Create an account

Start your adventure today.


    Already a member? Login

    Mount Sparrowhawk

    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.
    9.1 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.
    1,285 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.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more 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.
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Read Reviews
    Directions to Trailhead
    Panorama from Mt Sparrowhawk scramble in Kananaskis, the Canadian Rockies

    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.

    Download the 10Adventures App

    View Mount Sparrowhawk on Map

    View Map

    Join our newsletter

    Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

    Route Description for Mount Sparrowhawk

    Mount Sparrowhawk is a difficult hike or easy scramble to one of the highest summits in the immediate area. On a clear day, the panoramic view is limited more by the curvature of the earth than other peaks!

    The trail begins across the Spray Lakes road from the Mount Sparrowhawk parking lot. A very obvious trail climbs the bank next to the road and continues a moderate ascent into the forest. About 1 km from the parking lot you will reach a cairned junction. Straight takes you to the basin below Mt. Bogart; head left for Mount Sparrowhawk or Read's Tower.

    The trail ascends very steeply after this junction and within minutes you'll have an ever-expanding view out over Spray Lakes. After gaining about 300 m over a very short distance the trail becomes less steep as you surmount Read's Ridge. Read's Tower looms in front of you and the summit block of Mount Sparrowhawk rises to its left. Despite appearances from this vantage point, Sparrowhawk is over 500 m higher than Read's Tower.

    To continue to Mount Sparrowhawk head directly for Read's Tower, then turn towards the basin to its left when it looks like you're about level with it. From the basin ascend the gully close to Read's Tower (it's easier than it looks), then begin the plod up 500 m of scree, generally aiming for the right-hand side of Sparrowhawk's summit block. The scree along this entire section is solid so it's easy going and the rapidly expanding views keep the motivation high.

    Arriving at the col to the right of the summit (there is a shed here), head left up the obvious scree chute coming off the summit block. This is the most difficult part of the ascent and is only practical if it is free of snow. There are many bits of trail along this section, so take your time to carefully chose the best route. Some areas are very loose, but many are solid. We found sticking to the left on little ledges avoided the worst of the scree. With careful route selection we found it no more difficult than the initial ascent and the gully near Read's Tower.

    The summit is quite spacious and is adorned with some sort of weather and/or communications contraption. It's anchored with a thin cable about a foot off the ground, so be careful not to trip over it as you admire the views, which are spectacular of course!

    Descend the way you came.

    Insider Hints for Mount Sparrowhawk

    • Fill-up on bagels in Canmore before the hike at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Co.
    • Consider stopping in at the delightful Mount Engadine Lodge for a snack on the way back. They have a variety of options for hikers, and their weekend brunch is great.

    Getting to the Mount Sparrowhawk Trailhead

    From the Canmore Nordic Centre, continue west on the Smith-Dorrien (Hwy 742) as it winds up into the Spray Valley for 22.7 km. The Sparrowhawk Day Use Area will be on the right. The trailhead is across the road.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      July - September

    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Toilets


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Scarmbling Rating

      Grade 1

    • Exposure


    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Mount Sparrowhawk Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather

    Mount Sparrowhawk Reviews

    Add a comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Nearby Trails

    Nearby Regions

    Get travel inspiration and discounts

    Join our weekly travel newsletter