The Castle Mountain Hut is a 6 man hut precariously perched on the goat plateau of Castle Mountain, between Banff and Lake Louise. It can actually been seen from the Trans Canada Highway on the 6th buttress from the east. It is predominantly used by climbers although some scramblers also make there way up.
When To Go
The Castle Mountain Hut is a seasonal hut that is used in the summer only.
There are two trailheads that can be used to access this hut depending your your chosen approach route. You can either park at the Castle Mountain Fire Lookout trailhead or the Rockbound Lake trailhead. Read more on this in the next section.
There are two approach options to access the Castle Mountain Hut; the Fire Lookout Approach or the Rockbound Lake Approach.
The Fire Lookout approach is the more technical of the two approach options. It involves a short section of lower 5th class climbing that requires a rope. This approach starts at the Castle Mountain Fire Lookout hike parking lot.
The Rockbound Lake approach is said to be less technical, ie you can scramble it and do not need climbing gear. But, having said that, I found it to be quite exposed and having done both would prefer the Fire Lookout approach. This approach starts at the trail head for the Rockbound Lake hike. You will find this just south of Castle Junction. From here the trailhead is well marked. Simply follow the main trail for approximately 4km, at which point you will reach a section that crosses a small braided creek a number of times.
Detailed approach information for both routes can be found in the following Story Map. To view the story map in a new browser click here.
According to the Alpine Club the hut is located at
- Grid reference: 743836
- GPS coordinates: NAD27 11U 535296 5720566
- Hut elevation: 2,390 m (7,850 ft)
This area can be found on the Canadian 1:50,000 “82 O/5 Castle Mountain Topo”. It can be purchased at MEC and/or you can download it from Geogratis. I made a video on how to do this here. Another service I have found helpful is All Trails Pro, with a $30/year subscription you can build and print maps of any size! Here are the maps I printed from All Trails for this hike, they have graciously let me share them so please check them out. Thank you All Trails!
Lastly a resource I found helpful in accessing this hut is actually the climbers topo from Banff Rock which can be purchased from the ACC or MEC. Here I have snapped a picture of it, and added the route we took. The route we fell on to differed in that it went straight up once on the right side of the gully, you can see it in Blue.
You can view the Castle Mountain Hut and check availability at the ACC’s Website Here. From there you can follow their instructions on how to book.