Mount Fairview is a massive mountain located on the south shore of Lake Louise in Banff National park. Latitude 51;24;00-Longitude 116;13;20. It was first ascended by Samuel E.S. Allen in 1893. It is probably one of the easiest scramble in Banff National Park. It is a part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the Bow river Valley. This hike will give you one of the best view in the Rockies. This is mostly a long hike (5-7 hours round trip). Strong hikers will complete the trip in less then 5 hours. The route to the top is Class 1. The first part of the hike is mostly in the forest. But, once you reach the Saddleback, the view of the surrrounding peaks is wonderful. There is a big cairn marking the top of Mount Fairview. Once on top, you will have a beautiful view of Lake Louise (more than one vertical km below!) , mount St-Piran, Niblock , Whyte, Victoria and many others. This is a very popular hike in the Lake Louise area. The most popular route is the Saddleback. You can easily add saddle Mountain to this hike with little extra effort. The trail to mount Fairview can be crowded in summer. September is a good climbing month to avoid the crowds and see the beautiful larch colors! My first hike of Mount Fairview was under snowy conditions. This reduced the visibility but even in these conditions, it was a magnificent day. This makes nice photos! Remember that you are in grizzly country, please carry bear spray for your safety.
I would suggest you to look at "SCRAMBLES in the Canadian Rockies" from Alan Kane or " The World of Lake Louise" from Don Beers for even more details.
Once at Lake Louise townsite, just follow the road to the Chateau Lake Louise parking area. The trail to the Saddleback begins at the end of the parking lot near the boat house. From there, it's 3.7 km to the Saddleback. Saddleback to summit is 1.3 km. The last km to the summit is much steeper. Just follow the cairns to the summit. The north face of mount Fairview is very steep, do not attempt to descend this way.
Your in Banff National Park so be sure to have a Park Pass. Park Passes can be purchased at the East Park Gates as you enter the park or at any other gate. Backcountry Wilderness Passes can be bought at the Banff Information Center on Banff Ave. The parking is free.
When To Climb
You can climb mount Fairview from June trough October. September is a beautiful time to climb it since it is less crowded and you will see the beautiful autumn colors. Winter ascent are possible but for more experienced climbers.
There is a camping at Lake Louise townsite. It is open year round. It's a nice and quiet place to stay. Electricity and water are available on each site. Showers and toilets are also available.
The elevation gain is 1000m. From the parking to the summit, the distance is 5 km (10 km round trip).