze kept the temperature just right, and with no threat of incoming thunderstorms (a bit of a rarity, actually) we were able to lounge around for well over an hour. We also took a wander over to the western false summit hoping to get a good view of Spray Lake, but the narrowing ridge stopped us before the full lake was visible. The descent was no more difficult than the ascent, but it did require a bit of care to stay on route.

    We capped off the adventure by stopping at the upper reaches of Spencer Creek and soaking our feet in the icy water while relaxing in the shade.

    Insider Hints for Mount Lougheed

    • It can get hot on this hike, as it’s west-facing and exposed. Consider bringing some swimming trunks and a lot of courage to swim in the chilly Spray Lake down by the car.
    • Fill-up on bagels in Canmore before the hike at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Co.
    • Really hot days may need slurpees, which can be found at the Mac’s store in Canmore on Bow Valley Trail, in a strip mall just off of Railway Ave.

    Getting to the Mount Lougheed Trailhead

    From the Canmore Nordic Centre, continue west on the Smith-Dorrien (Hwy 742) as it winds up into the Spray Valley for 22.2 km. There is parking just before the sign for Spurling Creek; the trail begins on across the road.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      July - September

    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Toilets

      Several Day Use Areas along Highway 742

    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Scarmbling Rating

      Grade 1

    • Exposure


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Mount Lougheed Elevation Graph

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    Mount Lougheed Reviews

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