East End Of Rundle - EEOR
Time: 4 to 6 hours out and back (Can be done quicker if experienced)
Distance: 6 Km return
Elevation Gain: 870 metres
Access: A short drive from the town of Canmore, head towards the Nordic Centre and follow the 742 (Smith Dorrien Trail) towards Spray Lakes until you get to Whitemans Pond. As the Pond ends and narrows to a river you'll see a lay-by for parking. The trail starts just opposite here.
The East End of Rundle, commonly referred to as EEOR, is one of my favourite short hikes in the immediate Banff/Canmore area. It offers some challenging terrain as well as stunning views over the town below and endless peaks behind.
The start of the trail isn't overly obvious, if you keep a look out for the telegraph poles you'll see the trail start to weave into the woods. Very early on you'll see a sign warning of unexploded avalanche bombs, if you see this sign you're on the right track!
At first as you head up the trail you'll notice a series of blue squares guiding you as you hike, the first part of the trail is well trodden and clear. About a quarter of the way up these will become less obvious as the paths crisscross back and forth, the main direction you're heading for is up!
Around half way through your ascent you'll be rewarded with incredibly views of Ha-Ling Peak, a distinctively pointy mountain peak. This peak itself is also hike-able but personally I prefer the views and challenge of EEOR.
The final section of this peak is a mixture of hiking and scrambling. There are a couple of ways to the summit, up a tiring scree path to the left or an easier but a little scarier scramble over to the right along the edge of the ridge. The latter is the way I've always gone and found easiest however it isn't for the fainthearted.
EEOR is a fun, challenging hike with some easy scrambling and basic route finding. It is pretty easy to get lost on this trail so be sure to keep your wits about you, hike in a group and always carry bear spray!