OverviewMount St. Piran is the easiest scramble in Banff National Park located 3000’ above Lake Louise. The trail to Mount St. Piran actually starts at the famed Chateau Lake Louise (hotel). St. Piran was named in 1894 after the Patron Saint of Cornwall. Edward Whymper, the first climber to summit the Matterhorn, bagged St. Piran and wrote that he rather enjoyed the views and recommended building a trail to its summit. In reality, St. Piran is just a hike, but the views are rewarding (Hector Lake, Bath Glacier, Mt. Lefroy, Mt.Temple, Mt. Niblock and Mt. Whyte to name a few). The biggest highlight was a golden eagle flying a meter above the slope six feet in front of me at 8000’.
The only published routes or routes of any consequence are various scrambles. I combined St. Piran with a day of sport climbing at Louise Falls.
Getting ThereThe Trans-Canada Highway dissects Banff National Park east to west as you come in from Calgary. Travel to the Lake Louise exit and turn left through town and follow this road to its end at the Lake Louise parking area.
Red TapeYou will be required to purchase a national park pass as you enter the park. This pass is good for all four national parks. If you plan many visits to Canadian National Parks within one year, you should purchase an annual pass. There are no permit requirements to climb in Banff National Park, but all camping is regulated. There is also a backcountry permit required if you plan on spending a night in the backcountry versus the town campsites. This can be obtained via the parks website which is included in the camping section below. Park headquarters are located in Banff and you will drive through the manned kiosks as you enter the park.
This is active grizzly country, therefore, you should always have bear spray on your person. We just had a grizzly fatality in Canmore, June, 2005. However, a portion of this trail is well traveled by tourists. I do advise checking with Parks Canada for possible trail closures.