Peak-bagging made simple—skip the large-scale mountain expeditions and make tracks for these weekend peaks:
1. Montana Mountain Trail
- Elevation: 2,205 metres
- Carcross, Yukon
Most often noted for mountain biking, the multi-use trails on Montana Mountain offer fantastic hiking with above-treeline vistas. The moderate-intensity summit-hike is about 15 km long and requires a capable vehicle to access the trailhead. Keep an eye out for caribou as you ramble through a moonscape to this stratovolcano’s 2,205-metre summit; the environment is particularly remarkable in fall colours.
2. Kings Peak
- Elevation: 2,065 metres
- Strathcona Provincial Park, BC
As Vancouver Island’s Highway 28 winds west toward Gold River, your destination of Strathcona Provincial Park will appear—as will a challenging 15-km route to the summit of Kings Peak. Find the trailhead near Elk River Road; the route leads past a cascading waterfall, then into the alpine for the final summit-scramble. If you’re looking to break up this strenuous trek, backcountry camping is available en route.
3. Cypress Peak
- Elevation: 2,083 metres
- Squamish, BC
The toughest part of this nine-kilometre, eight-hour scramble might be finding the trailhead, accessed from Chance Creek Forest Service Road, on Highway 99 about 30 km north of Squamish. Done in the late-summer and early autumn, it’s a moderate route—hike past wildflowers toward a glacier field, don your helmet and scramble to the exposed, jagged peak for a world-class view.
4. Tod Peak Trail
- Elevation: 2,152 metres
- Sun Peaks Resort, BC
Let the Sunburst Express chairlift give you a boost up Mount Tod. Unload at 1,850 metres and start your half-day hike as you follow 2.4-km Gil’s Trail past a cerulean lake, along old cattle trails and upslope through the forest into the steep alpine. Enjoy the view atop Shuswap Lake and then meander through wildflower meadows along the 5.4-km West Bowl Trail, en route back to the lift.
5. Tangle Ridge
- Elevation: 3,000 metres
- Jasper National Park, Alberta
This scramble is an athletic daylong effort, but it’s manageable by most experienced hikers. Track down the trailhead on Icefields Parkway, at Tangle Falls, and follow the marked route for 1.5 km until it veers left. From there, it’s eight kilometres and 1,100 metres of elevation gain to the summit and a knee-weakening view atop some of the Rockies’ best scenery.
6. Roche Bonhomme (Old Man Mountain)
Banff/Lake Louise Tourism - Paul Zizka
- Elevation: 2,498 metres
- Jasper National Park, Alberta
Popular with Jasper locals, this hike is often dubbed “relentless.” It starts at the Maligne Canyon parking lot, but leaves the crowds behind as it climbs 1,100 metres without switchbacks. (Watch for loose rocks.) Your reward is a panorama over the Athabasca River Valley and the town of Jasper. Hiking poles are helpful on the way down, which will take about one-third as long as the climb; five to seven hours and 11 km total.
7. Mount St. Piran
- Elevation: 2,649 metres
- Banff National Park, Alberta
Let the tourist hordes hike the Lady Agnes and Little Beehive routes—Mount St. Piran is where locals trek. This 13-km day-hike starts near the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, meandering on the south shore before it leaves the trees for a view of stunning peaks like Mount Temple and Mount Lefroy. The summit push is next, followed by a downhill ramble to Lady Agnes Teahouse for a beverage, if you so desire.
8. Maple Mountain
- Elevation: 642 metres
- Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park, Ontario
Make this trek on a four-day-weekend—the summit hike to Maple Mountain, one of Ontario’s most prominent peaks, is only 3.2 km, but you’ll have to canoe about 40 km (Mowat Landing to Tupper Lake) to get to the trailhead. Have lunch at a decommissioned fire tower and enjoy the vista atop what many mistakenly believe to be Ontario’s high point, before the long trek home. (Nearby Ishpatina Ridge is 51 metres taller, but less dramatic.)
9. Silver Peak
- Elevation: 539 metres
- Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario
At a hair over 500 metres, Silver Peak doesn’t sound like much—but as the high point in the La Cloche Range, it has a “real mountain” feel. A couple of routes will complete this hike in a day—canoeing from Bell Lake (3.5 km) or Johnnie Lake and Clearsilver Lake (eight kilometres total) are the most common. The four-kilometre summit route is strenuous; catch your breath atop the quartzite peak and imagine this range a billion years ago, when it stood twice as high as the Rockies.
10. Mount Dominant
- Elevation: 570 metres
- Aiguebelle National Park, Quebec
Why suggest climbing La Belle Province’s 792nd-highest mountain, above all others? For starters, Aiguebelle National Park is set in Quebec’s sedate Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region, so crowds are rarely a concern; and the view from atop the region’s high point, next to an old communication tower, is stunning during the fall leaf show. The full route is six kilometres, takes only three hours and is easily accessed from the Dominant Parking Lot, on Route 24.
11. Mount Carleton
- Elevation: 820 metres
- Mount Carleton Provincial Park, New Brunswick
Set amid 1,700-sq-km of Acadian woodlands and the continent’s oldest mountains, this Maritime high point offers a boundless view atop its namesake provincial park, stretching to nearby Mount Sagamook and Mount Head. The 10-km route presents an intermediate-level challenge, and the peak is adorned with an old fire tower. Two trail options lead from the parking lot to the top; make this summit-hike a loop for a change of scenery on the return jaunt.
12. Alexander Murray Trail/Haypook Summit
- Elevation: 305 metres
- King’s Cross, Newfoundland & Labrador
This is the most developed trail of the bunch—a well-maintained series of 2,200 wooden steps leads you atop crumbling granite, out of the trees and toward a rocky ridgeline that culminates at Haypook Summit before looping downslope. You’ll discover a worthy, one-kilometre side-trip to Corner Brook Falls about halfway up. Expect to spend four hours on this nine-kilometre, partially boardwalked trek.
Hiking any of these summits this weekend?
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