Hike to Little Arethusa

Rate this Adventure Canada Little Arethusa Trailhead

Added by James Hueser

This is a really nice through first-rate larches that should only take about 3 hours.

Unfortunately, pictures of larches in autumn never actually do them justice. It's worth it to go out and experience them for yourself. This hike is pretty scenic for the short distance it is, but my favourite part is that you get to be up close and personal with the larches as the forest is bathed in their golden light.

The trailhead is 1.3 km (0.8 miles) south of the Highwood Pass parking lot where there's a grassy area on the east side of the highway where you can park. The trail starts near the north end of that area. You'll be walking on the south side of the creek and eventually walk past a waterfall. This is a good time to start scoping out places to cross the creek - the base of the waterfall could be an option if it's not too slippery, but some other options are a bit further on where the creek narrows a bit. You need to cross the creek and then head north, otherwise you'd be following the trail all the way to Arethusa Cirque.

After crossing the creek, the trail becomes a bit sparse, but when in doubt just keep heading north/northwest. You'll come out of the treeline on a sloped meadow - keep heading up the slope and you'll be engulfed in the forest full of larches. It's straight up nature induced adoration.

Once through the larches, you just need to manage your way up a little rock rib and the summit push will be right in front of you. A couple of trails head up the mountain - one in the centre and one along the east ridge. I recommend the east ridge since you're right on a cliff face and get some pretty neat views of the cirque and valley.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking poles
  • Appropriate clothing and layers
  • Water and snacks
  • Camera
  • Bear spray
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:




Trail Type:



2.8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2034.1 Feet


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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Added by James Hueser

On weekdays I'm a hydrogeologist for a contaminated sites group which involves a ton of fieldwork throughout the spring, summer, and fall, but leaves most of my weekends to get out to (and hopefully on top of) the Rockies. I'm originally from Saskatchewan, so I've become rather obsessed with bagging peaks ever since I moved to Calgary in 2014.

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