Mount Bosworth is located on the continental divide
(re: Storm Mountain
), therefore, on the border of Alberta and British Columbia as well as Banff and Yoho National Parks, two of four connecting parks that make up the central Canadian Rockies. For a quick, yet challenging, scramble, Mount Bosworth’s summit makes for one of the finer vantage points in the parks.
The main reason for this phenomena is that Bosworth sits at the convergence of five separate valleys: Bow River, Pipestone River, Kicking Horse River, Cataract Brook (Lake O’Hara) and Bath Creek. The resulting clear and/or immediate views are: the north ridge route of Mt. Victoria, the north glacier of Mt. Temple, Mt. Niblock
, Mt. Whyte
, Popes Peak, Mt.St. Piran
, Narao Peak, Mt. Collier, The Goodsirs, Odaray Mountain, Mt. Vaux, Cathedral Crags, Mt. Stephen, Mt. Carnarvon, The President and Vice President
, Mts. Daly and Niles, Paget Peak, the Bath Glacier, south end of the Wapta Icefield, Mt. Hector, Redoubt Mountain, Mt. Richardson, Pika and Ptarmigan Peaks….need I continue? This is just one hell of a vantage point if you want to learn some peaks and even study a few routes.
Mount Bosworth was named after a railroad executive in 1903, the same year it was ascended by a topological survey team. The most interesting history regarding Bosworth was the dynamite charged avalanche in 1971 that ripped a portion of the mountain down with the snowpack wiping out the highway (what they were trying to protect), the communication lines and even the railroad bed. The only published route on Bosworth is the difficult scramble in Alan Kane’s book. I have skied up nearby Paget Peak, but do not see Bosworth offering up any summit ski routes. The scramble itself involves over 100’ of rock climbing on the summit block.
The Trans-Canada Highway runs from Calgary through Banff and Yoho National Parks on its way to Vancouver. Pass through Lake Louise heading westbound and continue on the Trans-Canada on its way to Field, BC. As you pass the Yoho National Park welcoming sign, drive 2.3 km more and pull off along side the road on the right hand side. There is no official pull off, or cairn and/or trail.
If you pass the Lake O’Hara trailhead, you have gone too far. Mount Bosworth is on your right, you can see the summit block from the road. Refer to the above photo.
Red TapeThe summit of Mount Bosworth is in Yoho and Banff National Parks, however, the scramble starts in Yoho.
You will be required to purchase a national park pass as you enter Banff National Park on the Trans-Canada. 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 Yoho 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. Yoho National Park headquarters are located in Field, BC and you will drive through the manned national park kiosks as you enter Banff National Park on the Trans-Canada.
This is active grizzly country, therefore, you should always have bear spray on your person. I advise checking with Parks Canada
for any area and/or trail closures.
When To Climb
As with most scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, the driest time is from June through September. I climbed Mount Bosworth in June and it was in good condition with snow ramps for a quick descent. There are no published backcountry ski routes on Bosworth, nor would it be conducive to ski to the summit.
The closest camp site would be the Kicking Horse Campground
closer to Field at the Yoho Valley Road exit. Even closer is the West Louise Lodge
, a hotel type accommodation several kilometers west. You can go on line at Yoho National Park
to pick a camp site and obtain your camping permit. You will also be required to obtain your backcountry permit which is separate, but can be obtained simultaneously if you plan on camping at a backcountry site. You cannot camp outside of the marked specific camping areas.
Mountain ConditionsYoho National Park
has weather, wildlife reports, trail closures, etc. Outside of the parks web site, Canadian Avalanche Association
is also useful, particularly for winter travel.
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