It’s difficult to say which Canadian Rockies hike is truly the most instagramable, but Table Mountain, Alberta is definitely in the running. The view from the top is one of the prettiest scenes in the Canadian Rockies and you can take incredible photos from every direction. Even though it’s a tough hike up, it’s worth the effort to get to one of the most Instagram-worthy places in the Canadian Rockies
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Related: Looking for more beautiful destinations in the Canadian Rockies? Check out our post about the Grassi Lakes hike.
Instagramable? Seriously, What Does That Mean?
The word “instagramable” is an adjective that refers to a picture, person or scene that is worthy of sharing on Instagram. It started out as a slang word, but it became legitimate when the Merriam-Webster Dictionary included it in their 2018 edition. Instagramable is now on the same level as the verb “to Google” which was included in the dictionary in 2006 or the word “selfie” which Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed as the official word of 2013.
Where is Table Mountain, Alberta?
The trail to Table Mountain, Alberta begins in Castle Provincial Park, but the peak itself is in Castle Wildland Provincial Park. In 2017, the two areas were officially declared Alberta’s newest provincial parks. Castle Provincial Park is a 25-minute drive west of Pincher Creek – in southern Alberta.
Getting to the Table Mountain Trailhead
Hot Tip: Do not put “Table Mountain” into your google maps app. When we put “Table Mountain” into the google maps phone app, it took us the wrong way. The trailhead is located at Beaver Mines Lake Campground. Put the campground in your GPS and you’ll get there. From the hamlet of Beaver Mines take Highway 774 south for about 20 kilometres. Follow the signs to Beaver Mines Lake Campground. Once you enter the campground, continue driving straight until you see the sign for the trailhead.
Table Mountain Hike Details
The hike is 10 kilometres return and takes about four hours in total. It’s a moderately difficult hike with a 700-metre elevation gain and a lot of scrambling near the top, but the views are well worth the effort.
Gear Up for the Hike
Take plenty of water, snacks, hiking poles and bear spray on this hike. You’ll definitely want to bring your smartphone or a camera. Be sure to make plenty of noise along the way, so you don’t surprise a bear. Table Mountain Alberta is in the heart of bear country.
What it’s Like to Hike Table Mountain, Alberta
From the trailhead, the trail passes through thick vegetation and trees and it runs beside a creek for a while. Eventually you will see a sign letting you know you are passing into Castle Wildlands Provincial Park. Once you get out of the trees, the views get better, but you’re fully exposed to the sun. The trail gets steeper and becomes more of a scramble as you get closer to the top. We found snow near the top when we hiked it in May. Then suddenly you come up over a ridge and you’re on a flat-topped summit. Even though it’s tempting, don’t get too close to the edge for the sake of an Instagram photo. You can get great photos a safe distance from the cliff’s edge.
A Good Alternative to Bear’s Hump
I first heard about Table Mountain, Alberta from a tour operator in Waterton Lakes National Park. My daughter and I were looking for a good alternative to the Bear’s Hump hike, which was closed due to a wildfire the previous season. Our horseback outfitter overheard us and suggested we hike Table Mountain in nearby Castle Provincial Park. We’re glad she did. The view from the top is every bit as good if not better than the Bear’s Hump hike in Waterton – another of Alberta’s most Instagramable hikes.