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Burstall Pass Trail is a 10.2 mile heavily 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.

Length 10.2 mi Elevation gain 2,188 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (0)

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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (304)
Photos (353)
Recordings (209)
Completed (677)
Rebecca Fishman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely beautiful trail in great condition. On a hot day the water that you need to traverse is really refreshing! Be warned, there were tons of bugs all along the trail. More than we’ve encountered all summer.

Robert Cyr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

You will get your shoes wet

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Isobel Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

This is a really beautiful trail. It was really quiet for a summer Saturday - starting out early morning really pays off. Waterproof shoes are a must for the river crossings and hiking poles definitely help. Watch out for the several signs in the clearing where the river crossings are to help guide you.

Taylor Groulx
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingBugs
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Adrienne Marcotte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 22, 2020
BackpackingBugs

AllTrails map is inaccurate, the recorded trail is the one on the ground. I started recording from the pinnacle of the day hike (I forgot to start on the trail head)

View Adrienne's Recording
Casey Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

Another perfect day on Burstall. Just a little snow left at the top. Lots of people on the trail but that is to be expected on a nice day like today!! Highly recommended!

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Dani Smerek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
BackpackingBugs
View Dani's Recording
Brittany Byrne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

Did this one yesterday...Great hike! When you first start the trail make sure you stay right when the paved path stays left... we accidentally went left first and had to turn around. Once you get to the clearing there’s a bunch of streams you have to cross and some are wide and deep I’d recommend extra socks. It’s also chilly and windy at the top so prepare for that. We were warned about a grizzly but didn’t have any encounters.

Anisha Heisler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 16, 2020
HikingSnow

Good trail, but as we were ascending the last part (the actual pass) a couple hikers came down and told us they had seen a grizzly. I was with an inexperienced hiker and she didn’t feel comfortable finishing the hike. We still got good views, but the pass would’ve probably had better views. After you pass the first tree line you enter a marsh, and water shoes would be recommended (or water proof boots), I ended up piggy backing my friend through a couple deep parts haha. Also once in the marsh go left, and you should be able to find signs to get you back on the path up! Overall still a gorgeous hike, not too hard for beginners. Only rated it a 3 because I didn’t finish!

Jennifer B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 15, 2020
HikingIcyMuddySnow

We were there July 10 2020. Couldn’t hike Chester / Headwall due to a bear closure, so we hopped over the road to Burstall which is fun, a good workout and still gives some spectacular views. Snow on the trail above the meadow the whole way to Lemon Lake viewpoint, but do-able on this date. Take poles as the snow changes conditions throughout the day and will be increasingly unstable as it melts.

Murray Cotton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Good hike not really steep and any spot in the trail. View okay at the top but not the most spectacular views in Kananaskis given the effort and time required. It was annoying crossing the meadow up behind Burstall Lakes. No real path to following through all the water where the creek split into several streams that meanders all over the place so be prepared to get wet feet or take "water shoes / sandals" to change into to "ford" the many stream crossing you'll be forced to navigate. Quite a lot of snow on the trail near the top so poles will help but that will all melt in a week or two.

Michelle Kilty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020
HikingMuddySnow
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AJ Mears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
HikingIcyMuddySnow
View AJ's Recording
Valérie Robert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 8, 2020
HikingBugsMuddySnow

Awesome trail relaxing and lots of view points along the way. Patches of snow along the way.

View Valérie's Recording
Shelley Fancy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous!! Beautiful meadows full of wildflowers but the view from the peaks are amazing. Definitely one of my favourites in k country

JIM WASHBROOK
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2020

Awesome of course. lots of snow from the last valley up to the pass but very manageable. And easy sliding down. When in the flats, stand tall and look for the signs. Otherwise wander thru the icy water like I did. The pass was full of snow so didn't make it to the viewpoint. Could have gone up snow peak but the rain and wind and storm clouds looked formidable.

Michelle Morgan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 29, 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Awesome hike! Completed June 27th, some snowy/muddy spots as you get further in but hiking boots worked just fine. Beware of the multiple creek crossings, waterproof footwear or sandals a must. Just follow the arrows on the signs in the creek area, you’ll find the trail back into the woods easily, even though the trail appears to be under water in some spots! Incredible first hike of the season, we clocked approx 15km total, but managed it in about 5 hours as it’s mostly flat ground and gorgeous views, no crazy elevation changes, my small breed dog managed very well!

Rose Castillo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 5, 2020
HikingSnow

Truly impassable in just hiking boots May 30, ie you’re not getting past the 1st km. Significant snow pack (3-4m) in many places. Snow was very soft on my way back at around noon (with snowshoes). I suspect that the trail will no longer be able to support snowshoes this weekend (June 6-7) unless you’re starting before 5am (maybe) and will definitely still be a no-go with hiking boots. Would not attempt until June 13 in boots at the earliest and be prepared to hike through snow. If you are just coming in hiking boots DO NOT waste your time right now. Come back in 2-3 weeks. Saw so many people come back to the parking lot after about 10 minutes. If you’re planning to bike the first few kilometres, I’d wait until the end of June to be safe. Seems like it could be pretty squishy when the snow melts. If you plan to hike this trail in June yet, be smart about your start time. The creeks really swell up later in the day. Even though I finished around 13:00 the creeks were significantly higher and ripping pretty good compared to my ascent. Not a hike you want to start late (ie past 9:00) in June. If it’s a cooler day at the tail end of June you might be fine. However, I really would exercise caution, especially if you’re not a very seasoned hiker. I’ve seen a lot of accidents in past seasons with “unexpected” high water later in the day, and Alberta parks has been pretty clear about not wanting to divert healthcare resources at this time.

Kyle M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 16, 2020
HikingSnow

Skied the French Haig Robertson Traverse May 16 which includes skiing from west of Burstall Lakes to the Burstall Trailhead. There is tons of snow! Skis or snowshoes critical, don’t walk up in the morning without them and expect the snow to support you on the way back after the days warmth. Feel free to follow me on IG for local outdoor shenanigans and conditions www.instagram.com/kylescoronalife

Kien Goh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 23, 2020
SnowshoeingSnow

Doable this time of the year (Mar 23). Some route finding in the trees. I made it half way up the pass when it started snowing. Decided to turn back since I can’t see where I’m going. And all the snow up the pass looked ominous. Fun day out!

View Kien's Recording
Mallory Kosterski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 22, 2020
Cross Country Skiing

BACKCOUNTRY cross country ski trail. Past the meadow you will be in Class 2, Avalanche Terrain. People have been injured and died skiing in this area. In WINTER conditions (that includes late fall / early spring) this trail is considered BACKCOUNTRY and AVALANCHE HAZARD exists. Read about terrain classification here: https://www.albertaparks.ca/media/2939773/atr_ates.pdf 1. Get the Gear 2. Get the Training 3. Get the Practice 4. Get the Forecast: Avalanche forecast for Kananaskis here: https://www.avalanche.ca/forecasts/kananaskis

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