5 to 6 hours / 11.5K return
Park at the Chateau Lake Louise parking lot at Lake Louise.
Trail head is located on the west side of the parking lot towards Lake Louise. Banff National Park.
Description: Follow the
well worn Saddleback trail as it slowly gains
elevation through and old growth
forest leading towards Saddleback
Junction and Fairview Mountain. As
you gain elevation, the views of the Bow
Valley below you will refresh your
The trail then crosses a few
avalanche slopes before entering the
lower meadows below the Saddleback.
Work your way up the scenic switchbacks
over the headwall
to Saddleback Junction. From here
you can continue on to Fairview
Mountain or drop down Sheol Valley
Valley. Fairview Mountain
will be in clear view, to your right.
It's a lot higher then it looks from
the junction and is a good example
of false summits, expect another
of elevation. Follow the trail
leading towards the bottom of Mount
Fairview. Once you're on the scree,
the trail starts to braid in several
places due to hikers wearing poor footware. Stay on worn sections or choose a safe route
to the top keeping in mind you need
to descend the same way, more on
that further down. Once you arrive
at the summit, you'll be rewarded
with stunning views of
Mount Temple, Haddo Peak, Mount Aberdeen, Mount
Lake Louise and
the Bow Valley. You'll also find a metal plaque bolted to a large boulder
warning you to return the same way down the Saddleback trail. Take this sign
seriously, several hikers have tried to shortcut the route by descending the
Northeast ridge, only to find themselves stranded above high cliffs and awaiting
a rescue the next day. Mount Fairview holds it snow well into July.
Mountaineering experience is necessary early season. Expect to see crowds of
people here during the summer months.
Local campgrounds include
Castle Mountain and
Plain of Six
Larch Valley & Sentinel Pass,
Lake Agnes, Mount Temple,
located near here.
You are in bear country.