Cory Pass
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Cory Pass Edith Pass Loop - Banff

915m elevation gain to Cory Pass, approx 1,000m elevation gain for the 13km loop

Courtesy of Friends of Banff - Visit their web site here

Fireside Picnic Area for the start of the Cory Pass Edith Pass Loop

Start the trail by heading east from the Fireside Picnic area - be Bear aware as there are some berry bushes along the trail to the turnoff for Cory Pass

Typical early trail

A remnant of the beauty of the original world created in perfection but now corrupted by our sin against the Creator King Jesus

More early trail heading east before the left hand turn to go north to Cory Pass

The junction for Cory Pass heading north, the unrelenting steepness begins with minimal switchbacks

A look back to the junction

There are a number of overlooks to catch your breath as the scenery opens up a bit

Look back at Mt Rundle

More steep trail straight up. Cory Pass is for very fit hikers!

The trail looks like it should go straight here but it actually goes back to the left

Approaching the big overlook

At the big overlook where the trail becomes a little more gradual up to the pass in the distance. One big Gendarme yet to come though

Start of the big Gendarme, trail moves up and to the right

Another view of Cory Pass from the big Gendarme

Carefully descending down the Cory Pass side of the big Gendarme. Careful route finding needed here for safe descent

Looking back at the descent off the big Gendarme

Once you are safely down the big Gendarme you are greeted with this trail sign. Trail continues in a long gradual traverse along the west slopes of Mt Edith up to Cory Pass

Looking back from along the traverse

Almost there!

Cory Pass just before the rain comes


Allan A

Our friendly drizzle for the rest of the trip

Mt Louis

Dropping into the Gargoyle valley basin to circle around the north end of Mt Edith

Looking back towards Cory Pass

Around and up to catch the Edith Pass trail

See the small sign

Looking back as we came around and then up to the trail sign

Hiker trail sign and yellow flagging

Rainy wet Edith Pass trail

A long way in the trees, the trail eventually swings west and back to the junction where you went north to Cory Pass. I guess you have to do the loop once but if I ever do Cory Pass again I would return the same way I ascended and skip the loop. Well actually you can scramble Mt Edith just before Cory Pass so a good reason to return.

Cory Pass Edith Pass Loop

Difficult Hike: Class 1 – Steep Hiking, Some Use of Hands on the Gendarme, Some Route Finding, Recommended for Fit Hikers Only

Altitude: 2,350m (7,708 ft)

Elevation Gain: 915m (3,000 ft) to Cory Pass, approx 1,000m elevation gain for the Loop

Ascent Time: 3 - 4 Hours to Cory Pass, the Loop 5 - 6 Hours

Best Season to Scramble: June to September


This difficult hike has great views once you grunt your way up to the big overlook; the traverse, the Pass and Gargoyle Valley basin behind are very scenic.

Getting There

Head west out of Calgary on the TransCanada highway # 1, continue past the town of Banff a few kilometers and take the Bow Valley Parkway turnoff also called the old 1A highway. From this turnoff within .3km take the right hand turnoff for the Fireside Picnic area.

Route Description

Take the footpath heading east from the Fireside Picnic area. Follow this for approx 1km to the junction for Cory Pass. Take a left heading north to Cory Pass. It becomes very steep and strenuous here with minimal switchbacks up to the big overlook. From the big overlook continue on a bit then up and down the Gendarme. From there the grade is easier and you traverse your way along the slopes of Mt Edith up to Cory Pass. From Cory Pass you drop into the Gargoyle valley basin as you skirt around the north end of Mt Edith and then a bit up to the Edith Pass trail and a long hike through the trees back to the junction for Cory Pass then 1 km back to the Fireside Picnic area parking.