Elevation: 4,349 ft
GPS: 51.077, -115.31 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 20,413 total · 493/month
Shared By: Tom Gnyra on Aug 30, 2015
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra
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An incredible area with lots of everything: techy, pumpy, crimpy, juggy, long, short and the most important of all, CRANKING.

Echo canyon was actually only developed recently and by the folks who got bored of other hard man areas or wanted to colonize this huge feature. The canyon is visible from the road (you can see a huge left facing corner from the cougar canyon approach). They succeeded as it is incredible. Only a few other areas have the consistency of quality and stone which is obvious in Echo.

Now quite popular with both the Canmore and the Calgary crowd, on any given weekend the lookout and the hideaway may have a ton of people sweating in the sun. The best time of year is fall where the sun is less powerful and the stone is still warm (unless you go to the notch, where summer is the only season).

Getting There

Park on the road below the Canmore Alpine CLub Clubhouse. Do not park in their lots as they allow climbers to use this road but not their lots. There should be other cars there but it is essentially before the lowest parking lot on the left when driving up the road.

The GPS coordinates are the listed for the parking area. The approach is similar for both the notch and the other areas.

Step 1: Walk across the road to a ramp that goes up into a trail. After about 20 minutes, you will get to a drainage. Get to the climber's right of the drainage until you see a few options to go up to the hill, the last one being the correct one (before you must leave the trail that turns into the drainage again). Many mountain bike trails make this to be confusing. If you feel as though you may be going back towards the horse ranch, turn around and go back to the drainage.

Step 2: once you have found the steep hill climb you will know for sure and be on switch backs for ever. Hopefully you didn't pack too much, but it isn't that bad for long. You will eventually see that you are really far above the drainage and you will get to a sign (wood, burned letter)

Finally this is where you either go towards sunny, left side crags or shady right side crags. from here, both take another 20-30 minutes and you will be climbing. The trail for the left side may be a bit mangled but it's all there.

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I thought this approach was kinda confusing based on the descriptions I found, so maybe this will help you do less wandering around the woods cursing than I did today. This is a track down from the benches at the main Lookout crag.

Basically as you're approaching there are a lot of trails, but the main point to remember is that you're going to start on looker's left of the main, super-obvious Echo Canyon drainage, then cross over and do most of the ascent on the right-hand side of it. This seems strange since the crag is on the left, but don't worry as you'll cross over again once you're close to the crag. Here's how I'd describe it:

1. Hike from the parking described up the road for a minute before you break off onto a trail on your right. The trail is very well signed with many spur trails, but just keep working your way up the Grotto Mountain Trail on the hillside left of the drainage for ~20-30 minutes or until a signed junction at about 4800'.

2. Take the right hand fork that drops into the main drainage. For some reason the book description says left, which I have a hard time making sense of. Follow the hill down for a minute, cross the drainage and climb up the switchbacking trail on the other side.

3. At about 5500'/1650m there's a very obvious sign at a trail junction, pointing straight for the Notch/Grotto Summit and left for Echo Canyon Climbing. Go left, following the trail to a short section of fixed rope and a few bits of scrambling that lead across and down into the drainage.

4. Follow the drainage until you fork off for whatever area you're headed to. Again, this track is for the Lookout, which follows a zigzagging trail up to the left.

The approach is about 1.8 miles and gains about 2000'. Enjoy! Feb 17, 2017