Volcano Peak is located in Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincal Park and in the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Occupying the southern point of the MacDougall Range, it is the starting point of the Mt. MacDougall climb. Volcano Peak is often neglected due to the popularity of adjacent Wedge
and the straightforward day hike, Old Baldy
. Bargain for a hour long approach from the Evan-Thomas parking area on a roomy trail. Riders on horseback periodically ride the Evan-Thomas, so don't be suprised to share this trail with them.
Hiking through overspread moss forests at the southern point of Old Baldy makes for a shaded hike. This is an admirable beginning before the march up the more exposed, sun drenched slopes of Volcano Peak. A morning start will save you from baking in the afternoon sun. The footpath can be occupied with day hikers looking to summit Old Baldy, but Volcano Peak will see little to no summiters on any given day.
Looking south on the accent of Volcano Peak. Wedge Pond in the distance.
Not a bona fide volcano, this mountain gets its moniker from the conical summit that from many perspectives looks like a stereotypical volcano.
Summit views include The Wedge, Fisher Peak, Mount MacDougall and Mt. Kidd. Volcano Peak can be eaily assended in 6-8 hours with little to no difficulties. Spring and Fall climbs may comprise of a little snow but in the summer months the mountain is bare.
Looking towards Volcano Peaks summit.
Take Trans Canada Hwy 1 - West from Calgary, AB for roughly a hour to the Hwy 40 - South turnoff ( Kananaskis Trail ). Take Hwy 40 South for 20 mins. until you pass the Kananaskis Country Golf Course. The parking lot for the trailhead is located 1 km pass the golf course and this is where you'll start the approach.
Take the Evan-Thomas trail located on the right hand side of parking lot. About a minute in you'll meet a "T" in the trail. You'll want to hang a left here. After about a 20 min. hike you'll meet another "T" in the trail. Take the trail to the north (left). A sign marked "Unmaintained Trail" will lead the way. Another 10-15 mins. up this trail you will come to a section where a small stream crosses the path. Here you will angle left into the woods along a well beaten trail. When you emerge out of the woods (still along the stream bed) you'll see a scree shoot angling up the side of Volcano Peak (to your left).
Find a place to cross this creek. Once you have accended the scree stay to your left and scramble up moss filled cliffs. At the top of these easily accended cliffs you'll be in another scree slope. Roughly 15 mins up the scree you'll see the ridge line that leads gentley to the summit.
Also check out "More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies"
to find another route up the southern slopes, as per Mount MacDougall.
There are no permits needed to climb this mountain. Bears frequent the Evan-Thomas trail so check with the Barrier Lake Visitor Information Center for all bear alerts. This trail has been known to be closed due to bear activity.
Campsites can be found all around Kananaskis. Your closes bet is Mount Kidd RV Park and Campground located 5 min. to the south of Evan-Thomas on Hwy 40. To the north is Sundance Lodges with campsites and unique lodging in one of its many tipis. There is also a hostel located 10 min NW of the Evan-Thomas parking lot called Ribbon Creek hostel. For those who want more of a pampering there is the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis.
External LinksMount Kidd RV Park and Campsite
- offers the camper over 200 sites, grocery store, pool and hottub.
- has a general store for all your hunger needs as well as dozens of camping sites.
Delta Lodge At Kananaskis
- offers stores, resturants, spa treatment, post office and much more.
Ribbon Creek Hostel
- a quite place for a good rest.
Phone Contact Numbers
Barrier Lake Visitor Information Center - (403) 673-3985
Mount Kidd Rv Park and Campground - (403) 591-7700
Sundance Lodges - (403) 591-7122
Delta Lodge at Kananaskis - (403) 591-7711
Ribbon Creek Hostel - (403) 762-4122