BATUS Canyon - 1.3km Each Way (Easy with Scramble at end)

I had mixed feelings about this hike just after completing it, but it has been growing on me since then. The basic summary of this hike is: go right up the side of the mountain, steadily getting steeper, until you’re scrambling up to the viewpoint. Before setting off I really recommend purchasing a trail guide to help you find the start, as there is no cell service in the area.

We started by first attempting to find the trailhead. My trail guide, The David Thompson Highway Hiking Guide, said it was 7km south of the Cline River crossing, and that's pretty accurate. Just look for an old dirt road on the lake side of the highway, north of a small bridge at about that 7km mark.

The dirt Road

Now my biggest piece of advice for this hike is to not turn around while going up. You get a beautiful view basically 5 minutes in, but it will keep getting better the more you climb. Plus, your hiking mates will get annoyed with you each time you stop to take photos because you turned around.

About half way up you will encounter an old log structure that was put up by the British armed forces (fun fact BATUS - British Army Training Unit Suffield). This is where the trail will become more steep, but don't worry it is still a pleasant walk most of the way up.

At the 1.1km mark the scramble begins. This is where the hike became controversial for me. I am not a huge scrambler  so I went in with a bad attitude (Sarah comment: Braedyn, like me, is very cautious). You should understand that I am the clumsiest person on the planet, and often trip on flat trails, so adding a technical aspect to the hike makes it worrisome for me.

We scrambled our way up to the ridge where you basically get 180 degree views of the lake and a small view into the BATUS Canyon. You don't really get great views of the canyon but there is another hike that follows the river below into the canyon that might be cool, although I have not done it myself.


Looking into the canyon

The reason I have mixed feelings about this hike is I don't know if the views at the top of the scramble were that much better than what you got just before scrambling. Although, I think the redeeming factor is the sense of accomplishment when you reach the top. I would rate this hike a 7.5/10 because of the good views and great sense of accomplishment.