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Glacier National Park

Mount Sir Donald Trail

Length - 5.1 km (one way)
Hiking time 2.5 to 4 hours (uphill)
Elevation change - 1250 to 2258 m (1008m)
Trailhead - Illecillewaet Campground
Map Coordinates - 117°29'31"W 51°15'49"N (trailhead)

NOTE: Sir Donald trail now ends at the junction with Perley Rock Trail.

Debris from a recent rockfall covers a section of the trail. If proceeding beyond trail end, please use extreme caution and be aware of the possibility of more falling rock. The upper Sir Donald Trail is recommended as a climbing access route only.

Please Note: Seasonal bridges will be removed for the winter beginning late September. Creek crossings may be necessary after this time.

Hikers on the Vaux Glacier moraine, Sir Donald trail Hiker on the Vaux Glacier moraine, Sir Donald trail / ©Joey Vosburgh

Mount Sir Donald is named for Sir Donald A. Smith, the famous Canadian Pacific Railway director who drove the last spike on the CPR at Craigellachie in 1885. Typical of most trails in the Illecillewaet River valley, this one was originally built by the railway as an access route for mountain climbers. Mount Sir Donald is a classic climb, and the trail leading to its base is a rigorous uphill hike. If you are looking for a way to test your wind and energy, this trail is for you.

The trail ends abruptly in a narrow rocky col between Mount Sir Donald and Mount Uto. From this notch in the wall of the Selkirks, hikers can look across to the rolling meadows of the Bald Hills in eastern Glacier National Park.

Trail Conditions Report

Download the Hiking in Glacier National Park brochure (PDF, 4 MB)

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