The Tower Route is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Canmore, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. 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.

Length11.4 miElevation gain4458 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingMountain bikingNature tripsBird watchingrunningLakeRiverViewsWildlife
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Jerry Yang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeOff trailRockyScramble
First to Review

EDIT: The Alltrails route has been updated to follow the new trail to Rummel Lake. On the route, there is a short semi-circular excursion into the bush from me exploring the old trail. The excursion is not necessary. Simply follow the well-travelled trail up to Rummel Lake for the first part of the hike. With that said, what an incredible trip! Part of the appeal of this hike is the approach through Rummel Lake. Few hikers venture to the second and third lakes beyond the main Rummel Lake and miss out on the beautiful alpine meadow. The scenery of the area makes the approach to The Tower fully worthwhile. Another unique feature of The Tower is it's small summit block, providing one of the best panoramic views I've come across. This hike starts at the trail head for Rummel Lake. As I've mentioned, follow the well-tread and well marked trail until you reach Rummel Lake. The route is flat and well shaded through the forest. Once at Rummel Lake, hike along the single track trail on the north side (left) of the first lake to the alpine meadow. As you continue towards the third lake to the East, the trail will fade as the alpine meadow transitions into a talus field. Despite its height, the summit of The Tower is deceptively hard to spot. For one, it just looks like a little hill before you try to climb it. In fact, as pointed out by Daniel Nakagawa of the soistheman blog, the true summit looks lower than the south summit until you reach it. For this reason, the Alltrails track is still useful for reference to find the summit. The ascend of The Tower should start somewhere between the second and third lakes depending on the line you choose. I initially ascended on the slabs to the east of the col then traversed west to ascend the some of the drainages. On the way down, I took a very direct route through the middle of the scree field. I'm happy with this route as the scree was very loose at the bottom and likely would've been very tiring to ascend. Climbing the slabs offers some sustained class 3 scrambling with minimal exposure as long as you don't go up to the east ridge. Although the angle is quite low at around 30 degrees the slabs aren't too grippy and the rock quality isn't very good, adding some extra challenge. Ultimately, there is no definite trail through this terrain, you must use your own judgement for route finding. Be aware of loose rocks on this route, as you approach the summit, the slope becomes less and less consolidated. Even stove sized rocks seem to be prone to sliding in some parts. As such, a helmet is a must for this scramble. The long slog up from Rummel Lake to the summit also presents as a challenge to your fitness. It took me quite a bit longer than I expected for the elevation gain. In this season, avoid the snow on the col at all costs. There are many hallow snow bridges and all the patches are very icy. The reward for all this work is the unbelievable view at the summit. Mt. Galatea, the highest peak in the Kananaskis is directly across the alpine meadow to the south, along with Gusty Peak and The Fortress. Mt. Bogart is also clearly visible to the north. This is a view that makes you feel like you're at the top of the world. Technicality: Steep, moderate scramble without exposure. Leave this one for the experienced hikers. - YDS 3 Fitness: This is a long one and the slog up to the summit is draining. 4/5 Recommend Equipment: Helmet is a must, poles, hiking boots, layers for the high altitude. Liked: The beautiful alpine meadow and the view from the summit block. This isn't a popular trail so it feels wild. Disliked: Rock quality, big loose rocks, rockfall hazard. TLDR: Hard slog, moderate scramble, absolutely stunning views. Don't follow the Alltrails route to Rummel Lake, route finding is necessary to ascend to the summit.

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Laura A
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Elodie Tamdem
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