Distance 13.6 km return, height gain 344 m, moderate
Plateau Mountain is unique in the Canadian Rockies. Once a nunatak rising above the glaciers of the last ice age, it is today a steep-sided mesa with over 14 km2 rising above the 2300 m (7550 ft.) level. Plateau is renowned for "patterned ground." What happened is that continual freezing and thawing during a colder, wetter era forced the larger rocks upwards and outwards from areas of finer material into an amazing self-perpetuating pattern of circles and polygons.
Start: At Wilkinson Summit turn north onto Plateau Mountain Road and drive for ~3.9 km to a parking area near the big bend at 744666 where a second gate precludes further travel.
Difficulty: Easy walking on well roads.
Note: After being damaged by the flood of 2013, the road has been repaired and is supposed to be open to the public according to the area master plan. Sometimes it isn't! Bring bikes just in case. If it is closed, phone the Forest Service in Blairmore and ask them why.
  • A tree grows in a patterned ground polygon. Photo Jack Tannett.

Please refer to the trail description in the guidebook, especially for unofficial, off-trail hikes.
Kananaskis Country Trail Guide Volume 5 Trail #70

Trail start: Plateau Mtn 50.22597N, -114.55658W

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Last updated Jun 8, 2018