Exploring Burstall Pass

Rate this Adventure Canada Burstall Pass Trail

Added by Matt Ford

  • Distance: 9 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1,480 ft.
  • Amazing views of lakes and peaks
  • A great full day hike
  • Fantastic view point with views of glaciers and valleys

Head to the northwest corner of the parking lot to find the trail. For the first 5.5 km the trail is quite easy, with only modest elevation increase. At 5.5 km you will arrive at what is known as the gravel flats. Depending on the time of year the gravel flats can be either quite dry or a wide, shallow river.

You can stop here, or do a bit of route finding to get to the trail on the other side of Burstall Creek. If you decide to wade through the water bring an extra pair of socks or take off your shoes!

Once you find the trail, which is marked by signs throughout the wide creek bed, the trail starts to gain elevation a bit quicker than the first section of the hike. From the gravel flats to the summit it's only about another hour to hour and a half.

Enjoy the view from the summit of the pass and consider having lunch there, the views will not disappoint!

To get to the trailhead, drive west on Hwy 1 out of Calgary for 86km. Take exit 98 onto Three Sisters Pkwy and follow as it quickly turns into Smith Dorrien Trail or Hwy 742, which you follow 48km until you reach the trailhead.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Food
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra layers, depending on season.
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn



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Added by Matt Ford

Adventure sports and lifestyle photographer. Always up for a climb or ski. Based in the foothills of the Rockies.

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