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Burstall Pass

Trailhead The Mud Lake parking lot is 45 km south of Canmore on the Smith-Dorrien--Spray Trail (Hwy. 742) and 20 km north of the junction of Hwy. 742 & the Kananaskis Trail (Hwy. 40). From Spray valley, a trail to the pass begins 14 km south of the Bryant Creek/Spray River junction.
Distance 7.4 km (4.6 mi.) from Mud Lake, 4 km (2.5 mi.) from Leman Lake Camp
Elevation Gain 455 m (1,492') from Mud Lake, 470 m (1,542') from Leman Lake Camp
Maximum Elevation 2,375 m (7,800')

Burstall Pass is usually visited as a day trip from the Mud Lake parking lot in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, or as side trip by hikers visiting the upper Spray valley. While the views from the pass are quite impressive in all directions, encompassing Mt. Sir Douglas, Spray Pass, Chester valley and Mt. Birdwood, the Mud Lake approach passes through some fine meadows, and it is less steep than the ascent from Spray River. If you're hiking from the Mud Lake end and arrive at the signs at the trail summit, continue on the trail for about 10 mins., to a faintly marked junction with a spur trail that heads off to the left and ends at the Leman Lake viewpoint in about 5 more mins. An even better view is gained by ascending the ridge that runs between Burstall Pass and South Burstall Pass. From Burstall Pass, follow the mainly level bench in the direction of Mt. Sir Douglas, and head up the ridge to the right, just before dropping down to S. Burstall Pass. Proceeding along the ridge (an easy scramble), excellent views are obtained of Belgium and Back Lakes in Palliser Pass, and Leman Lake. Photos can be seen here. A map (58 KB), based on a Parks Canada pdf brochure, shows the campsites and trails at the south end of Banff National Park.

In addition to providing access to a short backpacking trip in the upper Spray, Burstall Pass is a convenient entry point to, or exit from, the Meadow section of the Great Divide Trail.

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This page was modified on July 27, 2012