BATUS Canyon Trail Guide

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A short hike with great views of the Kootenay Plains

This short hike brings you up for some great views of the Kootenay Plains and BATUS Canyon, an area that was once a popular training ground for the British Army Training Unit Suffield and nowadays with ice climbers throughout the winter.

The trail, similar to the one described in the David Thompson Highway – A Hiking Guide, takes you to a viewpoint overlooking the entrance of the canyon.

The first section is well-travelled thanks to ice climbers accessing the canyon during the winter months. The last section is an easy scramble to the viewpoint.

The canyon is 200 metres deep and was a popular training area for the British Army Training Unity Suffield (BATUS) between 1979 and 1992.

For years the soldiers spend time on a 3 weeks training course in the area, learning a variety of mountain skills. Nowadays they have moved their operations elsewhere but you will see encounter the Canadian Army training in the area from time to time.

The Trail Guide

VIEWPOINT | 0.9 KM

  • 0.6 km | Junction: Keep Right to Access the Viewpoint
  • 0.9 km | Viewpoint

CANYON ACCESS | 0.6 KM

  • 1.2 km | Junction: Keep Right to Access the Canyon
  • 1.5 km | Waterfalls in the Canyon

RETURN TRAIL | 1.1 KM

  • Retrace your steps back to the trailhead

THE JOURNEY

From the highway, follow the well-established trail going up on the right side of the creek. The first section is an easy but steady climb and as you gain elevation the views of the Preacher’s Point area improve. The Survey Hill trail is the area across Abraham Lake from this hike.

THE VIEWPOINT

At the junction, continue straight to access the viewpoint overlooking the canyon. The trail is less travelled from here and before long turns into a short scramble up an open slope. At the top, find your way to the end of the ridge on the left for the best views of the canyon.

THE CANYON

Make your way back down the slope and head back to the junction you passed on the way up. Take a right to follow the well-established trail to access the canyon.

The trail makes its way down to the creek and from there heads up toward the canyon until your reach the waterfall blocking the way.

THE RETURN TRAIL

Head back to the trailhead following the same route as you did on the way up.

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We acknowledge that the land on which we gather, explore and adventure is home to the Îyârhe Nakoda First Nation and the Smallboy Mountain Cree, part of the Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 Territories, part of the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3, and has been the traditional meeting ground for many Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial. We are grateful for the stewardship of these lands along with the knowledge, traditions, and teachings that have been passed down through generations.

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