Want to do a trail that is incredibly challenging but has astounding payoffs? Then, you’ll need to add the EEOR (East End of Rundle) summit to your destination list! This is one of the Rocky Mountain trails 🏔 that is in the Kananaskis country area just an hour outside of Calgary.
This is one of the most popular Canadian Rockies hiking trails for adventurers for good reason! You’ll climb up the mountain and at then end you’ll be able to take in the scenery at the most stunning summit. From the top, you can see the sprawling Kananskis mountains, a bright blue lake 💦, and Ha Ling Peak towering over head.
My husband and I have been on over a hundred trails in the past year, but this was by far one of the most difficult. You have to slog your way up 2800 feet in just a couple of miles, all while walking over loose rocks (referred to as scree below) and thrilling rock scrambles 😱. It’s quite a day hike and even though we are fast hikers it took us 4 hours in total!
Because of the difficult obstacles to get to the top, I only recommend this trail for individuals that are experienced hikers! If you want a hike that is still very tough 💪🏻, but is more accessible, then you can do the Ha Ling peak across the way!
For those daring enough to complete the EEOR hike, then I’ve collected all the information you need to know ✍️. Read below for a complete guide to the EEOR hike including a trail description, packing guide, hiking safety tips, and directions!
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Table of Contents
EEOR Trail Guide
Quick Hike Info
Distance: 3.5-5.5 miles
Elevation: Roughly 2800 feet of gain
Type: Out and Back Trail
Length: 4-6 hours total (depends on your pace and trail conditions)
EEOR Difficulty Level: Hard-long, steep, plenty of scree (loose rocks) and at point you will have to go over rock scrambles. This hike is only recommended for experienced hikers!
Where is Kananaskis?
Kananaskis Country is located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies just an hour West of Calgary in Alberta. This area is known for the jagged mountain peaks that are an adventurer’s paradise with ample opportunities for paddling, hiking, and mountain biking 🚵♀️.
The small mountain town of Canmore sits at the foot of Kananaskis while the Kananaskis River runs right through them. Within the Kananaskis area there are 9 provincial parks as well as 50 recreation sites. So, if you’re looking for an outdoors adventure then this is a great place to start!
How to Get to the EEOR Hike
Getting to the EEOR hike is luckily easily and straightforward 🚗. The only difficulty is finding the trailhead at the hike, because it’s not very well marked. There is a small sign about wilderness, but you may want the location up on a map. You can see the sign on the trail below:
From Calgary: Those hikers who are traveling from Calgary should get on the Trans-Canada Highway. Then, take the highway for about 98 kilometers or 55 miles until you get to exit 93 for Three Sisters Parkway. Continue on Three Sisters Parkway for 10 kilometers and the trailhead will be on your right.
From Canmore: If you are driving from downtown Calgary, then you want to take 8th Avenue as it turns into Bridge Road. Then, after 800 meters or so you’ll take a left on Three Sisters Parkway and continue on that for 5 kilometers until you get to the trail.
Best Time to Hike EEOR
The hiking season in Kananaskis is fairly short, because the mountain peaks are covered with snow ❄️ for much of the year. The real hiking season starts at the end of May and ends in late September when snow begins to fall again.
EEOR is one of the trails that usually melts earlier than others. During a year with low snowfall you’ll be able to hike this trail in late May 📆. However, other years you may have to wait until June to get on the hike. But, summer is definitely a great time to hike with sunny skies and good temperatures. You can check the latest EEOR trail conditions on Alltrails.
How to Get a Kananaskis Conservation Pass
Getting a Kananaskis Conservation Pass is super easy and convenient! You will need a Conservation Pass if you plan on parking at the provincial parks or public use land in Kananaskis & Bow Valley.
You just have to go online to the conservation site. From that page, you’ll just provide all of your vehicle information 🚙, your name, and pay for the pass. You only need one pass per vehicle, no matter how many people are in the car.
You have two options for the pass:
- Daily– $15, you can enter the dates and pay for multiple in a row
- Annual– $90, worth it if you plan on hiking in the area for a week or more during a year
Things to Know Before You Go
🎟 You will need to get a Kananaskis Conservation Pass to hike in this area. You can get daily permits for $15 (per vehicle) or get an annual one for $90.
☀️ Weather can change quickly in the mountains and storms can roll in! If there’s bad weather in the forecast then you may want to reconsider completing the EEOR hike. This trail will be extremely slippery and hard to complete when it’s wet.
⛺️ There are campgrounds as well as backcountry camping in Kananaskis. You can learn more about the camping available in the area here.
🦮 Technically, dogs are allowed on the trail, but know your dog’s ability. This trail is steep and the rocks are slippery. You need to have dogs on leash at all times.
🐻 The Canadian Rockies are bear country, so make sure to stay bear aware and make loud noises when hiking on the trails. Use the rule of thumb when viewing wildlife and pack bear spray!
🚙 There is parking right by the trailhead along the lake. However, there aren’t a lot of spots there, so you can also park in the Ha Ling parking area right down the road if you need to.
🍃 Remember to follow the Leave No Trace Principles. As always, you want to leave nature looking better than you found it.
EEOR Trail Description
Through the Forest
As soon as you start the trail, you will begin your ascent. However, it starts at a nice easy pace while you walk over a couple switchbacks through a forest 🌳🌳🌳. Once you get to the edge of the forest, this is where the fun part of the trail really begins!
Up the Boulders
Once you get out of the forest, boulders will start to pile high above you 🪨🪨🪨. You’ll need to use your hands and feet to climb over the boulders and up. I recommend putting your hiking poles away for this part of the trail because they often just get in the way.
As the climb gets harder, the views get better. The trees clear behind you and allow for stellar vistas over the mountains. So, if you are ever in need of a break you can stop and rest as you look out over the area 👀.
About halfway up the mountain, you’ll get wonderful views from EEOR of the lake below the mountain. You can choose to take a bit of a detour over to the side of the mountain for a clear overlook or continue up.
Over the Rock Scramble
You’ll have to walk for about 600 feet over a steep area with lots of scree. At this point you can choose to go straight up the scree or wind your way through it. It’s really up to you and what you are comfortable with.
However, once you get to the top of this steep scree section, you’ll arrive at the cliff edge. On this portion of the trail, you should hug the left where the rocks are high and you can use them to grip as you slowly make your way along the rocks. It’s a bit scary 😬 if you don’t like heights, but as long as you stick to the left you’ll be okay!
Finally, you’ll make it to the end of the cliffs and out to the EEOR summit. On the top of the summit there are spectacular 360 degree views 🤩 over Kananaskis, Calgary, and the area beyond. This is a great place to stop and eat a snack or lunch while you take in the crazy sights below.
Back Down on Scree
What comes up, must come down. Once you’ve thoroughly enjoyed your time at the top, then you can begin your way back down ↘️ the mountain. There are multiple ways you can get down that vary in the steepness and difficulty. Wherever I could, I tried to choose the easier path.
The best way to get down scree is to kind of allow your feet to slide down a bit in it as you go down. It can almost feel like you’re skiing ⛷ down the mountain at times. The less you resist the slippery rocks, the easier your descent will be. Take your time, go slow, and use your poles!
Once you get to the forest, you’ll feel like the trail is a breeze, because you’ll just need to walk down the path from there.
Packing Guide for the EEOR Hike
East End of Rundle is a very tough hike with steep elevation. If you are going up the mountain, then you will definitely want to bring hiking poles and good shoes 🥾. I had never hiked on scree before and it was very tough both mentally and physically. Hiking poles saved my legs!
Also, the sun is strong on the mountain, so wear plenty of sun protection 😎. You probably won’t see a bear on the trail, but it’s best to bring bear spray just in case.
- Comfortable Hiking Boots
- Small Pack
- Hiking Poles
- 1-2 Liters of Water
- Water Reservoir
- Snacks and Food
- First Aid Kit
- Bug Spray
- Bear Spray
- Hat to block sun
- Rain jacket or light winter jacket
- Satellite phone
- Kananaskis Conservation Pass
Final Tips for Hiking the EEOR Trail
Again, this hike is best for experienced hikers because it’s incredibly steep and the scree is hard to walk on. Even if you are used to mountain conditions, this trail can still be very difficult 😓. My biggest tip is to give yourself plenty of time and allow yourself grace. The descent can be especially tough on your legs, so hiking poles are essential to save them!
Overall, the EEOR hike is incredible and the views cannot be beat. Although this was one of the hardest summits I’ve ever climbed to, it was also one of the most rewarding 🙌🏻. I would definitely add it to your hiking bucket list if you’re in the area.
Let me know if you enjoyed this trail guide in the comments!
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