Siffleur Benches Trail Guide

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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.

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HEAD OUT ON YOUR OWN

DISTANCES

  • 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

THE JOURNEY

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.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

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.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.
A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

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.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

A short family hike along the benches overlooking the Siffleur River and North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.

THE RETURN

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.

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