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Idlewilde Mountain

Summit Elevation (m): 1945
Trip Date: June 05 2021
Elevation Gain (m): 300
Round Trip Time (hr): 2
Total Trip Distance (km): 10
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you tripped on your untied shoelace. Pay attention!
Difficulty Notes: Easy hiking up a series of logging roads, cutlines and OHV tracks. Slight bushwhacking to the summit.
Technical Rating: OT2
GPX Download: Click here to download.


When we got down from a slightly underwhelming hike of Baseline Mountain Cornelius Rott and I decided to try the last remaining foothill that I had in the area – Idlewilde Mountain. I knew that Dave Salahub had snowshoed the mountain in 2020 and didn’t have a lot of great things to say about it so to say my expectations were low is an understatement! I was feeling a bit let down with the way the day was turning out, considering how nice the weather was despite a gloomy forecast – especially to the west where the sun was clearly still dominating the landscape. Obviously we should have taken more of a chance on a real mountain earlier in the day… Oh well. There was nothing to do about it now except tag my last foothill in the area that held my interest. On the plus side, Cornelius has traveled the world and has enough fascinating stories to keep me entertained for another dozen easy bumps like Baseline and Idlewilde! 😉

Idlewilde Mountain Route Map.

Instead of using the cutline from hwy 734 (40) we drove a bit further south and parked at a relatively fresh logging road, deciding to use it instead. Normally this hike starts with losing ~50 vertical meters down the cutline before gaining it all back. Our route avoided that first dip very nicely. We hiked up the road until noticing the old cutline on our left. We aimed for it and hiked steeply up to it’s high point before turning left down a faint OHV track.

A fresh logging road improves the start of Idlewilde’s route greatly!

From the top of the first cutline the hiking followed a series of OHV tracks through cutblocks, open slopes and cutlines. The route is almost impossible to describe so I’m providing the GPX track here. The reason I’m giving the GPX track is that Idlewilde Mountain is a surprisingly scenic little hike! It sports decent views to the west and has a delightful little surprise along the way in the form of a sinkhole canyon under the summit (see photo at the top of this report).

Distant peaks of the front ranges from Tinda (L) to Cutoff Creek and the Ram River (R).

The summit itself was a bit disappointing – buried in the forest with no views – but everything else about Idlewilde was 5x better than Baseline Mountain. Next to other bumps in the area only Limestone and Ram Mountain are better IMHO. As we descended the peak we noticed very black clouds heading our way from the SE and heard peels of thunder. Time to give ‘er! We almost made it too. Just before the truck the storm centered above us and started flashing lightning and dumping small pellets of hail on us. I enjoyed Idlewilde much more than I thought I would and can easily recommend it as an easy, quiet hike when you only have time for something small and are in the area.

Idlewilde Mountain
Starting out on a fairly fresh logging road.
Starting out on a fairly fresh logging road.
Starting out on a fairly fresh logging road.
Starting out on a fairly fresh logging road.
Starting out on a fairly fresh logging road.
Starting out on a fairly fresh logging road.
View back down the cutline that has been used in the past.
View back down the cutline that has been used in the past.
Hiking up the cutline - looking back.
Hiking up the cutline - looking back.
At the left turn along the cutline (don't continue down here).
At the left turn along the cutline (don't continue down here).
At the left turn along the cutline (don't continue down here).
At the left turn along the cutline (don't continue down here).
Hiking along an OHV track.
Hiking along an OHV track.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Views to the Rockies.
Views to the Rockies.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Hiking along an OHV track - sometimes it's more obvious than others.
Very interesting landscape once we leave the OHV tracks.
Very interesting landscape once we leave the OHV tracks.
A deep fissure in the earth.
A deep fissure in the earth.
A deep fissure in the earth.
A deep fissure in the earth.
A deep fissure in the earth.
A deep fissure in the earth.
A deep fissure in the earth.
A deep fissure in the earth.
Hiking past the fissure.
Hiking past the fissure.
A deep fissure in the earth.
A deep fissure in the earth.
Bushwhacking to the summit.
Bushwhacking to the summit.
Another smaller fissure.
Another smaller fissure.
One last open (logged) section before the summit.
One last open (logged) section before the summit.
One last open (logged) section before the summit.
One last open (logged) section before the summit.
One last open (logged) section before the summit.
One last open (logged) section before the summit.
The summit marker.
The summit marker.
Views to an impending storm.
Views to an impending storm.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along the fissure.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along OHV tracks trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along the cutline trying to outrun the coming storm.
Hiking back along the cutline trying to outrun the coming storm.

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