810Elevation Gain (m)
The Hermit is a remarkable scramble to an equally remarkable destination. A dense forest at the outset and a stairway of rock at the top are but a couple of the exceptional highlights of the Hermit Trail. Although the route is classed as a scramble because of its uncompromising climb, camping is permitted in the meadow. The summit of the Hermit does not lie on the top of a mountain but is an oasis of horizontal ground along the side of the Hermit Range.

This view of Mount Macdonald is one of many incredible sights from The Hermit summit.

The grade tends to ease now as it works its way up over solid rock and through open air. The route gradually makes its way up to a subalpine forest of stunted trees, and another 20 minutes from where the path broke out of the forest, look for a viewpoint on the left. This is a great spot for a bit of a rest; it is open and the horizon directly across Rogers Pass is filled with the mammoth sight of Mount Macdonald. This is just such a great way to spend a day.

Fifteen minutes up from the lookout, the trail becomes a structure of stone steps and bridges. Someone with, I presume, incredible strength and talent has committed much time and effort to design and manufacture such a wonderful creation. Flat, hard stones have been moved into place to produce a stairway upward through the alpine, crossing streams and small fissures, and they are solid and unyielding. At the first stepping stone, there is 140 m of elevation gain remaining.

Some 15 minutes later and 80 m up, you’ll come upon a rope anchored in stone, likely set by the same people who built the stairway. The rope seems to be more practical on the way back down, to help navigate some awkward stones. Although it is only a few metres long, it proves to be very useful. More flat rock stairs and a short, narrow ravine bring an end to this incredible journey.

Exposed rock, moraines, a creek and meadows greet you at the top of the stairs. The wide open Hermit Meadows present views of the Selkirk Range, with Mount Macdonald in the forefront. Amazing.


From the Rogers Pass Centre, drive east for 1 km, looking for the signed parking lot for the Hermit Trail on the north (left) side of the Trans-Canada Highway.

The trail leaves the highway behind for a dark, thick, old-growth forest. The journey begins its steep, persistent climb on a root-grown path almost immediately. The route gets redirected just a few short minutes into the forest, where a sign sends you to the right and informs you that the Hermit Meadows are 2.8 km away. Within that distance you’ll accomplish 810 m of elevation gain. A steep grade indeed.

Enjoy this upward trek, because within 15 minutes it becomes still more intense. Some 45 minutes from the trailhead the drudgery of the steep climb is broken when the forest opens and presents magnificent scenery of the Selkirk Mountains and the Sir Donald Range to the southeast and south respectively. Mount Tupper can be clearly seen due east. By this point, you’ve accomplished almost half of the total elevation gain.

Hike Map
Gerry Shea

Gerry Shea

“Gerry Shea moved to Kamloops from Vancouver at the age of nine, which is when he became enchanted by the nearby hills. It was on a family vacation many years later that he discovered the mountains and began hiking and climbing in his spare time, gathering knowledge and experience that he has since used to help beginning hikers, scramblers and backpackers to trek safely. Gerry lives in Kamloops with his wife and children.”

Excerpt From: Gerry Shea. “The Aspiring Hiker’s Guide 2: Mountain Treks in British Columbia.” iBooks.

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