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Jumpingpound Summit Trail, Kananaskis

by Karen Ung
Jumpingpound Summit Trail is the quick way up Jumpingpound Mountain – only 6.5 kilometres round trip! Allow 2-3 hours to complete the hike and enjoy panoramic views at the top. 

Jumpingpound Summit
Jumpingpound Summit
The hike up Jumpingpound Summit is easy, but the road to the trailhead is narrow, winding and bumpy. Signs warn: “unmaintained road”, “dangerous conditions when wet” and “logging activity ahead”. Heading south on Powderface Trail, there are many sections with a big drop-off on the right – and no barricades – so we take our time and watch for oncoming vehicles.

Around the 16 kilometre mark, we slow down so we don’t miss the unmarked parking area we blew past last time we attempted this hike. A few years ago we missed the Jumpingpound Summit parking (expecting a sign – there was none) and ended up at the end of the road, at the western trailhead for Powderface Ridge. The silver lining is that we discovered Sunrise Hill that day, one of our favorite short hikes.

Jumpingpound Summit map
Jumpingpound Summit Map

After an hour and a half of driving, it feels good to get out and stretch our legs! The map at the trailhead across the street shows it’s a little over 3 km one way to the summit. We make good time on the gently graded forest trail and arrive at the junction (2.5 km from the car) in less than an hour. Here, we turn left to keep going up, and after 400 metres, head up the ridge on the right. It only takes a few minutes to reach the top.

Jumpingpound Summit
First bridge on the trail, Jumpingpound Summit
Heading up onto the ridge, Jumpingpound Summit
Heading up onto the ridge, Jumpingpound Summit
Almost at the top of Jumpingpound Summit!
Almost at the top of Jumpingpound Summit!

From the summit, we can look north to Cox Hill, east to Moose Mountain, west to the jagged Fisher Range, and south to countless peaks in Kananaskis. Surprisingly good views for how easy the hike is! After a breezy snack break, we return the way we came.

Descending from Jumpingpound Summit
Descending from Jumpingpound Summit
Jumpingpound Summit Trail
Returning to the forest trail

Jumpingpound Summit At a Glance

Distance: 6.5 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 330 m
Elevation: 2,225 metres
Nearest Washrooms: Dawson Equestrian Campground
Stroller Friendly? No.
Best time to go: July when the expansive alpine meadows are full of wildflowers

Distance from Calgary: 87 km. Allow 1.5 hours as the gravel road is narrow, winding, and bumpy.

Directions from Calgary: Take Hwy 1 west. Take exit 143 for AB-68 S toward Sibbald Creek Trail. Turn left at the stop sign and continue on AB-68 for 23.1 km. Turn left onto Powderface Trail and continue for 16.6 km (approximately 40 minutes). Note: POWDERFACE TRAIL IS TREACHEROUS IN WET/SNOWY CONDITIONS. This road is closed from December 1 – May 14 each year. 

Parking: The parking area is NOT marked. Look for a gravel pull-out about half a kilometre past the 16th kilometre marker if headed south on Powderface Trail.

Trailhead: The trailhead is across the road from the parking area and has a map of Sibbald / Jumpingpound Trails.

This is an easy summit to cross off the list if you don’t mind the long, bumpy drive. Beautiful views and lots of possible extensions (Jumpingpound Ridge, Coxhill Ridge) for a longer day.

Other options to consider in the area are Sunrise Hill, Powderface Ridge, and Prairie Mountain.

Jumpingpound Summit Trail, Kananaskis
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