Mount Rundle Summit Trail

HARD 70 reviews
#17 of 132 trails in

Mount Rundle Summit Trail is a 13.4 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
13.4 km
ELEVATION GAIN
1,620 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

snow

A long difficult trip through the trees to the dragons back spine and on your way up to the very best views of the Banff Valley. Parks Canada provides a detailed route description in Climber's Guide to Mount Rundle. Pick one up at the Banff information center and review the tips, recommendations and gear lists. You can also refer to Alan Kane's ?Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies?

2 days ago

Awesome trail, made it about 50m from the summit, had to turn around due to weather but incredible views.

2 days ago

Amazing trail. Did it on a sunny July 11th. Very pleasant climb through a pine forest, followed by increasingly steep portions. The dragon's spine bears its name well: it's hard, but the surrounding views will give you all the motivation you could ever need. The summit has epic views 360 degrees, and a sheer cliff which is as beautiful as it is impressive. Very much recommended!

hiking
4 days ago

This was a back-to-back for me, after hiking Corey Pass the previous day, it was a tough hike up and down, and I imagine would be with fresh legs too, but worth it for the view at the top. The first part is a long, steady grade, basically an approach to the second part, which is where the real hike begins. Be prepared for leg burning/deep breathing steepness all the way up to the summit from there. The scramble after the trees was a challenge but sticking to solid sections of rock was helpful and riding the smaller loose rock on the way down was fun.

6 days ago

It was super steep all the way up to the top, most of the part were uphill, loose rocks, hard to find the trail and very dangerous because it was super slippery and i got slippered many times! I won’t ever ever come back here again!

hiking
12 days ago

Parking for this hike is best near the Bow Falls. There is another lot slightly closer to the trailhead, however it is reserved for a rafting company.
The path is very clear and is marked with signs and ribbons.
The first three-quarters of this hike was nice and quick. It was all in the trees, not too inclined, a couple of switchbacks. This part took my friend and I about an hour and a half to complete... then the real hike began.
Towards the last 2km of the hike, it started to get quite steep. However, since we hadn’t broken the tree line yet, the roots of the trees provided nice footing.
Once we emerged from the trees, you can see the summit and the dragonback ridge. From there, you only have about 1-1.5km of the hike left. It is quite steep and the loose rock does not make it easier to climb, but persevere! Getting to the top feels amazing.
It took us about 3h to get to the top and 2h to get down. Getting down the dragonback was definitely a little scary. The rock is loose but not small enough to “ride” down, so you have to take your time and find your footing.
All in all, cool hike! If you’re looking for a challenge, here it is!

22 days ago

So.... after reading lots of reviews. I think people just right about anything on here to look good.

I’m a 37yr old men. I play hockey all year long same as volleyball. I had trouble climbing it at my 5th hike this year.

The first half was my fav part of the trail. The second half was harder and the last 3rd was crazy, slippery, loose rocks, hard to find the trail. I was ready to give up 3 times and for motivation by a few other hikers.

My suggestions;
Bring more water then you need. 3-5L of water.
It’s ok to crawl up on the dangerous portion.
Never give up. If you finish it.... the view is worth it.
Start the hike between 6-8am. It took me 5 hrs to climb to the summit but I took 45min of breaks. You know because I didn’t train and I’m out of shape. Lol
Be nice to others. Ask them if the need more water, snacks or a little encouragement. It’s teamwork to climb this difficult trail.

Going down took 3.5hrs but I was taking baby steps because I buster my two toes. They looked purple when I removed my shoe.

Happy hike everyone.
Bobby.
July 27th 2018.

Oh... don’t do 16km of hiking the day before. Rest for a day before doing this trail. I didn’t. 30km hike in two days is too much for this guy.

hiking
27 days ago

Hiked this trail 2 years ago in mid July. A nasty storm blew in some hail which made it a harder hike than it already is. I suggest turning around if you see a storm rolling in. This Dragons back section is very slick when wet and can make for a very treacherous decent if you get caught up there in a storm. Unfortunately we didn't get to enjoy the views it offers, but it was a helluva workout overall haha. Atleast I enjoyed a pilsner at the top

1 month ago

Hiked July 13, 2018

This is an iconic mountain that should be a bucket list hike. The first 1/3 or the hike is groovy - a nice walk in the woods or a great warmup. Once you hit the gully, shit gets real. Real gains, real fast up the root staircase. When you get out of the tree line to the exposed scramble, the rocks get very loose, and it gets steep - 45* angle for 800m of gain over 2k push to the top. Extremely windy and cold at the top and not much shelter. The downhill over this exposed section is also challenging as the scree is very large and sharp. Took us about 6hr return.
*Local tip - go to Waldhaus for a Banff Springs Lager and nachos and enjoy looking up at the summit while you drink your celebratory beer

hiking
1 month ago

It was hard and very dangerous. It was moust extreme thing i had ever done. But the view was very good.

1 month ago

Rundle 26th of June. The conditions weren't the best with snowfall and a lot of wind, but still well worth it. I was by myself so took me 7,5 hrs return. The start is a steady incline trough forest, followed by a dozen switchback. After this you're getting yourself trough the trees to get out of the tree line by a very steep but fun way up trough stairs of roots. All that way is well marked with ribbons and signs. Above the tree line you can see your top but still another 1,5 hrs to go but just look around you, see the views and you will find the energy. The top is amazing and a bit scary, when you actually look over the edge with the hundreds meters deep cliff below. But that is also really cool!
The way down is pretty hard with finding footing but ones back at the tree line it's oke. I really enjoyed this hike. Hard but so rewarding. Physically, mentally and the peak ofcourse.

1 month ago

Climbed on 6/17/18. At that time, there was plenty of snow on what is called “dragons back”- but also plenty of melt. Easily the most physically demanding day hike I’ve done. Felt at some points I was resting every 2-3 steps. The top was a bit sketch, especially because of the snow/ice. Beautiful views (duh) and a rewarding challenge.

hiking
2 months ago

We REALLY didn’t know what we were getting into when we went on this hike. It was recommended to us by our hotel staff because of the awesome views. Unfortunately the hike was uphill with what felt like greater than 45 degree incline the whole way. So it was strenuous to say the least. Second, we basically almost made it to the top and then would have to scale the mountain which was EXTREMELY steep! This is certainly not a hike for beginners or even moderate hikers. Thought it was pretty advanced. And the end will test your fear of heights. Still, Banff / Alberta is so pretty I’ll give this four stars. Just know what you’re getting into and if that’s your thing, then you’ll be good!

2 months ago

Awesome trailrun/hike up Mt Rundle. Great views above treelike, even better on top! But you have to work for it to enjoy the views from top ;-)
BTW: went up on June 13 in very good conditions.

hiking
2 months ago

Completed this hike/scramble on June 2, 2018. The first portion of the hike is just your typical slog through the forest, but once above the treeline, things begin to get really fun. Still quite a bit of snow, but other than getting soaked socks, I was able to posthole my way through it. The tricky part was avoiding the ice near the summit, as it was very clear and very slippery. It may not be a bad idea to bring crampons still. But once at the summit, the view is guaranteed to be amazing!

hiking
3 months ago

I completed this with a friend on the 6th May. It took us 9 hours in total, 5.5 to the summit, and 3.5 down. Both of us are reasonably fit, but not really the fastest hikers. I was wearing micro spikes as traction aids, and took an axe with me (just in case). The views at the top are some of the best in the area, as people say. But, its a long uphill grind to the top, and there's still a goodly amount of snow in the trees and on the slope. Once you quit the treeline and start ascending for the summit, its a painful and difficult process (with the shale,scree and partially melting snow working together to knock you off), but just go slow, and take care where you step and you can make it. The same for going down, just watch where you put your feet and take it slow.

hiking
3 months ago

Last couple hours was a struggle, but very rewarding at the summit.

hiking
3 months ago

// June 2017
Rundle is an absolute bear. I’ve hiked all over Yosemite, but nothing prepares you for scrambling up that last mile of scree at a near 45 degree angle. Always check the weather before you start out, and carry a jacket and raincoat even if the forecast looks clear. The weather can change up there in a matter of minutes, and I wouldn’t want to be caught up in a storm on the summit. Also be sure not to follow the gullies up the mountain, as people have died when they wander off the trail. Make no mistake, this hike will test you. But if you do make it to the top you will be greeted by one of the best views in the world. It’s absolutely worth it, and definitely the best hike I’ve ever done.

4 months ago

hard going. But beautiful in late summer.

hiking
4 months ago

I’ll repeat, not for the faint of heart, but persevere and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of Banff anyone can witness! The trail starts out as a steady climb and once you get past the canyon it all goes up (literally) from there. Now that you’re warmed up the scenic winding trek through the tree line takes you up to the base of the dragons back where the views become more and more spectacular (don’t wonder too far left or right...) If you can make it this far buckle down and finish it, the feet pass away quickly and before you know it you’ll be at the summit.

hiking
6 months ago

knee high snow but worth it

hiking
8 months ago

Sep 2nd // Was surprised to see as many people as I did, most difficult hike I've done. Very long and strenuous up and down, we spent 10 hours. The hike itself is mostly just a gruesome grind, not for the faint of heart. However the heights and views once reaching the summit were incredible! Also incredibly windy.

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

Great hike, but very difficult. Made it within 1,500ft of the summit and had to turn back. I live at sea level and flew in two days prior to this hike. I would suggest hiking elsewhere if you are not acclimated to the altitude. 3,000ft elevation gain in the last mile is not for the faint of heart. This is as gnarly as it gets without helmets or ropes. This peak is easy to underestimate.

hiking
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Incredible views from the summit . Very difficult climb up and down. Definitely one too tick off the bucket list.

hiking
Friday, July 14, 2017

An excellent hike I would be very wary of the hard rating I did not make it to the top and that's the first time I've hiked a trail that was rated hard and did not complete it.

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Difficult Hike if you don't have the stamina. Trail is all loose rock and the top part is very open. Don't recommend on a super hot day or a windy day gets cold fast. Going down is the difficult part, always watch where you step. The peak is worth the view 100%

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

One of the hardest hikes I have done, make sure you have right shoes what can take scramble. Take lots of water, and start early. Do not be scared with the lose rocks past the tree line, once you scramble your way up the views are breathtaking. Plan well and enjoy your hike

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Absolutely gruelling in the last 2km, but so, so worth it. The views from the summit were absolutely fantastic, I would suggest trekking poles for getting down after the scree.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Epic trail! The grade was surprisingly tame for 3 miles. I was surprised the climb was only 2,300 to that point and couldn't understand how the distance / vertical would work. Well the next 1.2 miles covered over 3,000 feet! The views were amazing as you came above tree line. The last stretch is really tough. I'd strongly recommend having lots of high alpine and technical experience before attempting. Warm gear for the top is also a must (especially with the wind). Overall a memorable adventure that I'd highly recommend to anyone up to it.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rundle is a long difficult slog of a trail but has an incredible payoff at the end. because of the height, it is crucial that you pick an ideal day and allow for as much time as possible.

From the top, you look down on the ridges of several mountain ranges.

hiking
Friday, July 22, 2016

Incredible hike with amazing views from the tree line and up - has a nice start in the forest, gets more difficult after passing over the last gully. Highly recommend appropriate footwear as well as hiking poles (they made a world of difference) the scramble past the tree line is a little tricky, have layers of clothing for the summit, the views are breathtaking but so is the wind haha gloves will also help to protect your hands on the way down

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