Amazing views of the North Saskatchewan River Valley
The easy Siffleur Benches hike starts at a busy trailhead but quickly gets away from the crowds where you’ll enjoy amazing views of the North Saskatchewan River valley and the surrounding mountains.
This trail is sometimes referred by Alberta Parks as Survey Hill given the great vantage point that is your destination. This often leads to confusion given that there is a place called Survey Hill a little further down the trail.
Take your time as you explore the area, stop to take in the views along the ridge overlooking the Siffleur River and enjoy what Mary Schaffer Warren referred to as the golden plains of the Saskatchewan.
Your adventure might start at one of the busiest trailhead in the area, a short drive away from the popular Icefields Parkway, but you’ll feel a world away as you explore the benches.
At a Glance
- Distance: 6.9 km return
- Elevation gain: ~145 m
- Challenge Level: Easy
- Trail type: Partial Loop
- Congestion: Moderate (busy trailhead)
- Management: Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve
- Other Trail Uses: None
Trailhead: Approximately 62 km west of Nordegg and 21 km east of the Banff National Park boundary. The trail starts at the Siffleur Falls Staging Area which provides ample parking space and dry toilets.
Head Out With A Guide
All bookings are handled by Explore Nordegg & Abraham Lake and offered by local partners. Most bookings require a minimum of 2 days' notice, contact us for last-minute options.
We all have our part to do to keep this place special. Planning ahead is key to ensuring that we all continue to enjoy adventures in the Nordegg & Abraham Lake region. These are a few of the things you can do to help:
- Minimize your impact by using existing sites, fire rings and toilets instead of creating your own.
- Know about current fire bans, make sure that your fire is completely out before you go and buy firewood instead of cutting down trees. Remember that shooting fireworks is not allowed in the region.
- Keep your site clean and your food stored inside your vehicle to help keep our wildlife wild. Always use bear-proof garbage bins.
- While alcohol is now permitted in some Alberta Parks day-use areas, none of those are in our region. Alcohol is only allowed at registered campsites.
- Be mindful of your neighbours and other visitors, including keeping noise to a minimum.
- Be prepared for adventures in a remote area. Explore within your skills to reduce the strain on our volunteer search and rescue team.
- Remember that cell service is limited. We recommend carrying a satellite communicator, like a Zoleo, on your adventures.
- Support local businesses and communities in Cline River, the Bighorn and Nordegg.
Information provided here may be inaccurate or outdated. Always make sure to obtain current information before going on your adventure.
Head Out On Your Own
- 0.6 km | Suspension Bridge
- 1.2 km | Glacier Trail
- 1.8 km | Siffleur River
- 1.9 km | Junction
- 2.2 km | Junction
- 2.4 km | Junction
- 2.6 km | Junction
- 3.2 km | Junction
- 3.3 km | Junction
- 3.8 km | Viewpoint
- 4.3 km | Junction
- 4.4 km | Junction
- 5.0 km | Junction
- 5.1 km | Siffleur River
- 5.7 km | Junction
- 6.3 km | Suspension Bridge
- 6.9 km | Trailhead
From the trailhead, follow the well established trail to Siffleur Falls. The first section takes you through a meadow with great views of Mount Peskett before reaching the suspension bridge over the North Saskatchewan River. This is Alberta’s longest suspension bridge.
On the other side of the bridge follow the boardwalk through the fragile ecosystem and make your way to Glacier Trail. Follow the old road toward Siffleur Falls, going straight at the junction at the end of the boardwalk. After crossing the Siffleur River you come to a 3 way junction. Go straight following the old road. At first the trail is overgrown with silverberry bushes but soon it opens back up as you start to make your way up the hill.
Part way up the hill there is a small trail to the left. This is a shortcut but you are better off continuing straight ahead on the main trail. As the trail levels off there is an obvious trail to the left, just before a sign for the Adpot-A-Trail program. Follow this trail as it makes it’s way along the edge of the benches overlooking the Siffleur River. At the next junction on a hill, head to the right up the hill. At the top, take the trail on the left to access the viewpoint.
The viewpoint is an open area overlooking the valley below and at the top of the rills and gullies you can see from the trailhead. Take some time to enjoy the view before making your way back to the trailhead.
Make your way back on the trail until you reach the junction on the hill. At this point, go straight to make your way down to the Siffleur River and follow the trail back to the 3 way junction near the bridge over the Siffleur River. Retrace your steps from there back to the trailhead.
All the stories we share are by locals, whether they live here or love our region and contribute to making it an amazing place.
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