Mount Kidd sits alone between the Kananaskis River Valley and the long Kananaskis Range located just north of Kananaskis Lakes in the center of Kananaskis Country (Kidd is basically the center of the Kananaskis Universe), a provincial park which encompasses over 4,000 square kilometers of foothills and mountains bordering Banff National Park in the central Canadian Rockies. Via Guinn’s Pass, Mount Kidd shares the Kananaskis Range with many other climbs including: Mount Buller, Mount Galatea, Gusty Peak, Mount Engadine, The Fortress, Mount Chester and Mount Lawson. Mount Kidd was officially named in 1907 after an early explorer of the region. The first ascent to the summit was made in 1947 by Hind and Tarrant.
Pilot Mountain in the Bow River Valley of Banff National Park, Mount Kidd doglegs out into the Kananaskis River Valley giving it a broad view from north and south on the Kananaskis Parkway as well as easy access. These uncomplicated views make it a somewhat popular objective. Mount Kidd consists of two peaks (north and south) and both have published moderate scramble routes. The north peak is the true summit and the south peak is over 200’ shorter. Mount Kidd also has an alpine III- 5.7 route up its northeast buttress. The south peak looks like it is conducive to a ski route, but I have only been up the north peak route, which might make a probable ski ascent, but perilous descent in my opinion.
The views from the north peak encompass a variety of mountains, but Mount Bogart stands obvious to the immediate west. Other views include Mount Sir Douglas to the south and The Wedge across the valley to the east.
Take the Kananaskis Highway (Highway 40) exit off of the Trans-Canada Highway between Calgary and Canmore. Travel approximately 33kms south to the Galatea Creek Day Use parking area (on your right) . There are restrooms at this location.
There are no permit requirements to enter, climb and/or park in Kananaskis Provincial Park. This is active grizzly country however. Take bear spray. There have been numerous 2005 trail closures in Kananaskis due to mountain lions and grizzlies. We just had our third serious grizzly attack in the Canmore area for 2005. Therefore it would be prudent to check recent notices posted on the park’s website. You will pass the park headquarters en route on Highway 40 (Kananaskis Trail) several kilometers south of the Trans-Canada (on your right). Notices are posted outside if they are closed. This is a solid information center with good staff and beta.
When To Climb
As with most climbs in the Canadian Rockies, the driest time is from June through September. I did the scramble up Mount Kidd’s north peak in October and conditions were relatively dry. There are no published backcountry ski routes on Mount Kidd, however, skiing the south summit might be plausible.
The Kananaskis Provincial Park website is a very thorough park website, including trail conditions or closures, wildlife notices, weather conditions, avalanche conditions, camping permits, whitewater conditions, etc. It is an excellent source if you are going to spend any time here and comparable to any National Park website I have used. Outside of the parks web site, Canadian Avalanche Association is also useful, particularly for winter travel.
There is a significant lodging and campground complex several kilometers north called Kananaskis Village. The lodging options here include the Ribbon Creek Hostel and posh Delta Lodge. The closest back country campsite is Lillian Lake 6.3kms in on Galatea Creek Trail. You cannot camp outside of the marked specific camping areas in Kananaskis. Refer to the Kananaskis Provincial Park website for more information regarding camping and/or lodging.