Mt. Yamnuska
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Mt. Yamnuska - Canmore Bow Valley

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Trails on the front slopes of Yamnuska, trailhead is a bit further to the east of picture

W - West  E- East

S - Awesome scree run

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Backside of Yamnuska from the West

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Scrambling from the East side, here is looking back at the crux downclimb of 5m, not far from the summit

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Victoria and Al on the summit about to enjoy a hot cup of java!

Mt. Yamnuska – Canmore Bow Valley

Scramble: From West Side Class 1 – Steep Hiking

From East Side Class 2 – Steep Hiking, Use of Hands on

difficult downclimb of 5 metres

Altitude: 2,240m (7,347 ft)

Elevation Gain: 900m (2,952 ft)

Ascent Time: 2 – 3 Hours

Best Season to Scramble: July to October


This scramble because of its easterly location often escapes much of the snowy weather that Banff and Lake Louise get. It’s the first mountain on your right as you come into the Rockies from Calgary on the Trans Canada highway. The scree runs are just the best! It can be scrambled much earlier than July, but if you do, you must be aware of "tick" season. May and June are the months where "ticks" are most active so you must learn about them and take proper precautions.

Getting There

Head west out of Calgary on the TransCanada highway # 1 to the Seebe turnoff (approx 63.5km from the Canada Olympic Park intersection to the Seebe turnoff), head north for 4.2 km to the old 1A, you’ll be looking right at the steep southern face of Yamnuska. At the intersection of the old 1A hightway head right (you’ll be travelling east) for approx 2.0 km and then just past a corner on the 1A take a left turn and follow a gravel road to the newly developed parking lot.

Route Description

From the gravel parking spot take either the road or the trail from the information board for one minute until you come to the trailhead where there is a climber sign-in box. From here follow the broad trail for about 15 minutes up a steep section to a sign post. The sign post has an arrow for horses to head right but go straight on through. After another 10 minutes up the trail you will see the steep trail to your right for those who wish to go to the East side and do the traverse from East to West. Another 5 minutes past this point is another trail to the right which switchbacks up to the middle face of Yamnuska, then traverses along the face to the West side.

East to West Traverse – follow the first steep trail mentioned up to the East shoulder of Yamnuska. Once you reach the East shoulder a panorama of the North side of the mountain unfolds, a good spot to catch your breath and have a snack. The proper trail then drops down a bit to go around the rock buttresses and from here you can see the backside of the mountain proper. There is more than one trail but the best way is to go higher as soon as possible and traverse along the upper part of the mountain. Just a short distance from the summit you encounter the crux which is a short steep downclimb of 5 metres.

West Side – Taking the second right hand trail which switch backs up to the centre of the face then has a pleasant traverse to the West shoulder of the mountain. Once you are on the backside of the mountain it is steep hiking to the top.

Either way, it’s better to come back the West side and take one of the longest scree runs in the Rockies as noted on the pictures. Enjoy!