3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
When at the edge of Lake Louise, Fairview Summit is the massive cliff-faced mountain towering to the immediate left of the lake.
Not to be confused with the shorter, but still picturesque Fairview Lookout trail, this 9.5km out-and-back route near Lake Louise takes you to the peak overlooking Lake Louise around the back.
This trail is fairly heavily trafficked, and is well marked.
The switch backs up the final push to the summit is well worn, so you won’t have to worry about scree.
This is a very scenic hike to do during Larch season especially.
The first 3.8km before the saddle is comprised of mainly moderate terrain, and where you’ll gain most of the elevation (600m).
It’s a popular turnaround point for those who are wanting to take in the sights of Larch season.
The saddle is also a great photo-op spot, with picturesque peaks & a cirque glacier in the background of the trail, surrounded by the beautiful wildflower meadows that Alberta is known for.
You also have the option of exploring the trails to Paradise Valley by going straight, or Saddle Mountain on the left.
To get to Fairview Summit, take a right.
From the saddle, it’s only 1.5km to the summit, but with ~400m of elevation gain, make sure you bring a traction device if you are pushing for the summit with snow on the ground, as it can get quite slippery in the colder months.
Pushing up to the summit is definitely worth it for the views both along the way and at the top.
As soon as you turn the 3rd corner of the saddle, you’ll be rewarded with majestic rocky mountains that fill the sky.
It’s just amazing being surrounded by such massive peaks & glaciers.
Every time you turn around a switchback, you see more and more mountains, and really feel like you’re immersed at the top of the world once you summit.
Please don’t attempt this trail during the winter as avalanches are common, and fatal.
NOTE: A Parks Canada pass is required if recreating in this area. DOGS: Dogs are permitted on this trail.