Castle Mountain Lookout Trail is a 6.4 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Castle Junction, Alberta, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers 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
6.4 km
ELEVATION GAIN
558 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

hiking
4 days ago

Nov 10 2018 - beautiful views of the mountains while hiking the ridge and a larger 270 degree view at the trail end.
You can hike the trail with good hiking boots, but snow cleats would make some spots easier. Can be windy at the top as its an open area.
No washrooms on site.
Minimal hikers for a Saturday afternoon.

11 days ago

I’ve hiked up to mountain summits, but I promise you nothing will take your breath away quite like walking through those trees to the lookout point. This is a great hike, it’s quick and challenging. Gaining elevation practically the whole way up. Hikes this nov 4, 2018 and the path is fairly clear. Only a small amount of snow closer to the top. Definitely do not need winter boots or crampons to do this one...yet.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike, I really enjoyed seeing the 7 or so various mushroom types growing in the mossy dank initial ascent of the hike. My girlfriend, pups & I really enjoyed the hike, beautiful panoramic views of a large portion the Banff N.P.

Aaron B.

2 months ago

The whole way you can here thehighway, view of construction..

hiking
2 months ago

This trip was hampered by the smoke from the BC wildfires, so being totally fair the reward at the top is probably usually a lot better! I would do this hike again as a prep for bigger summit hikes. It was definitely tough. I think the only reason this trail gets rated as “moderate” is because of the length, but it’s a hard work out. The first kilometre or so is very steep. It does ease off a bit through the middle portion and then finishes off with a series of switchbacks. We ran into quite a few people on this trail and I don’t think most of them were expecting such a tough hike, but it looked like everyone stuck it out to the top!

We did this hike with our two dogs. It was definitely doable, but a couple of notes.... The middle section is mostly loose rock, which was a bit tougher for the dogs (mostly on the way down). The upper section is dirt but a very narrow trail which I found a little challenging with two on leash dogs, even with 10 ft leashes. With a single dog I think it would be totally fine, but two dogs attached to one person requires a bit of experimentation. There was also one section in the switchbacks where I opted to let the dogs off leash on the descent. It’s a very short section (literally a couple metres), but it didn’t seem safe to navigate it with two dogs attached to me. Otherwise though the dogs really enjoyed this one and so did we!

3 months ago

Surprisingly strenuous uphill hike. We enjoyed it. Went with my kids and dogs.

3 months ago

This is the first section of the approach to the ACC hut on Castle mountain’s cliffs. The remains of the fire lookout provided a decent spot to sit before we carried on up the steep trail. A good access road for the mountain approach but I wouldn’t recommend this as a hiking destination. Nothing to see until you reach the lookout, and mainly a steep road to walk up.

hiking
3 months ago

Great workout early under moderate strenuous climb. Good trails with rocky surfaces. Areas to cross dry creek bed. Occasionally the trail levels to give you a break to take in the views.

hiking
3 months ago

A seemingly ‘short’ hike, but surprisingly intense. The 600+ meters gained is all in the first half, so a pretty steady climb. Then a good knee-burn on the way down. Incredible panoramic view from the top.

hiking
4 months ago

Fabulous hike. Yes steep incline all the way up but a great work-out and rewarded with a great view at the end. Even better snowshoeing it in the Winter!!!

4 months ago

Done this route twice, great uphill if your training to go hike mountains :)

hiking
4 months ago

Consistently steep, very little to see until the lookout itself. There are many more rewarding and enjoyable experiences for this amount of effort throughout Banff National Park or Kananaskis.

hiking
4 months ago

Steady climb all the way up. Up and down in 1h 45mins. Good view up and down the valley

hiking
4 months ago

Steady incline to the top. An okay hike. Water stream at the bottom and middle for dogs to drink. I didn’t spend much time at the top, I enjoyed the short work out over the view. Probably won’t come back unless I’m in the area with my mom or something.

4 months ago

Steady climb all the way to the lookout with a few switchbacks near the top. Bottom portion is double track while upper portion is single track. Nice view from lookout but fairly small area and can get crowded

hiking
5 months ago

It was a nice hike. Never anything really hard for any length of time. Pet and kid friendly. The sign at the trail head says its a 3.5 km hike which is actually only 2.2 miles. The view from the "top" was decent. We could have kept going up the mountain if we wanted to in to a more advanced area, but we had already spent time walking straight up Cory Mountain that morning and we really weren't up for the challenge after that. Castle Mountain has always been a landmark for me as I pass through the mountains so it was pretty cool to walk up it. The trail starts off wide and eventually goes down to single file. The top is a concrete "thing" with no sign so I had to check and make sure that was it, but it was.

5 months ago

Nice for a short and easy hike

hiking
5 months ago

Woof. All uphill and the views were ok if you would like to see a river, lake and a highway. My friend and i lost each other as the trail is not clearly marked when you hit a patch of rocks. I only knew where to go because I bumped into a couple. You can find better hikes in the area!

hiking
5 months ago

Okay everyone here who says it’s a slight incline is absolutely incorrect- this is fully just a steep uphill from start to finish. It’s not really worth it and I definitely wouldn’t go again. It literally felt like a punishment. The end truly does not justify the effort.

hiking
5 months ago

Had higher expectations for this hike. Steep incline for the majority of the hike with some mud patches at the beginning of the trail. In the forest for the majority of the hike with little sightings of the mountains.

5 months ago

Excellent hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Steep, but rewarding. Snow free all the way to the top, and almost no mud. Took us about 1.5 hours up, a little less down (my hiking partner was a bit uncomfortable on the downhills; realistically it's 40-60 minutes down). Come early! The parking lot was almost empty when we hit the trail at 10, and PACKED when we left at 1:30.

hiking
5 months ago

Completed May 21, 2018. Easy half day hike. No scrambling. Dog friendly. Plan to have lunch at the top, the rocks and old foundation wall make for a great seat while eating and enjoying the views at the lookout. We were 1.5 hrs up and down in about 40 mins.

6 months ago

This hike was the longest I’ve been on so far but completely worth it. My 4 and 6 yr old also did this hike with me as well as our dog. It slowed us down a big but it’s so worth it! Once you reach the top you can keep going down another path and climb onto and behind a water fall!

hiking
6 months ago

Great spring hike with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Bow River Valley. Some sections of the trail are still slushy and icy with snow while large sections are completely dry. This trail isn't as steep as other hikes rated as moderate. The descent was nicely forgiving on the knees and not overly strenuous.

hiking
9 months ago

A great hike where the effort is minimal for the rewarding scenery. I did the hike on a Sunday morning and was the only one on the trail. The snow was a bit deeper at the top but snowshoes aren’t necessary, I just wore my summer hiking boots, thick woollies and yak trax slippers. I ran down using my trekking poles and the snow felt marshmallow-ey, fun fun! Only 4 stars because the forest walk was boring.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Went in November. Walk is nice and steep and the view is solid. We took snowshoes but trail wasn’t deep enough or wide enough. Overall solid hike, I️ would bring low profile snowshoes

Monday, November 13, 2017

A tough walk up, but the views at the end are worth the climb!

hiking
Sunday, October 29, 2017

All uphill trek is rewarded with a gorgeous view at the lookout point!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Beautiful views

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