Mt Allan
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Mt Allan Centennial Ridge Trail - Nakiska Ski Area

You ascend the ridge from left to right. "W" is where the wind speed equipment is located.

"S" is the summit of Mt Allan

Approximate route to bypass the rock prominence on the right hand side

Looking back from the summit on the long ridge traverse

Victoria on the summit with Mt Bogart behind in the distance

Allan and Victoria on the summit with Mt Lougheed behind

Mt Allan Centennial Ridge Trail

Scramble: Class 2 – Steep Hiking

Altitude: 2,819 m (9,246 ft)

Ascent Time: 3 ½ to 4 ½ Hours - 13.8km round trip

Elevation Gain: approx. 1,350 m (4,428 ft)

Best Season to Scramble: August to September (once the bugs are gone)

Highlights

This scramble is a toughie but on a clear windless fall day it is would be very enjoyable especially after a season of scrambling on your legs hence my recommendation for an August/September scramble. If it is a windy day don’t bother as you will be unlikely to make it across the upper ridges due to wind velocity. It’s a wind tunnel up there, believe me I tried. I would also avoid this scramble in the bug season like May, June and July. I finally made this summit in early July but it was not that enjoyable swatting mosquito’s and biting black flies all the way up and down. The slopes are quite grassy almost up to the summit and can be a bug haven. You get the picture, eh! But on a clear fall day with little wind it would be very enjoyable.

Getting There

Head west out of Calgary on the TransCanada highway # 1 for 79km (49.4 miles) and take the Kananaskis Country Highway 40 turnoff and head south. If your base is Banff head east on the TransCanada for 52 km (32.5 miles) and turn south on route as above. Drive south for 23.0 km (14.4 miles) and turn right at the Kananaskis Village/ Ribbon Creek/ Nakiska ski area turnoff. Half a kilometer down this road take a left then a right into the Ribbon Creek day use area. It’s the next parking lot past the Ribbon Creek Hostel.

Route Description

The trail starts at the NE corner of the Ribbon Creek day use area. Head north on the trail for approx 10-15 minutes and arrive at a trailhead sign for Mount Allan Centennial Ridge Trail that indicates a left turn. There a couple of trail signs along the way just follow the directions and they will take you up to tree line. Once at tree line the way is obvious. The trail is steep, the switchbacks fairly short but the views are increasingly great. Once you arrive near the top of the shoulder there is a rocky prominence which is surmounted on a steep trail to the right taking you to the high ridge which has the wind speed equipment on it. From here it’s still a long way to go but 85% of the elevation is done. From the ridge with the wind speed equipment you have to lose a bit of elevation as the ridge turns north, dips 150-200 ft and takes you past some strange looking rock formations before taking you up another say 500 ft to the summit of Mt Allan.