Mount Kidd

Featured photo of Mount Kidd

Mount Kidd sits alone between the Kananaskis River Valley and the long Kananaskis Range located just north of Kananaskis Lakes in the center of Kananaskis Country (Kidd is basically the center of the Kananaskis Universe), a provincial park which encompasses over 4,000 square kilometers of foothills and mountains bordering Banff National Park in the central Canadian Rockies. Via Guinn’s Pass, Mount Kidd shares the Kananaskis Range with many other climbs including: Mount Buller, Mount Galatea, Gusty Peak, Mount Engadine, The Fortress, Mount Chester and Mount Lawson. Mount Kidd was officially named in 1907 after an early explorer of the region. The first ascent to the summit was made in 1947 by Hind and Tarrant.

Similar to Pilot Mountain in the Bow River Valley of Banff National Park, Mount Kidd doglegs out into the Kananaskis River Valley giving it a broad view from north and south on the Kananaskis Parkway as well as easy access. These uncomplicated views make it a somewhat popular objective. Mount Kidd consists of two peaks (north and south) and both have published moderate scramble routes. The north peak is the true summit and the south peak is over 200’ shorter. Mount Kidd also has an alpine III- 5.7 route up its northeast buttress. The south peak looks like it is conducive to a ski route, but I have only been up the north peak route, which might make a probable ski ascent, but perilous descent in my opinion.

The views from the north peak encompass a variety of mountains, but Mount Bogart stands obvious to the immediate west. Other views include Mount Sir Douglas to the south and The Wedge across the valley to the east.

Getting There

Take the Kananaskis Highway (Highway 40) exit off of the Trans-Canada Highway between Calgary and Canmore. Travel approximately 33kms south to the Galatea Creek Day Use parking area (on your right) . There are restrooms at this location.

Red Tape

There are no permit requirements to enter, climb and/or park in Kananaskis Provincial Park. This is active grizzly country however. Take bear spray. There have been numerous 2005 trail closures in Kananaskis due to mountain lions and grizzlies. We just had our third serious grizzly attack in the Canmore area for 2005. Therefore it would be prudent to check recent notices posted on the park’s website. You will pass the park headquarters en route on Highway 40 (Kananaskis Trail) several kilometers south of the Trans-Canada (on your right). Notices are posted outside if they are closed. This is a solid information center with good staff and beta.

When To Climb

As with most climbs in the Canadian Rockies, the driest time is from June through September. I did the scramble up Mount Kidd’s north peak in October and conditions were relatively dry. There are no published backcountry ski routes on Mount Kidd, however, skiing the south summit might be plausible.

Mountain Conditions

The Kananaskis Provincial Park website is a very thorough park website, including trail conditions or closures, wildlife notices, weather conditions, avalanche conditions, camping permits, whitewater conditions, etc. It is an excellent source if you are going to spend any time here and comparable to any National Park website I have used. Outside of the parks web site, Canadian Avalanche Association is also useful, particularly for winter travel. Canadian Alpine Accident Reports are also extremely useful.

Camping

There is a significant lodging and campground complex several kilometers north called Kananaskis Village. The lodging options here include the Ribbon Creek Hostel and posh Delta Lodge. The closest back country campsite is Lillian Lake 6.3kms in on Galatea Creek Trail. You cannot camp outside of the marked specific camping areas in Kananaskis. Refer to the Kananaskis Provincial Park website for more information regarding camping and/or lodging.

Elevation (feet): 9,705
Elevation (meters): 2,958
Continent: North America
Country: Canada
Range/Region: Canadian Rockies
Province: Alberta
Latitude: 50.893938
Longitude: -115.19002
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1947
First successful climber(s): Hind and Tarrant
Nearest major airport: Calgary International
Convenient Center: Canmore

Thanks to Bruce Dunbar for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 7 trip reports for Mount Kidd.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #22339 - by G-REG on Aug 20, 2012
    Steep hike and scramble up scree for the last part of the climb. Made it up in four hours with two friends.
  • Log #19399 - by Dow Williams on Sep 27, 2006
    Broke my hand days earlier and needed something to cheer me up. Although Mount Kidd did the trick, I thought this scramble was fairly uneventful. Being stuck in a bowl limited views for most of the...
  • Log #15990 - by Cort on June 28, 2004
    I went up Mount Kidd today (June 28th 2004) and originally planned to hike up Mount Indefatigable, but I forgot to call the park wardens to see if it was open, and of course it wasn't so Mount Kidd...
  • Log #15991 - by Tom Gilman on July 17, 2002
    WOW, as I wrote in the register at the summit, this was truly a humbling experience. For a born and bred easterner, this is a sight never to be forgotten. Clear blue sky, mountain goats running...
  • Log #15992 - by Ingrid on Feb 11, 2002
    The first time we tried this mountain we ended up about a third of the way up and ended up on rock bands we shouldn't have been on. The second time, we were wiser. We started earlier and the day...
  • Log #15993 - by Bryan Miles on Sep 14, 2001
    To much scree! Never again. Sweet view though. Climbed w/ my good friend Conn.
  • Log #15994 - by Bruce Dunbar on Aug 25, 2001
    This time it was the north peak (slightly higher than the south peak). The approach is easier from the Galatea Creek trailhead than the south peak. Great slab and rubble climbing most of the way up....