Marvelous Midnight Peak, Kananaskis

by - Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Midnight Peak, only 75 minutes from Calgary, offers awesome views of Kananaskis Valley and surrounding peaks. With almost 1,000 metres of elevation gain, you have to earn those views, but you don't need to be an experienced scrambler to reach the summit. The peak is usually snow free from June to late October, so it's a popular early/late season objective.


Midnight Peak Kananaskis
Midnight Peak, Kananaskis
Patti and I departed Calgary under sunny skies, excited to bag a new peak. You can only do Ha Ling and Yamnuska so many times! From Baldy Pass parking lot, we crossed the highway and followed the well defined trail through the trees. Within an hour, we had travelled 4 km to the pass and climbed almost 500 metres. Sadly, there was not much to see from the pass, so we sipped some water and carried on. 

Midnight Peak Kananaskis
Looking up at Midnight Peak from Baldy Pass
From the the pass, we stuck to climber's right and found some cairns marking the way. We followed them for a while, then skirted the trees (to the right) and scrambled up the scree. The last section was extremely steep so I took lots of photos as an excuse to stop and catch my breath.

Midnight Peak Kananaskis
Steep and getting steeper!
About an hour and a quarter later, we were standing on top of Midnight Peak. It was certainly one of the easier mountains we'd climbed, but the views were outstanding! I would definitely do this mountain again!

Midnight Peak Kananaskis
Approaching the summit
Midnight Peak Kananaskis
Patti on the summit of Midnight Peak
We saw some people head north on the ridge then descend on skier's right (east), but I thought it would be a lot faster to descend to the west. Don't do that! My "shortcut" added on at least an hour to our descent and involved route finding and hands on scrambling that would be downright dangerous if the trail were snow covered or icy. 

Midnight Peak Kananaskis
View from Midnight Peak
The best way down is the way you came. Quick and easy! Trekking poles are recommended as it's so darn steep.

Midnight Peak Kananaskis
View from Midnight Peak

Midnight Peak At a Glance

Distance:  10 km round trip (4 km, 490 m gain to the pass; add 1 km, 460 m gain to the summit)Elevation Gain:  950 m gain
Time: Allow 4-5 hours
Nearest Washrooms: Baldy Pass Parking Lot
Stroller Friendly? No.
Distance from Calgary: 65 km
Directions from Calgary: Travel west on highway 1. Take the exit for Kananaskis Trail / Highway 40 S. Follow Hiw 40 for 14 km to the Baldy Pass parking lot on the right hand side of the road.
Parking: Baldy Pass parking lot
Trailhead: The trailhead is on the east side of the highway. Cross Highway 40 at the crosswalk. The trailhead is marked "Baldy Pass Trail". 

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More Beginner Scrambles

Please be avalanche aware and research conditions before attempting any summit!

Ha Ling Peak (Canmore)
Little Arethusa  (Highwood Pass)
Vision Quest Hike (Nordegg / David Thompson)

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