McCrae Peak Trail

Rating: 5 stars.

Use: Hiking.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Distance: 5.2 km return to the lakes. 9 km to the summit. 

Description: Without a doubt the crown jewel of Revelstoke alpine hiking. With a drive to sub alpine and a short approach trail to a spectacular setting, this is the best high elevation hike in Revelstoke. About 2 km from the trailhead you will come to a Y. The left hand trail continues down to McCrae Lakes. The right hand trail continues towards the summit of McCrae Peak. As you approach the summit  the trail becomes harder and harder to find until eventually it is up to you to find your way. The recommended approach is to continue along the northwest ridge all the way to the summit. The alternate approach would be to ascend the small glacier below the peak and intersect the ridge at the obvious col. The summit ridge is not technical at all. Class 3 with a bit of exposure in a couple of spots. Worth the effort.

Directions: Follow Airport Way Road south past the airport. Continue past the end of the pavement. Turn left onto the Akolkolex FSR. 7.2 km from the start of the Akolkolex FSR you will come to a Y in the road. Take this right onto the ‘Hard’ way or keep on the Akolkolex FSR and take the ‘Long’ way. I wouldn’t suggest taking the Hard way unless you have a 4X4. Cross the Akolkolex River bridge and stay left. From here the road is fairly well signed.

Trailhead GPS:

  1. Akolkolex FSR: N50 52.725 W118 05.857
  2. Hardway turn: N50 50.439 W118 02.824
  3. Akolkolex Bridge: N50 49.731 W118 01.862
  4. McCrae Road turn: N50 48.655 W117 59.843
  5. McCrae Trailhead: N50 49.931 W117 57.241
  6. McCrae Lakes: N50 49.262 W117 56.040
  7. McCrae Camp: N50 48.955 W117 55.660

Useful Maps:

McCrae Peak Trail Overview Map PDF

McCrae Peak Trail Detail Map PDF

McCrae Peak Trail KML file on Dropbox

History of Donald McCrae by Aaron Orlando


Mt McCrae Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Selwyn Wilkey (age 2) on the McCrae Peak Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
McCrae Lake. Ben Wilkey Collection.
McCrae Lakes. Ben Wilkey Collection.
McCrae approach. Ben Wilkey Collection.
McCrae Peak summit approach. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Alpine Wildflowers. Mount McCrae Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Alpine wildflowers. McCrae Peak Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Approaching upper lakes. McCrae Peak Trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
McCrae Peak. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Enroute McCrae Glacier. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Ridge approach. McCrae Peak. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Descending the final pitch. McCrae Peak. Ben Wilkey Collection.
McCrae Peak. Ben Wilkey Collection.

21 thoughts on “McCrae Peak Trail

      1. Speaking of which, we just saw a sow Grizzly and cub from the first knoll. It was downslope on the southwest side in one of the alpine bowls. We saw it in early afternoon of August 8, 2016.

        Also just a note for anyone who is hiking/camping up there this weekend – we will be taking a group of 18 Grade 5/6 students from Salmon Arm up to this site and staying for 2 nights in the campground as part of our annual Shuswap Wild Wonders outdoor learning camps. Visit at your own risk;)

        Geoff Styles
        Salmon Arm
        The Shuswap Outdoor Learning Foundation

  1. Mount McCrae? Always knew this as McCrae Peak, I noticed just about everyone refers to it Mount McCrae now. But all maps call it McCrae Peak.

    1. We got to the 22 km marker before turning back due to the snow on the road. Early snow was easy enough to push through in my rear-drive car without snow tires, but eventually it was too much. I’m not sure an all-wheel drive could make it, as the most recent tracks appeared to be made by large tractor tires many weeks ago.
      This is early spring, end of April.

  2. Did this hike on July 21. The road was in good shape all the way to the parking lot. The pavement ends right at the Akolkolex FSR and for most people this maybe common sense but a note, the campsite is at the lake. We ended up traversing the summit with our packs as we missed going to the campsite first, the coordinates threw us off a bit. Gorgeous spot. Thank you for the information on this hike.

    1. Depends on the snow line. Often there’s a short window you can drive up and get some turns in. Last year was phenomenal – you could drive up mid-October, ski right from the parking lot and the coverage was amazing. Other years, you’re hiking in and out and just hoping to come out without any core shots.

  3. WARNING!! We are taking a group of 20 kids and leaders up here to camp and hike from August 6 to 9, 2018. If you enjoy peace and quiet you may want to come up on another day.Thanks you for understanding.

    1. The bridge at km 18 of the Akolkolex/Crawford FSR is being replaced between July 10 and August 7. McCrae will not be accessible between these dates.

  4. We visited August long weekend 2018. Bridge was complete and road good right to parking lot. A small fire just below the parking lot was in mop up stage by fire crews. Thanks fire crews for keeping this area beautiful and cool. From the ridge approach, you could see fires burning in the distance in all directions. It was our first visit, and found some of the signage confusing, so use GPS and a map. Saw 2 black bears, no grizzlies. Trail itself was super easy to follow. Great hike.

  5. Road is in good shape. A little bumpy in the final kms, but there was a Toyota Corolla in the parking lot. Only a couple of small patches of snow beside the trail. But some snow fell as we were hiking – typical July weather!

  6. I left a pair of Black Diamond hiking poles in the parking lot at the trailhead on the 21 of July, 2019 – please let me know if you see them. I would love to get these back as they were a dearly treasured gift!

  7. Directions could be improved. For the ‘long way’, at 12.5 km, turn off the Akolkolex FSR onto the Crawford FSR. There is no indication at this point, to turn for McCrae.
    After that, the route is fairly straight forward.and signage is good. If it’s 2020 and you get to the bridge work on the Akolkolex, turn around and go back to the proper turn!

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