Summit Elevation (m): 1817
Trip Date: Saturday, April 25, 2020
Elevation Gain (m): 485
Round Trip Time (hrs): 2.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 8
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain your thumb
Difficulty Notes: No difficulties. There are some confusing intersections of trails but as long as you keep going up and generally north you should be fine.
Technical Rating: TL2; RE2
Map: Google Maps
I used to scoff at the idea of hiking Saskatoon Mountain. The fact that it was our “twofer” peak on Saturday, April 25 2020 goes to show that you should never scoff too loudly at minor objectives. You never know when they get added to your list thanks to a global pandemic and very late spring melt. After hiking Loop Ridge in only around 3.5 hours earlier in the day we turned our sights towards a small and hopefully dry objective for the afternoon. Rain was in the forecast and was obviously moving in over the Divide as we drove into the small Crowsnest town of Coleman and into an empty Flumerfelt Park and the trailhead for the Miners’ Path and start of our hike. Surprisingly there were zero Covid-19 signs in the park and it felt like any other spring day with two people playing tennis and another hiker on the trail just in front of us.
I’d last been up the Miners’ Path a decade ago with Niko on a father / son trip in 2010 when we also hiked the nearby Wedge Mountain. I joked with Wietse that Niko was lucky I didn’t know about Saskatoon Mountain or we’d have hiked up the path a lot further! 😉 For some reason I always thought Saskatoon was a joke of a mountain, not realizing it was over 8km and almost 500 meters of total height gain. Still not a ‘real’ mountain, but at least approaching a real hike…
There’s not much to say about this little peak. We followed a trail the whole way, getting distracted a few times by side trails but always going back to the right one. There was some annoyingly deep snow over the first summit but we waded and followed old tracks through it without issue. We almost missed the true summit, deciding to turn back at the one marked on the map before I convinced Wietse that we should wade through a few more patches of deep snow “just in case”. Good thing we did that as the true summit is north of the one on the map and actually has some decent views.
We enjoyed the summit views for a few minutes, noting the impending dark clouds of doom pouring in over the Divide to the west. It was nice to see so many familiar Crowsnest area peaks including Crowsnest, Wedge, Deadman, Tecumseh, Phillipps, Sentry, Ostracized, Coulthard, Willoughby, Hillcrest, Turtle, Caudron, Centre and many others.
On descent it was neat to see over the towns of Coleman and Blairmore and to realize that there are houses all over the place up the east ridge of Saskatoon Mountain. We had no issues descending and walked out of the forest back to the car within 2.5 hours of leaving. I highly recommend this small mountain if you’re in the area and wish to get decent views of the towns and the surrounding mountains. It’s a family friendly hike and isn’t too long.