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Evangeline Peak and Rum Ridge Peak

Easy Hiking To Evangeline Moderate Scrambling to Rum Ridge
Elevation [m]: 
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Ascent Time: 
3:00 To Evangeline + 2:00 To Rum Ridge
Bit Of Deadfall But Not Bad
Sunday, November 9, 2014

Another year, another trip to the Ya Ha Tinda.  Steven, Vern, and I were anxious to enjoy the unseasonably nice fall conditions and choose an objective which would work even if a little snow showed up.  Eventually we decided upon Evangeline Peak near the Ya Ha Tinda ranch west of Sundre near the headwaters of the Red Deer River.  Steven and I had previously been to the Ya Ha Tinda last year when we went up nearby Wapiti Mountain and snapped a few pictures of Evangeline filing it onto the backburner for just such an occasion as this!  Carpooling from Sundre (approach info on the Wapiti TR page here) we reached the parking lot just after sunrise and just in time for some excellent morning front-range views.  From our GPS and sat images we knew there was a network of trails crisscrossing the Ya Ha Tinda, two of which would get us quite close to the base of Evangeline Peak with only a few 100 meters of bush to contend with before reaching the ridgecrest and so we set out optimistic that it would be an easy day with decent views.  Less than 5 minutes after leaving the parking lot we came across the fabled ice route in the Ya Ha Tinda which has nice access and could probably be top roped (have to come back and give it a go some time!).  After leaving the trail for a bit for some pictures we wandered back on route making our way closer to the base before reaching a junction with the Poplar Ridge trail (marked etched in an elk horn).  Having never heard of Poplar Ridge before we made note of the trail and considered it as a possible alternate descent if traversing Evangeline as well as the next highpoint.  Once at the base of the mountain (just off the trail in a prominent clearing) we started bushwhacking upwards (angling ever so slightly climbers right) which was actually quite pleasant with only a few patches of deadfall to jump over and quickly made it to the ridgecrest.  Once on the ridge we said goodbye to bush and hello to wide reaching views of numerous front range peaks and a few larger giants to the west.  After this point there were no difficulties between us and Evangeline's summit (just hiking and good views).


Great morning views of Warden Rock and Wapiti Mountain.

Looking back towards the road with Maze Peak and Labryinth Mountain.

A few steps from the trailhead is a decent waterfall (and probably a good ice climb).

Fabulous lighting looking west towards Banff Park.

A signs for the Poplar Ridge trail etched in moose horn.

Up above treeline looking towards the summit of Evangeline Peak.

Nothing but easy hiking between here and the summit.

Steven and Vern approaching the summit.


From the summit we decided that we might as well keep on going and traverse to the unnamed highpoint to the south to make the trek more of a daytrip (rather than a morning trip).  Traversing required a few scrambling moves (nothing more than moderate scrambling) which were an enjoyable diversion from simple hiking.  The unnamed highpoint (which we later saw on a provincial map referenced as Rum Ridge) didn't have any signs of a cairn of other marking but there was a cairn at the lower highpoint closer to the Poplar Ridge trail.  To get back down to the trail we had to traverse on or below a dragon spine-like feature, Steven and Vern too the high-road while I took the low road, and we met up a few minutes later.  Descent back to the trail was pretty straightforward if slippery in places due to wet snow on moss.  Soon enough we hit the trail and (at a surprisingly baffling intersection of official, semi-official, and very not official trails) came across a provincial map giving a bunch of names to what we had previously thought unnamed peaks in the area.


Looking west from the summit of Evangeline Peak.

North from the summit.

Vern negotiating some of the scrambling terrain.

Vern and I on the traverse to Rum Ridge Peak, photo by Steven Song.

Looking south towards Rum Ridge Peak.

A few places to have a some decent hands ons scrambling.

Lots of ridgewalk potential around the Ya Ha TInda.

Steven and Vern heading up the steep scree to gain Rum Ridge.

Looking east towards the unnamed false summit. 

Great colors looking westwards.

Interesting scrambling on the 'dragons spine'.


Back down on the open grazing area the afternoon sun gave the dry grass a lovely golden sheen which was possibly my favourite view of the day.  A trip to the Ya Ha Tinda is highly recommended, especially in the fall when the variety of colors (and lack of bugs!) makes for a very pleasant trip.


More interesting views from Rum Ridge Peak.

We eventually interesected with the Poplar Ridge trail.

An Alberta Parks map of the trails in the area.

Perfect hiking temperature.

The grass was a shimmering gold in the afternoon sun.

An HDR looking towards Maze Peak.

Looking over to the Parks Canada facility at the Ya Ha Tinda.

Good late season objective.

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