Burstall Pass Trail

MODERATE 97 reviews

Burstall Pass Trail is a 16.4 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kananaskis Improvement, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
16.4 km
ELEVATION GAIN
667 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

The trail begins on a wide, gently-sloped former logging road that takes you past Burstall lakes. After the lakes, the trail is reduced to a single track. The trail crosses several creeks, which may be difficult to cross early in the season. Sandals for creek-crossings are recommended if you will be visiting June-July. During the fall, the larches are on full display as they turn bright yellow. The view at the pass offers a beautiful look at the surrounding forest, and views of Banff National Park. 2018: The trail was temporarily closed due to bear activity. The trail has since been reopened, but you can refer to Alberta Parks advisories for closure information.

1 month ago

Great hike we went on a very hot day so there was lots of run off on the hike out.

3 months ago

Great trail with beautiful views. Spikes strongly recommended this time of year. Snowshoes are helpful near the end of the trail as it becomes less packed.

hiking
3 months ago

Glad I brought my snowshoes along for this one!

4 months ago

Amazing hike, beautiful scenery. Lots of wildlife footprints which made it even more lovely.

4 months ago

Easy hike. Great views for the effort put in.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Accessible for all levels. Follow trail signs from Burstall Pass parking lot. I would highly recommend you do it in the fall (I did it September 30). The larches are so beautiful. Explore the area at the end of the trail a bit, if you can. The views change quickly depending on where you’re at. If you’re into trail running this hike would work well. There are rocks which makes hiking boots nice, but runners would suffice.

5 months ago

Was planning to do this long weekend, but just saw a post that this is now closed due to a grizzly. Double check before you go. Sounds like he may have roughed up a hiker while protecting his food.

hiking
5 months ago

Fantastic hike, it is worth all the effort!

5 months ago

This trail leads to incredible views. It has some climbing sections but not onerous. Worth the effort.

6 months ago

My go to hike when i don’t have a lot of time. Views from the top of the pass are nice and a Bit of exploration is possible... looks even better in the winter!

hiking
6 months ago

This is a great hike and I definitely would recommend! The first trail to the valley is pretty flat and covered and great for biking. It’s more of a long walk then a hike at this point.

Once you get to the open valley it gets a little tricky trying to follow the trail signs to the other side. I recommend downloading a copy of AllTrails map to help you through as that’s the only way we made it. The valley gives incredible views of the mountains but be warned there is ALOT of water to walk through and many heavy streams to jump so wear water proof shoes. Especially right now it is very wet.

The next section of the hike is a steady uphill climb to the top. This is covered so not a lot of worry with the sun but lots of bugs as motivation to keep moving. Bring that bug spray! Once you get to the top it is a lot better so it’s worth it going quick! The top gives an amazing view of the valley and the ridge. There are a few more hikes that branch off from the top however any camping or trail riding require permits for Banff National Parks.

I would say this is a great moderate hike for any experienced or “getting back into it” hiker. I would definitely recommend going early and bringing your family or pets. Also I think his would be amazing in the fall with the larches! Round trip 4.5 hours with stopping for lunch.

hiking
6 months ago

Absolutely stunning valley. I did this hike with my dad in October 2017 and it was beautiful with yellow larches scattering the surrounding mountains. Highly recommended for anyone who loves the mountains but doesn't love heights.

hiking
6 months ago

This is what I would call the perfect classic hike. It offers a bit of everything from a few lakes in the beginning to a creek with waterfalls, interesting varying terrain, a bit of minor route finding as you cross the flood plains/marsh land (there is poles with markers but hard to see - cross this area diagonally heading left - and some water shoes or sandals would be helpful some of the creeks are a little wide but very easy to cross) it also offers some challenging spots and plenty of flat beautiful meadows to rest up before the next push with insane views of fairly aggressive peaks at the top, and they’re so close, lastly even a glacier to view at the top. Do this hike. It took us 5.5 hours with lunch and breaks and picture stops. If you use the AllTrails map it will take you about a kilometre past your destination point. You know when you are at the top - stop there, if you continue on past the sign that says your entering Banff Park as the map says to do, it takes you to a little ridge that is nowhere near as spectacular as the views you just passed.. This trail continues on to Leman Lake in Banff if you want to extend. We ended up following the map and added some time and km to our day that was unnecessary. Our day was 18.1 km with 541 elevation gain. I’d rate this trail moderate for a hiker with some practice and of normal fitness and moderate difficult for someone new or less fit but everyone can do it and should. Just take your time. Its very worth it. Join us on Facebook at Hike Alberta to see pics and get info on all Alberta Hikes, and hike.alberta on instagram

6 months ago

Really great hike. The views are insane!! One of my best hikes ever!

6 months ago

Hiked this in the fall four years ago. Beautiful and quiet at that time of year.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with good views up in the pass. The first few kms are fairly boring as you walk along the old road. As you ascend out of the forest you get great views of surrounding mountain ranges. We carried on over the pass to get a view of leman lake on the other side. You descend very quickly and it is a steep climb coming back up. The bugs were horrible, bring spray!! Busy hike so recommend starting early. It’s still fairly wet in the meadow but you are able to get through without getting your feet wet with some strategic jumps and route taking.

6 months ago

an easy hike and good view at the pass

7 months ago

Beautiful hike would do it again. Amazing views once out of the trees. Bug spray is a must!

7 months ago

Solid hike with beautiful views at the top of Mount Assiniboine and Kananaskis. Took us 5 hours with a solid lunch break at the top. Trail was well marked and easy to follow. Didn’t need poles or flip flops at all, but bug spray was super necessary.

hiking
7 months ago

One of my favourite hikes. Not at all difficult and BEAUTIFUL views!

hiking
7 months ago

Excellent views ... follow the hiking trail signs, NOT the fire road ... bring water shoes & bug spray (I’ve never seen bugs like this in AB) ... views are incredible & worth it at the top!

7 months ago

Pretty good hike. Beautiful view at the top.

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome hike! Can’t wait to do it again

7 months ago

Great hike! don't forget bug spray. Good idea to bring flip flops to get through the flood plains. Today the trail wasn't too muddy but still snow to hike through toward the top. Beautiful views!

hiking
8 months ago

I absolutely love this hike. The views are breath-taking!

8 months ago

An absolutely gorgeous day for a gorgeous hike. The trail was a little muddy & snowy in spots, but the hike up to the meadow was absolutely amazing! Lots of creek hopping! Unfortunately couldn’t go the last 3 km further due to the snow, but will definitely be back to try it again late summer/early Fall as recommended by other reviewers

hiking
9 months ago

Heavy snow on the trail now. Lots of sinking. Very few dry spots. Still a glorious view at the lake. WIll be back later in summer to see the rest.

hiking
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Sep 20 // great variety of trail, beautiful larch trees in autumn. Wish it wasn't a snowy and low visibility day, even the slight views we had were beautiful. Will be back to scramble Snow Peak!

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Amazing views!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Muddy trail, off and on sleet. The first few kilometres of the trail are rather boring but the side trail to the lake breaks it up and is beautiful.

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