Distance 14.6 km one way, height gain 497 m, moderate
Two blue-green lakes in superb alpine country. There is the option to continue over High Col to Birdwood Pass or on to Burstall Pass in one day if you have two vehicles.
Start: Hwy. 742 (Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail). Turn west onto Mt. Shark Road. In 1 km turn left onto a side road and park a little way in.
Difficulty: The route starts with a fairly easy walk on trail up Commonwealth Creek Valley followed by a grunt up a headwall to Smuts Pass on the so-called Banff Park boundary.
Note: Most people don't end the trip at Smuts Pass, but continue on to High Col and up the lower slopes of what Andrew Nugara calls Smutwood Ridge for the fantastic view of Mt. Birdwood.
Andrew's brilliant photo could well be a Lawren Harris painting.
  • Upper Birdwood Lake. Photo Andrew Nugara.

Please refer to the trail description in the guidebook, especially for unofficial, off-trail hikes.
Kananaskis Country Trail Guide Volume 1 Trail #85

Trail start: Tryst-Commonwealth 50.83908N, -115.35105W

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Last updated Jul 18, 2018