2024 means new peaks and new hikes to cross off the list. And South Lawson Peak was one of them.
South Lawson Peak has been on my list last year but I didn’t get a chance to hike it up. So when my friends asked if I wanted to do a New Year hike, i jumped on it. Especially because the weather was very promising and not cold yet (next week is going to be another story!).
Popularity: 5/10 (We met some people but not too many. We were alone at the top for a bit)
Looking at the All Trails map, the hike seems pretty straight, and it is. But it is also pretty steep! It takes about 3h30 to complete both ways (so about 2h30 to go up).
You start the hike by walking for a kilometer or so on a flat road. As it hasn’t snowed a lot so far, the trail was pretty packed and easy to walk on. After that road, there will be a first right turn (THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT ONE TO TAKE!) but you have to continue a few meters. Right before the small dam, there is a small trail going to the right, this is the way to go. From there, it will be pretty steep all the way up.
I have seen worse steep hikes though (like Wasooch ridge for example). Microspikes are recommended (and poles) if possible. I had my crampons on just for stability and comfort for the way up but they were definitely so helpful on the way down. My friends didn’t have theirs and regretted it for the way down!
You go up for almost all of South Lawson Peak hike until you reach a little plateau. You might think this is the top, but it is not! The path will take you back down a little and then back up to reach the actual top.
The views were amazing. While going up in the forest, there are some holes in the tree lines to enjoy the view (which is amazing!!). And as soon as you reach the top of the tree line, you have an amazing view over the lakes in the valley and all the mountains lines. This is honestly, one of the most beautiful views I have seen for such a short hike!
Once we went up the last peak, it became so windy and so cold! We were so hot going up that staying at the summit in full wind, iced us to our bones. I advise you to cover up before doing the last ascend. We still stayed for a few pictures at the top before heading down.
The way down was very fun for my friends that had to slide down – pulled by the dogs of course! – because they didn’t have crampons.
All in all, South Lawson Peak was a great leg burner for a beginning of the year.
It is an amazing short hike to take and it is a beautiful place to say your vows if you are looking to elope in the Canadian Rockies. You will get some jaw dropping views. And the big plus? It is amazing for a sunrise OR a sunset because the sun will get through the valley in the back so no matter when, this is a great hike for photos!