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A Complete Hiking Guide to Mt. Assiniboine

A Complete Hiking Guide to Mt. Assiniboine

Mt Assiniboine is one of the best places to go hiking because the altitude is just right and the views are truly stunning. If you’re thinking of adding this to your hiking itinerary, then there are a few things that you have to know first before venturing on.

That’s where we come in! To get you started, here is our comprehensive hiking guide for Mt. Assiniboine to help you conquer this amazing mountain! 

Time Zone

Canada Standard Time (GMT-5)

Things to Know

Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)

(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: English 

Calling Code: +1

Address: East Kootenay, BC V0A 1E0, Canada

Navigation: Bring detailed maps or a GPS app like Gaia GPS to stay on track. The trails are well-marked, but it’s always good to have a backup​.

Reservations: This is essential for almost all types of accommodation in the park. Plan ahead and book as soon as possible to secure your spot.

Bear safety: You’ll be in bear country, so carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it is crucial. Always stay on designated paths and store food properly to minimize risks​.

Travel insurance: Recommended, especially if you plan to use the helicopter service, as flights can be canceled due to weather​.

Correct clothing and gear: The weather in Mt Assiniboine can be unpredictable, so dressing in layers is key. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep you dry, add an insulating layer for warmth, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to protect against the elements.

Sturdy hiking boots are a must for the rough terrain, and don’t forget to pack a hat, gloves, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun and cold. Your clothing should be versatile enough to handle rapid weather changes, from sunny afternoons to chilly mornings and unexpected rain showers.

How to Get to Mt. Assiniboine 

To get to Mt. Assiniboine, you’ll need a combination of driving and either hiking or helicopter transport, as direct car access to the mountain itself is not available. Here’s a general outline of how to get there:

Drive to Canmore or Banff, Alberta: 

  • These towns are the most common starting points for trips to Mt. Assiniboine. From Calgary, you can drive to Canmore in about an hour via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1), or continue on to Banff, which is about 20 minutes further west.

Trailhead Options:

  • Sunshine Village: You can drive to Sunshine Village ski resort, located near Banff. From there, you can hike to Mt. Assiniboine. The hike from Sunshine Village is approximately 29 kilometers (18 miles) one way and is considered challenging.
  • Mt. Shark Trailhead: Another option is to drive to the Mt. Shark trailhead, located in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. This route is about 27 kilometers (17 miles) to Mt. Assiniboine and also challenging. The drive from Canmore to Mt. Shark trailhead takes about an hour.
  • Helicopter Transport: If you prefer not to hike, Assiniboine Lodge offers helicopter flights from Canmore or the Mt. Shark Helipad. You’ll need to book this in advance, and it’s a quick way to get directly into the heart of the park near Mt. Assiniboine.


  • Permits and Reservations: If you’re planning to hike and camp in the area, you’ll need to secure backcountry permits and reservations for campsites. This is crucial during the peak summer months when the area sees the highest number of visitors.
  • Prepare for the Backcountry: Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park is remote, and you should be prepared with adequate supplies, bear safety knowledge, and navigation skills.

Best Time to Go to Mt. Assiniboine 

Your sweet spot for visiting this majestic part of the Canadian Rockies falls between late June and early September. This window ensures you dodge the lingering snow of late spring and the early chills of autumn.

July and August beam with warm sunshine, painting the landscape perfect for hiking and capturing the wildflowers in their full glory. 

It’s peak season, so remember to book your spots early, from helicopter rides to campsites, to avoid missing out. Early September offers a tranquil retreat with fewer visitors and a crisp autumn air, ideal for those who want to experience Mt. Assiniboine in the fall colors. 

How to Hike in Mt. Assinibione 

Step 1: Choose your route

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Begin your journey by selecting one of the three primary trails, each offering a unique experience through the Canadian Rockies.

Choosing the best route greatly depends on personal preferences and abilities. If you’re seeking a balance between a scenic journey and physical challenge, flying into the park with a helicopter and hiking out via Wonder Pass offers an incomparable experience. 

This approach allows you to arrive with fresh legs, fully ready to explore the stunning landscapes of Mount Assiniboine. The helicopter ride provides a breathtaking aerial view of the park too, and hiking out enables you to deeply connect with the natural beauty on foot.

Via Sunshine Village 

This hike involves a 30 km trek with an elevation gain of 400 meters, usually taking around 10 hours. A gondola ride to Sunshine Village can bypass a portion of the hike, making for a scenic and less strenuous start​.

Via Bryant Creek and Assiniboine Pass or Wonder Pass 

These options present for varying difficulties. The Assiniboine Pass is slightly less challenging, while Wonder Pass provides steeper inclines with majestic views. Each route necessitates planning for campsite reservations and a Kananaskis Conservation Pass​.

Step 2: Start your ascent

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During your ascent, you’ll encounter diverse terrains and elevations. Preparation is key as each trail offers distinct landscapes and challenges, testing your hiking endurance and rewarding you with breathtaking scenery.

Step 3: Reach the summit

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Arriving at the park’s core, Mount Assiniboine greets you with its awe-inspiring presence. This milestone emphasizes the sense of achievement whether you’ve hiked or flown into the heart of the park​.

Once you reach the top, take a moment to be proud of your achievement and snap some proof while you’re at it. This is why bringing a high-end camera with you is a safe bet when hiking to Mt. Assinibione! 

Step 4: Choose how to descend

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For your return journey, consider the convenience of helicopter service for a lighter descent. You might choose a different trail for a fresh perspective or retrace your steps, soaking in the park’s natural beauty once more​.

Other Hiking Trails Nearby Mt Assiniboine to Consider 

Lake Magog Campground to the Niblet

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Distance6.4 km
Elevation282 m
Duration2-2.5 hours
Trail TypeOut and back
Surface Well-trodden path through woodlands and meadows, leading to panoramic views of Mount Assiniboine.

This trail is like a quick cheat code to some of the most jaw-dropping views you can get without having to huff and puff too much. 

The relatively gentle elevation gain means you’re not going to be too winded to appreciate the stunning panoramas of Mount Assiniboine and its surrounding peaks and lakes. 

It’s a sweet deal for a moderate effort, taking you through enchanting woodlands and meadows before you hit the jackpot view.

The Niblet & Nublet from Assiniboine Lodge

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Distance6.4 km
Elevation365 m
Duration2-3 hours
Trail TypeOut and back
Surface This trail takes you through peaceful woodlands and meadows, culminating in a climb along a small ridge for breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks​.

Here’s the deal—you get two for the price of one. Starting from the iconic Assiniboine Lodge, this hike punches above its weight, offering mesmerizing views of the peaks around Mount Assiniboine. 

The trail itself is a journey through serene forests and meadows, but the real showstopper is the ridge climb that unfolds incredible views. It’s the perfect mix of a little bit of a workout with a lot of payoff.

Assiniboine Lodge to Nub Peak Loop

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Distance11.4 km
Elevation701 m
Duration4-5.5 hours
Trail TypeLoop
Surface This route passes several lakes and ascends to the summit of a rugged peak, offering extensive views of Mount Assiniboine.

This one’s for those who like a bit of a challenge. The hike up to Nub Peak is not for the faint-hearted, but the rewards are unmatched—think sweeping views of the entire Mount Assiniboine area, with a backdrop of striking peaks and tranquil lakes. 

It’s a full day’s adventure that serves up the best of the Rockies’ rugged terrain, making every step worth it yet provides a challenge for those beginners willing to try out a harder rock while veterans who want a spicier trail to hike on.

Marvel Lake Trail

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Distance15.0 km
Elevation444 m
Duration4-5.5 hours
Trail TypePoint to point
Surface Scenic trail connecting two campsites within Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. The path offers picturesque views of Marvel Lake.

If you’re into long scenic walks and don’t mind a bit of a workout, the Marvel Lake Trail is your jam. It links two campsites with a path that offers stunning views of Marvel Lake, one of the park’s gems. 

This trail is all about the journey, allowing you to soak in the expansive beauty of Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park at a steady pace. It’s a hard hike, but the scenes are straight out of a postcard.

Sunshine Village to Mount Shark via Wonder Pass

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DifficultyModerate to Hard
Distance16.0 km to 22.0 km
Trail TypeThru-hike
Surface A combination of well-marked trails through diverse terrain including forests, meadows, and high alpine passes.

This is the ultimate Mount Assiniboine experience. It’s a trek that takes you through the heart of the Rockies, offering a variety of terrains and landscapes. 

From dense forests to open meadows and high alpine passes, this trail is a showcase of everything that makes the Canadian Rockies incredible. 

It’s a multi-day adventure that allows you to fully immerse in the wilderness and beauty of the park, making it a must-do for the adventurous at heart.

Where to Eat Near Mt. Assinibione 

Bridgette Bar Canmore

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Address: 1030 Spring Creek Dr, Canmore, AB T1W 0C8, Canada


Contact Details: +14039610271

Opening Hours: Daily 12–11 PM

Venturing into Bridgette Bar, Canmore, you’re greeted with a warm, inviting vibe, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring the breathtaking landscapes around Mt. Assiniboine. 

What sets Bridgette Bar apart is its eclectic menu, blending comfort food with sophistication. The wood-fired pizzas and innovative cocktails are not to be missed. Its welcoming atmosphere and culinary creativity make it a standout dining experience in Canmore.

Murrieta’s Canmore

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Address: 737 8 St #200, Canmore, AB T1W 2B6, Canada


Contact Details: +14036099500

Opening Hours: Daily 11 AM–9 PM

Nestled in the heart of Canmore, Murrieta’s Bar & Grill offers a culinary experience that mirrors the majestic surroundings of Mt. Assiniboine. 

With a menu that highlights the best of local ingredients, you’ll find dishes that are both comforting and innovative. 

The standout feature here is the stunning mountain views from the dining room, making every meal a picturesque event. The elegant yet relaxed setting is perfect for savoring the flavors of the region.

The Market Bistro

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Address: 75 Dyrgas Gate #102, Canmore, AB T1W 0A6, Canada


Contact Details: +15873615555

Opening Hours: Daily 12–8 PM

The Market Bistro is a hidden gem that offers a cozy, intimate dining experience. As you step into this charming spot, the passion for local and fresh ingredients is evident. 

What makes it unique is the bistro’s dedication to crafting simple yet delicious dishes, allowing the quality of the ingredients to shine through. 

This place is a testament to the idea that sometimes, less is more, especially when it’s done right. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking for an authentic taste of Canmore.

The Stirling Dining Room and Lounge

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Address: 321 Spring Creek Dr, Canmore, AB T1W 2C1, Canada


Contact Details: +14038120690

Opening Hours: Daily 7 AM–9 PM

Located within the grandeur of the Malcolm Hotel, The Stirling Dining Room and Lounge presents a dining experience that’s both luxurious and deeply rooted in Scottish heritage. 

The menu is a sophisticated blend of Scottish and Canadian cuisine, offering a unique taste experience. The ambiance, inspired by Scotland’s Stirling Castle, adds an element of historic elegance to your meal. 

The Chimney Corner

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Address: Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L 2C0, Canada


Contact Details: +14037627890

Opening Hours: Daily 7 AM–10 PM

The Chimney Corner offers a warm, rustic charm that’s hard to find elsewhere. Here, the focus is on hearty, comforting dishes that feel like a hug in a bowl. 

The stone fireplace and wood accents create a cozy atmosphere, ideal for relaxing after a day in the mountains. 

What’s the Weather Like at Mt. Assiniboine 

At Mount Assiniboine, expect different weather with each season. In summer (June to August), it’s warmer during the day, around 20°C, but can get cold at night. 

Autumn (September to November) cools down, with temperatures dropping from 10°C to below freezing, and you might see early snow. 

Winter (December to February) is very cold, often below -10°C, perfect for snow activities but you need to dress warmly. Spring (March to May) is unpredictable, with temperatures around 0°C to 10°C, and there’s still a chance of snow. 

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