Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 51.41230°N / 116.2528°W
Activities Activities: Scrambling
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 8690 ft / 2649 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Mount 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 There

The 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 Tape

You 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.

When To Climb

As with most scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, the driest time is from June through September. I climbed Mount St. Piran in August. There are no published backcountry ski routes on the mountain, nor would it be conducive to ski.


The closest camp site would be back in town at the Lake Louise Campground. You can go on line at Banff 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. The Lake Louise Alpine Center Hostel is a great place to eat and has been recently renovated, but is more expensive than your average hostel. Of course those with the big bucks can campout at the Chateau itself.

Mountain Conditions

Banff National Park’s website has weather, wildlife reports, trail closures, etc. Outside of the parks web site, Canadian Avalanche Association is also useful, particularly for winter travel.

External Links

  • 100’s of Canadian Rockies multi-pitch rock climbs, ice climbs, alpine climbs and scrambles, just scroll down to routes
  • Banff National Park, Parks Canada
  • OR: Best True Technical Clothing and Accessories in the Outdoor Industry
  • Scarpa, has surpassed La Sportiva in terms of quality, function, value
  • Osprey Backpacks, Not a Second Choice
  • Great Outdoors Depot
  • Mont-Bell
  • Cascade Designs (MSR; Thermarest; Platypus)

  • Children


    Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.