Mist Mountain
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Mist Mountain - Highwood Pass Area

A beautiful alpine valley, head left at the col into the Mist Mtn bowl

From the alpine valley col this is the view of the Mist Mtn bowl

Perhaps a third of the way into the bowl this slope is on your right

leading up to a subsidiary summit of Mist Mtn

View from the subsidiary summit, the true summit is just behind the point

The last traverse to the summit!

Mist Mountain – Highwood Pass Area

Mist Mountain

Scramble: Class 1 – Steep Hiking, Some Use of Hands

Altitude: 3,140m (10,300 ft)

Ascent Time: 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 Hours

Elevation Gain: approx. 1,330m (4,362 ft)

Best Season to Scramble: July to September


This scramble has a little bit of everything, a beautiful alpine valley, a rocky high alpine bowl, increasingly scenic views, nice traverses and great views from the summit. As with all Highwood scrambles, bears frequent the area, so hike in a group and make lots of noise when hiking. You can also check with the Barrier Lake Information Centre on highway 40 as to any bear warnings.


This route is the easiest one up Mist Mountain and is found in Tony and Gillean Daffern’s Kananaskis Trail Guide book. The routes mentioned in Alan Kane’s book are much more difficult and require careful route finding experience.

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 69.5km (43.4 miles) to the Highwood Pass (Meadows) parking lot. Toilets here. From here continue on for 13.2km (8.25miles) down from the pass, the highway will curve east, park on the left side of the road, there should be a wide open grassy area here. Up along the tree line is an old road entrance marked by a boulder and perhaps a survey marker. This overgrown road leads to both Mt Lipsett and the valley to access Mist Mtn. Be careful turning around on the road if you are coming from the Highwood Pass.

Route Description

Head up to the boulder and entrance to the old road, continue for a few minutes up the road to where it forks to the right. Take the road to the right. The left direction would lead to the Mt. Lipsett hike. After heading right in a few minutes you will come to a stream, cross this and you will be heading east parallel to the highway. This old road is extremely overgrown. You are basically wading through trees and bush along this section especially as you get closer to the left hand turn onto a narrow footpath. Watch for an orange survey ribbon on the left side of the road which marks this narrow footpath. This footpath will lead you into the alpine valley which goes between Mist Mtn and Nameless Ridge. If you miss this left hand turn and run into another creek that means you have gone too far, backtrack and look for the route again. Once you arrive in the open area of the alpine valley, head straight up to the col and then left into rocky bowl to access the slopes of Mist Mtn. About a third of the way into the bowl a steep slope to your right should be climbed. This slope takes you to a subsidiary summit of Mist. From this point you will see a prominent point as per the picture above and the true summit just behind. Scramble up to this point, then there is a short traverse, and a shorter narrow ridge to access the summit. You can return the same way or drop down into the upper portion of the bowl on a pretty good scree run. You can access the scree run midpoint between the subsidiary summit and the prominent point.