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Mount Lady Macdonald


  • Mount Lady Macdonald



  • July 4, 2024



  • Ed, Saskia, Erin, Peter, Carolyn, Gerard



  • located in Canmore at the roundabout for Cougar Creek at 500 Benchlands Trail
  • from the parking lot, head up the creekbed on the left-hand side, go past the first turn, and wait for the turn just before the metal gates across the creek
  • the trail will quickly become steep, which means you are on the right trail
  • at the rocky section, the trail steepens even more, and the trail becomes braided, but look for orange markings on the trees
  • after the rocky section you can take a path to the right or left and either one gets you beyond the treeline to the first ridge which becomes more gentle



Degree of difficulty:

  • 915 meters of elevation gain to the former helicopter pad and 1200 meters to the summit
  • 8.6 km return to the heli-pad and 11 km to the summit
  • the trail is steep most of the way
  • the stretch from the former helicopter pad to the first bump on the ridge isn’t too bad but along the ridge is exposed and narrow
  • the hike took us four and a half hours



Interesting notes

  • the hike offers sweeping views of the entire Bow Valley mountain ranges
  • at the ridge, look for Bighorn Sheep on the backside
  • the heli-pad was built in the mid 80’s to support a teahouse project that was to be accessed by helicopter, but the project folded in 2002
  • the name Lady Macdonald came about in 1886 as Sir John A. Macdonald’s wife, Lady Susan Agnes Macdonald, insisted on riding on the cowcatcher to enjoy the views from the train on a trip west to Vancouver


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