A long but classic day in the Canadian Rockies.

Quick Stats

  • Distance: 26.6km – 29Km (depending on route)
  • Height Gain: 1421m – 1535m (depending on route)
  • Round Trip Time: 7h
  • Kane Rating: Easy
  • Resources: Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies
Castle Mountain steals the show as you drive from Banff to Lake Louise, so it makes perfect sense to seek out the summit. Here it is, just poking out of the early morning clouds.
Step one is to do the hike to Rockbound lake, which is worth the 8.5Km hike in. Helena Ridge can be seen in the background.
Shortly after leaving Rockbound lake, you get into an interesting area above the lake. The valley I hiked in leading to the lake comes into view.
The route becomes a bit more visible now. After leaving the lake you follow the plateau above it. Then from the right side of this picture to the left and eventually up to the summit. Of course, the summit is the left most and furthest away point. This is going to be a long day.
After traversing around the back of the lake the summit comes into view. It is still a very long way to go.
Passed these friendly guys along the way.
Looking back down on Rockbound lake. The route leaves the right hand side of the lake and up to the plateau above. From there, it wraps around the lake and over the rock slabs.
And on the summit with a huge cairn. The bow valley in the background.
Of course, the traditional summit selfie makes an appearance!
The views up here are not bad at all. Highway 93 heading off to Radium.
An excellent view of Eisenhower Tower. Castle Mountain was originally named for its castle like appearance (clever, right?). However, in 1946 while General Eisenhower was visiting Canada, Prime Minster McKenzie King figured it would be a good idea to rename Castle Mountain to Eisenhower in his honor. The locals didn’t approve of this and it took until 1976 before the name was changed back to Castle Mountain (because it looks more like a castle than a war general). However, this tower on the south side of castle mountain still holds his name; Eisenhower Tower (and rhymes nicely too I might add).
Looking North from the summit. From this vantage point I could see cairns on the other summits to the North. Was it possible those were the true summits? Not wanting to risk coming all this way and missing the true summit I decide I better go and investigate.
I carried on, on to the 2nd summit. From there, it looked like the third summit might be higher, so I had no choice but to check that also. This is looking back at what I believe is the true summit. I’m still not that sure which one is the tallest?
This calls for another summit selfie. Does it count if you are not sure it is the true summit?
Oh crap, is that one higher? Better go check it out also. Which of course, means going down, and then back up again. This is getting old.
Looking back at the first 3 peaks from the 4th. Hmmmmm I’m still not sure which one is the tallest.
4th peak summit selfie!
One last look around and it is time to start the long walk out of here.
Back down at Rockbound lake, a look at the 4 summits I stood on. Which summit do you think is the highest?

(SPOILER ALERT, it is the left hand one, which was the first one I stood on. All my efforts to reach the other summits were for nothing.)
Looking back at Castle after a long day. It is always satisfying to look back at a mountain and know you have stood on top of it.


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