Mount Fairview is on the left hand side of Lake Louise as you look towards Mount Victoria and the Victoria Glacier. It towers over Lake Louise and so does have a fairly large elevation gain. However, as with Mount St Piran, the views gained from the top of the mountain are incredible.
Starting off you follow the signposted route towards Saddleback Pass from the parking lots by Chateau Lake Louise. There are a couple trails off this route to the Moraine Lake Highline Trail and Fairview Lookout, but the route to Saddleback Pass goes fairly straight uphill.
After a little while you’ll begin the switchbacks up to Saddleback Pass. It was really frosty when I did the hike – it was early October and we had an early start.
It didn’t take too long to reach Saddleback Pass, with a couple of stops for water and some photos along the way. From here, you’re aiming for the summit of the mountain on the right. The other is Saddle Mountain, which I’ll talk about in a later post.
The trail up Mount Fairview is signposted but it is also useful to carry a map. The trail up to the summit isn’t as good as the one leading up to Saddleback Pass, as it has sections of loose scree.
From the summit the views are amazing, and I spent a little while taking them in and getting some photos. It is really incredible to see one of the views that you’ve seen frequently before from a completely different angle. It was also nice to be so far away from the crowds at the shore of Lake Louise.
To return back to the trailhead the only way back is to follow the same trail as the one on the way up.
The total return distance for the hike is approximately 10 km (6.2 miles) with an elevation gain of about 100 metres (3300 feet). More information about the hike/scramble can be found in the book ‘Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies’ by Alan Kane, which is an excellent resource if you’re considering doing this hike.
This was a really fun day for me, after getting back down to Saddleback Pass, I decided to go up Saddle Mountain, which didn’t take too long (I’ll include some photos from this in another post). After getting back down from Saddle Mountain I descended back down to the Lake Louise shoreline. Two of my friends were hiking to Lake Agnes and the Big Beehive and then on to the Plain of Six Glaciers. Before we set out we decided that once I’d finished at Mount Fairview, I would meet them on the trail back from the Plain of Six Glaciers. I ended up meeting them at the Plain of Six Glaciers, as I hiked a little faster than I thought I was going to. So in total I did 15.4 km of hiking (roughly 9.6 miles) with an 1424 metres elevation gain (about 4700 feet).
However it was a really great day out, and nice to accomplish a couple of hikes in the same day!
© RockiesOutdoors 2015.