Mount Cartier Summit Trail

Rating: 5 stars.

Use: Biking, Hiking.

Difficulty: Difficult.

Distance: 31.8 km return to the summit.

Description: A true Revelstoke Hiker Rite of Passage. This trail is massive. Not only in kilometers but also in elevation gain. The trail starts at valley bottom and goes right to the summit. Recently there has been a lot of interest in this trail throughout the mountain biking community. The trail however does not give itself up so easily. To get to the top you will invariably be pushing or carrying your bike… a lot. For those that can afford it. A helicopter drop at a convenient pad located just below the summit eliminates this step. However, even the descent, does not flow on a bike. Kind of an enigma. Not the greatest for hiking as it is such a massive slog yet, not the greatest for biking as it was not handcrafted to ‘flow’ as the recent trail on Frisby was. Still, a great outing. The views from the top are spectacular.  Although I had been up and down the trail partway many times (while working on the firefighting crews doing springtime trail maintenance) it was not until recently that I decided I needed to go all the way… on foot. 7.5 hours up and down, running most of the way. The trail for the most part is in good shape. Once you hit the first cabin the trail can be somewhat hard to find as the original trail is overgrown. The ‘new’ bypass soon meets up with the original trail you are back on track. 

Directions: Drive south on Airport Way past the airport.  Approximately 1 km past ‘6 mile’ you will see the trailhead on the left.

Trailhead GPS:

  1. Cartier Trailhead: N50 55.500 W118 08.550
  2. Cartier Viewpoint/Summit fork: N50 54.934 W118 07.702
  3. Cartier Cabin: N50 54.555 W118 04.697
  4. Cartier Summit Lookout: N50 54.757 W118 03.437
  5. Cartier Summit Helipad: N50 54.563 W118 03.420

Useful Maps:

Mount Cartier MOF Map PDF

Mount Cartier Summit Trail Overview Map PDF

Mount Cartier Summit Trail Detail Map PDF

Mount Cartier Summit Trail KML file on Dropbox

Cartier Cabin. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Cartier Cabin. Ben Wilkey Collection.
A long ways yet to go. Mount Cartier Summit Trail.  Ben Wilkey Collection.
A long ways yet to go. Mount Cartier Summit Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Into the alpine. Mount Cartier Summit Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Into the alpine. Mount Cartier Summit Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
The final section to the summit. Ben Wilkey Collection.
The final section to the summit. Ben Wilkey Collection.
The view from the very top. Mount Cartier Summit Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
The view from the very top. Mount Cartier Summit Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.

4 thoughts on “Mount Cartier Summit Trail

  1. Hi Ben. When did you complete this hike? I was thinking of going next week (May 27)… Do you think there will be lots of snow at the top still?

    1. I haven’t gone to the top, but thought I’d let you know that I did go a wimpy 6 km up, which is just a few km once you cross the bridge. This was yesterday, and there are some trees down, but not too bad on the section that I did. Easy enough to go around the bad ones. I think the hut is easy to find, but the trail past the hut is more tricky to find.

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