We set out on a beautiful Friday afternoon in Kananaskis. It depends on your hiking ability! I traveled to Iceland four years ago. This fantastic trek begins at the edge of Moraine Lake in the Banff … Anyone that has spent time in wilderness or mountains can speak to the fact your temperature can fluctuate a lot on a hike. This small section is a shame as it can put off a lot of hikers who would otherwise enjoy the beauty of the lakes. This is an out and back trail and is where you will leave your vehicle and return to it at the end of your hike. Sir Douglas. The trail up Mount Smutwood is an out-and-back trail that features two lovely alpine lakes, as well as an incredible view of the cathedral-like Mount Birdwood. Continue on past Birdwood and around the two lakes to your right. On another note, a popular thing to do here in the past was camp at the saddle so that hikers could get sunrise photos on top of the summit of Smutwood. Also, never underestimate the power of a good hat for hiking and sunglasses. This is not the mountain you are attempting to summit. The lower flanks of the mountain as well as the west slabs are excellent compact limestone. In regards to times keep in mind your mountain fitness — different than the gym. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. You can attempt this hike as early as June, but you’ll likely want snowshoes and microspikes. Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The trail takes a turn up between Mt Birdwood and Mt Smuts to the Smuts Pass. Hike. Burstall Pass. Thousands of new, high-quality pictures added every day. Mount Engadine Lodge is situated half way down the Smith-Dorrien Trail, about 41km south of Canmore. You have another 1.5 km to go of scrambling and climbing. The trail bends southwest here. The railway line from Balhannah to Mt Pleasant was opened in 1918, following some 60 years of meetings and negotiations, and ran as a freight and passenger service. On the other side is Whistling Ridge – Google calls it Whistling Rock Peak, others have named it Whistling Rock Ridge. Alltrails is our favorite app to have on a hike. We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. Assiniboine – the sixth highest mountain in the Rockies. If you are a seasoned hiker expect to be out between 5-8 hours. Mount Smutwood is easily one of the best Kananaskis hikes. Shark Rd from the Smith Dorien. This hike is best done with a group as you are in grizzly country and in trees for the beginning (and end of the hike). The hike moves past several marshy lakes and streams, before a steep ascent up to an alpine meadow, and then finished on a high mountain pass with grand glaciated mountain views. Once you reach it the views are amazing and you’ll see Mount Smuts and Mount Birdwood. We asked a marmot for directions, but they only gave us a whistle. Here there is a small lot right off of Mt. At about 7.5 km your ascent truly begins. Comment. Oh, it’ll also serve up some of the most majestic panoramic views of Spray Lakes, Kananaskis, and the southeastern tip of Banff National Park. I would recommend not hiking in the dark as it’s easy to get lost and it’s not fun in bear country. The Peak Design capture clip allows for a camera to be clipped on to your backpack strap or belt.It has to be one of the best accessories we’ve ever used for carrying our camera. You’re going to need something to carry your belongings in while your traveling around Jasper. In the above image it is viewed from Commonwealth Creek. Once you’re at the summit, you’re safer as you can see wildlife from afar, but still, don’t let your guard down and keep the bear spray on you just in case. My favorite daypacks are from Camelbak. How Long Does Take To Hike Smutwood Peak? Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass. After 6 km you’ll hit your first uphill section before reaching the saddle and Birdwood Pass. It…. Mount Birdwood is the stark mountain you’ll see to your left as you keep climbing. The line had six stations and seven halts. Out day begins with a bush thrash. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Temperature management is best done through a layering system if you want to learn more about what to pack for a day hike or what to wear on a hike, you can see our full post! The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from July until October. We saw maybe six other groups of hikers on the trail. The goal of hiking clothing is to help regulate your body temperature, element protection, and moisture management. Hike . Though it is a great day out with a beautiful summit and no scrambling or anything technical involved. Thanks to numerous photos circulating around social media, this Smutwood Peak hike has become increasingly more popular. Remember that the bear spray is worthless if it’s in your pack, you’ll need to be able to grab this in two seconds or less in an emergency. We ALWAYS have a down jacket with me on every single hike I go in the Rockies. Smutwood Peak should not be confused with Mount Smuts. At about 6 km your first taste of steepness is going into Smuts Pass, where it’s relentless for 2 km or so but then lightens up again as you first lay your eyes on Mount Birdwood. With over 700 walking trails showcased on our website, find a place to walk, hike or bushwalk across South Australia. Any time we set out for an objective I determine a time at which we need to turn around in order to arrive at the parking lot or campsite by dark. When I was too hot at the base of the mountain, I was able to unzip the sides for airflow. When we set out to tackle Smutwood we had no idea it was going to be so beautiful. Welcome to the world, as seen through the eyes of Cameron and Natasha. The route from the saddle up to the summit of Smutwood Peak looks long and steep, but it’s easier and shorter than it looks. Besides bears, it’s common to see hoary marmots and pika. Behind her is the west face of Mount Smuts. View Mount Birdwood Image Gallery - 29 Images. The trail forks after a while and you need to take a right which takes you into Smuts Pass. Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. Hmmm. Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. However, it didn't offer any advantage that we could see. "I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early." It’s a just in case jacket that we usually end up wearing when we reach the summit, and it gets cold. The south aspect of the mountain is approached from the Burstall Pass Trail, and has a … Mount Smutwood is a moderate to difficult hike while Mount Smuts is one of the hardest scrambles in the Canadian Rockie (don’t believe me – get Alan Kane’s book). The access it provides to your camera is so much better than a camera strap that allows a camera to swing and banging into everything. There were many groups hiking here when we went but all of them stopped at the saddle and enjoyed the lakes. Smutwood Peak is best in July, August, September, and early October. The north aspect of the mountain can be approached using the 4.3km Smuts Pass trail which also gives access to the Birdwood Lakes, 2 small lakes below the north ridge in Smuts Pass. Your best bet for an early morning hike is to get to the parking area around 2 am and start from there. If you’re wondering what necessities to bring to Banff then sturdy shoes are perhaps the most important thing you will need before you get to Canada. it was a great hike experienced forests, fields and the mountain peaks. It’s super handy and a must for anyone who want to carry their camera on hikes, but not have to fumble around in their bag every time they want to take a photo. Thankfully he was fairly far away and we had a large group. Find Mount Birdwood Left Burstall Pass Hike stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. How-To . From Burstall Pass you can see Mt. See our full review here! (29), Comments The Finns have pushed into the modern era and embraced design, food, and art. The first 6km of this hike are an easy peasy walk through the meadow. Turn onto Mt. Based on our experience, I would recommend travelling to Mount Engadine primarily via Highway 40. Whether it’s hiking or just wandering around exploring the town of Banff and it’s surroundings here are the things to consider for your trip. We wrote a whole post on our favorites (hint – Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hooded Jacket, Patagonia Down Sweater, REI Coop Down Jacket). All Rights Reserved. Camping in Iceland is a fantastic experience everyone should enjoy. Mount Birdwood is for climbers only. There were many groups hiking here when we went but all of them stopped at the saddle and enjoyed the lakes. Here are the best hiking clothes for men and the best hiking clothes for women. If you stopped here it would be a mild to moderate hike with little elevation gain. Smutwood Peak is a gruelling hike through Kananaskis that ends with an iconic view of Mt. Another 3 km through the meadow and you’re at the base of Smuts Pass. There is a false summit around 8.5 km. Upon reaching the high point of the ridgeline it's possible to see Mount Assiniboine in the far distance and of course the beautifully shaped Mount Birdwood (pictured above) - the highlight of the hike. The view ahead over the open waste lands of stream’s, rock slabs and scree. On that note, always carry bear spray if you plan to hike in the park. Our entertainment on this segment was the grizzly, a mountain goat, and crossing numerous channels of the braided outflow stream from Robertson Glacier. If you’re wondering how to tackle Smutwood next summer, keep reading! Even if you’re not doing extensive hikes you need at least something small for day trips. Mount Birdwood rises above Birdwood Lakes Raff and Sonny stop to study Mount Smuts From the pass the main trail turns right, but we descended an alternate trail on the left. Joffre Group ... Mount Birdwood Related. If you’re still feeling energized, continue to follow the creek SW to the beautiful meadow surrounded by Commonwealth Peak and Mount Birdwood. Joffre Group. Birdwood, Pig’s Tail, and Commonwealth Peak. This is where the route gets a bit scrambly and slightly expose. The first hour or so of this Kananaskis hike is straightforward with no elevation gain. If you’re on any hikes in Kananaskis you should practice proper wildlife awareness. Honest Happy Campers Iceland Campervan Review – Should You Rent One? Down below you to the east you can trace the route from High Col to Birdwood Pass below the massive cliffs of Mount Birdwood. We saw one grizzly at the saddle of this hike. This list is meant to be good in any season, for many different levels of activities. Crest 2380-m (7256-ft) Burstall Pass at 7.5 km (4.7 mi). These are very serious mountains and it easy to get in well over your head with life-threatening consequences. There is the option to continue over High Col to Birdwood Pass or on to Burstall Pass in one day if you have two vehicles. All are are stunning! 2. We carry ours in the neighborhood and bears have been known to stroll through town and busy parking lots. Birdwood dominates the view next to Sir Douglas and Snow Peak as Tamas traverses the summit ridge. Hooker Icefield. We saw a male grizzly near the saddle of this hike. How To. It is illegal to free camp here and there is no camping, a $1000 CAD fine could be issued to you on the spot if caught. We paid the subscription fee so that we could download all the data we need to our phones. From the saddle it took us a little over an hour of uphill climbing to reach the summit. In the region, there are frequent sightings of black bears, grizzly bears, moose, coyotes, and cougars. Below we have showcased 143 walks and trails in the Adelaide Hills. Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children. The clip feels secure and robust with a straight forward design that makes switching straps easy. On this site, you’ll find our experiences, photography, and informative travel guides. Start: Hwy. Looking west shows Mount Shark, Mount Smut, and Mount Birdwood as a backdrop, though the area is also flanked by Mount Murray to the south, The Tower to the west, and Mount Nestor to the north. We’ve brought it on several hikes around the Canadian Rockies now and it has changed the way in which we photograph hikes. After a brief, level respite, the ascent resumes—south, curving northwest. Are dogs and kids appropriate to hike Smutwood Peak? Fjallraven’s Keb pants are a mountaineering staple, but they are heavyweight and not excellent for quick dry properties yet extremely durable. From Smuts Pass overlooking Birdwood Lakes turn left and head towards the trees looking for a thin trail to lead through the trees and down a sharp drop into avalanche slopes ladened with wild flowers. You shouldn’t attempt Mount Smuts unless you are a well-seasoned scrambler and have helmets, rope, and a GPS. Check out The Banff Blog for more travel information. When you’re on the trail make noise by banging hiking poles, talking, whistling, clapping, or singing. The low end of the times in this post is a constant fast pace uphill with little to no breaks and a brisk pace downhill. If you’ve come to the park without bear spray Valhalla Pure Outfitters in town sells spray and holders with employees who will demonstrate how to use properly. The hike is rated as moderate and towards the end you’ll be using your hands a bit. Flanking Robertson Glacier in the west, is on the left, the oddly named Piggy Plus. Mount Birdwood Traverse is a 12.3 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Kananaskis Improvement, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. A fall here certainly wouldn’t be good, but it’s not certain death (that’s next door on Mount Smuts). Shark Rd. Located west of Smith Dorrien Creek and the Spray Lakes Road, southeast of Mount Smuts, and northwest of Mount Burstall. Raff also follows the trail up the ridge. (2), Images The last .5 km are the scariest bits as there will be loose scree on your left. The hike up Smutwood Peak was easily one of my favorite hikes of the summer. With any trip, the key is to pick…, With so many to choose from it’s near impossible to rank the best waterfalls in Bali. The mountain is situated on the east boundary of Banff National Park in the upper Spray Lakes River Valley. These are, without a doubt, my favorite pants to hike in the Canadian Rockies. The views almost the entire way are absolutely stunning and it’s doesn’t truly get difficult until the end. You should have no problem having some nature to yourself here on this trail. With a distance of 15.8 km and an elevation gain of 1,485 meters Mount Allan is no short hike. It’s also super important to know that there are limitations and to come prepared. This is a very steep trail poorly constructed without any winding sections. A lively mountain creek, waterfalls, and deep blue alpine lakes guarantee a wonderful scramble. Hooker Icefield . I would say if you are even a beginner or moderate hiker you can accomplish this hike. Lastly, a GPS tracker could save your life – it’s one of those backpacking essentials I like to have on me just in case I need to hit SOS. Mount Birdwood is normally clearly visible from the road. Always check the park websites for wildlife information (Parks Canada) and then check again for notices at the trailhead. Most hikers should plan for a middle of the road time with the estimated duration. World Nomads provides good short term coverage. The Birdwood Lakes and surrounding grassy slopes enhance the view. If this is your first time hiking in the Rockies take a conservative approach. No…, Post Summary: Our Happy Campers Iceland Full Review A camper van in Iceland is the key to a successful Ring Road trip. There are few cities in Europe that feel as forward-thinking as the capital of Finland. We live in this beautiful area of the world and want to make sure you have an epic time in the wilderness. I can’t even lie, one of the main reasons this Kananaskis hike was so high on my list was because of the gorgeous photos I saw. We saw a few children climbing to the saddle and many dogs. As always while hiking, you need to stay alert, travel in a group, mind children and pets, and finally carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it. Smutwood Peak is high in elevation. North-northwest are, from left to right, Birdwood Pass, 3097-m (10,158-ft) Mt. Jacques Range. After this part the trail to … World Nomads provides good short term coverage, Hiking Wasootch Ridge in Kananaskis Country, The Best Travel Backpacks For Europe & Abroad, Best Travel Water Bottle To Carry On Your Next Trip, Best Travel Towels For Backpacking Around The World, 20 Banff Travel Tips To Know Before You Go, Buying a Car in South Africa and Being Undesirable, How To Hike The Windtower Summit in Kananaskis Country, 15 Reasons To Visit Helsinki And Stay Forever. (23). The meadow and valley is prime grizzly habitat and the trail has been closed in the past due to bear activity. We love getting to off the beaten path destinations and aren’t afraid to go it alone. About 3 km into the hike, with about 50 m elevation gain, you’ll come across Commonwealth Creek and a small rushing waterfall. The worst part about the second cliff band is the entry, which requires traversing an exposed, shallow rocky ledge to gain a broad chimney on the climber’s right (shown in photos 12 and 13). The most basic principle of what to wear hiking is layering. 14 Amazing Bali Waterfalls You Need to Check Out, 27 Important Iceland Camping Tips You Should Know. Birdwood while looking south and west of the Robertson Glacier, sits Mt. Mount Birdwood is the stark mountain you’ll see to your left as you keep climbing. You’re through the deep woods during these times, and it’s prime time to sneak up on a bear. Smutwood Peak Scramble Map Do you love Road Biking? The group rests at Burstall Pass before taking the official trail down to Mud Lake. From the two lakes to the true summit took our group between 45 minutes to one hour. For example, the If you want to learn more about what to wear hiking we have a great post. You don’t want to fall, it wouldn’t be certain death, but you’ll definitely get roughed up. first chunk is a bit boring but after your reach the big Boulder it is a steady and constant climb up. You can also check out the best hiking pants for women and the best hiking pants for men. The six stations were Oakbank, Woodside, Charleston, Mount Torrens, Birdwood, and Mount Pleasant. Almost everyone else we saw hiking turned around at the saddle. Lake O'Hara Alpine Circuit. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports. The Birdwood … We made the quick decision to summit Mount Allan, a popular hike in Kananaskis, but a long day with significant elevation gain. And for this trip, still shrouded in mystery as we only made it to the first Birdwood Lake (Lower). You can easily start off cool at the base of the mountain and get hot as soon as you begin moving. Looking north are three peaks – Commonwealth Peak, Pig’s Tail (Shark’s Tooth) and Mt. You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. The view from the false summit is great of Birdwood, but continue on to the true summit for 360 views. The hike is about 11 miles and gains over 3,100 feet of elevation, so it can be quite … North of the pass is Snow Peak. This is particularly important around blind bends and corners. The distance is slightly longer from this direction but the road condition is better. With a wide variety of terrain ranging from larch forests, meadows lush with wildflowers, scree slopes, and narrow and exposed ridges, this hike has a little bit of something for everyone. On the north side of the valley is Snow Peak, Mt Birdwood, Pig’s Tail and Commonwealth Peak. Keep pushing for the summit and enjoy the views. This is not the mountain you are attempting to summit. You’ll pass a cool waterfall and once you get into the alpine meadow the views are amazing. --Charles Lamb, Routes The view of Mount Birdwood is the reason that this hike isn't only one of the best hikes around Canmore and Kananaskis Country but makes it to the top of my list of the best day hikes in the Canadian Rockies. The If you want to find us, head to the nearest coffee shop or check back here! Dinah stands at the col between the false and true summits. We’ve put together our favorite packing list items for the Canadian Rockies. It is a moderately trafficked trail, but bear sightings have occurred. Mount Birdwood Routes : SummitPost.org : Climbing, hiking, mountaineering Seriously it could save your life in a bad situation. We had a pretty fast group. Mount Birdwood is a 3,097-metre (10,161-foot) summit in the Spray Mountains range of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Canada. For long hikes, set a turn around time at the departure. Burstall Pass is a classic hike in Kananaskis Country and off Smith Dorrien Trail. It shows the correct trail way, elevation, and other hiker reviews. The spectacular Mt. We wear our bear sprays on our hip. While Smutwood Peak is the destination, Mount Birdwood is the star attraction, with its imposing ridges and sharp summit. Smutwood Peak – An unforgettable night hike We set our alarms for midnight, and aimed for a 2am start at the trailhead. Before any hike or walk-in the Canadian Rockies, you need to have bear spray. Here is a closer look at the northwest ridge of Mount Birdwood. Down jackets pack up light and small so there is no reason NOT to have one in your bag. Notify me of new posts by email. Mount Birdwood is for climbers only. Distance 14.6 km return, height gain 497 m, moderate Two blue-green lakes in superb alpine country. Descending down from Smutwood Peak in the morning light The route down will … Jacques Range . However compared to other scrambles and hikes in Banff and Kananaskis it is not that bad. Mount Birdwood towers above Lower Birdwood Lake in this view from the col. You’ll even be able to see Tent Ridge if you look hard enough. The island of the Gods has been blessed with an abundance of waterfalls and…, Post Summary: Iceland camping tips you’ll want to know before you go! Seasoned teenage hikers could definitely scramble of Smutwood Peak. The trailhead is is located at the first left after the bridge past Engandine Lodge in Kananaskis. Carl negotiates the final ledge after the snow bank, with Mount Birdwood towering above. The real challenge was continuing on to summit Smutwood Peak. Leave a comment Cancel reply. Best $2.50 (per month) ever spent! Here’s how our hike last August went. Scrambling Smutwood Peak offers spectacular views of the two jagged mountains from which it derives its name: Mount Smuts and Birdwood. Smutwood Peak is a 17.9km (11.1 miles) hike with an elevation gain of 961 meters. If you’re exceptionally fast you might be able to reach the summit by 5 am. This, to me, was the most difficult part. the last little bit to the peak turns into more of a climb than a hike, so my best advice is to really be careful to stay on the path. SafetyWing is perfect for digital nomads. This scenic hike takes about 6 hours and comes with gorgeous views of Mount Birdwood from the summit. Dinah and Bob follow a partially buried trail up the final ridge. After about an hour of hiking you get into the high alpine. Birdwood is a very mixed bunch of rocks. Kaptain Kananaskis lead his montly crew from the wrong starting point. The likeliness of seeing wildlife on this trail is high. While these photos look amazing you would be taking a risk to get them. Pick an adequate hike for your fitness, plan for plenty of time, pack water and food, and don’t be afraid to turn around. Weekends would be a bit busier, but nothing crazy like around Lake Louise. It took most of our group about six hours out and back, but some members took about nine hours. Length12.3 miElevation gain3257 ftRoute typePoint to Point This is has been one of our favorite additions to our camera equipment and hiking outfit. The standout peaks include Sir Douglas to the south, Talon Peak to the west and Assiniboine to the northwest. Birdwood. We tackled Smutwood Peak early August and had absolutely perfect weather. We hope to inspire other independent travelers and provide the resources to do so. They kept me warm throughout this entire hike and are windproof. They all a potential threat to humans and we should reduce our impact on their natural lives. 742 (Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail). Don’t mind the whistling marmots. It's hard to imagine a more magnificent viewpoint for the Burstall/Palliser Pass area than this one. Always practice wildlife awareness when you’re on a trail, and please give animals space. Both Cameron and I have Fjallraven’s well known Keb pants. I’m happy there wasn’t a loose dog around. The Birdwood Traverse is a Kananaskis legend. © 2006-2020 SummitPost.org. Make sure to keep your dogs on a leash as there are plenty of bears around. We had a large group of 10 and were hiking at a good pace. 17.9Km ( 11.1 miles ) hike with an elevation gain flanks of the 'Aconcagua group ' and the Spray range! Height gain 497 m, moderate two blue-green lakes in superb alpine country the Creek SW the. Are plenty of bears around to follow the Creek SW to the west, on. Flanking Robertson Glacier, sits Mt sure to keep your dogs on a leash there. To keep your dogs on a bear known to stroll through town and busy parking.! Meadow surrounded by Commonwealth Peak, Pig’s Tail ( Shark’s Tooth ) and Mt Smuts to the 6km. 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Amazing you would be taking a risk to get in well over your head with life-threatening consequences and back but. The route gets a bit scrambly and slightly expose reason not to have bear Spray beginner moderate. A distance of 15.8 km and an elevation gain and Birdwood near the saddle of this Kananaskis is! We had a large group long day with significant elevation gain usually end up when... Your right located at the trailhead to get to the northwest long hikes, set turn! Peak early August and had absolutely perfect weather from which it derives name... Cliffs of Mount Burstall to summit Lower Birdwood Lake in this beautiful area of the lakes. Insurance and neither should you Rent one the resources to Do so me, was most!