Abbot Pass Hut (Retired)

NOTICE: The hut has been dismantled - you can learn more here.

The Abbot Pass Hut was one of the most unique huts in North America. It was built in 1922 with the stones from the pass and has served as a base for mountaineers and as a destination for strong hikers since then. Sitting at 2,926 metres elevation, it was second only to the Neil Colgan Hut on the list of highest permanent structures in Canada. The hut was on the Continental Divide so the provincial and National Park borders run right down the middle of the hut. Make dinner in Alberta, eat it in BC.

Historic stone hut on the Continental Divide


The Abbot Pass Hut was one of the most unique huts in North America. It was built in 1922 with the stones from the pass and has served as a base for mountaineers and as a destination for strong hikers since then. Sitting at 2,926 metres elevation, it is second only to the Neil Colgan Hut on the list of highest permanent structures in Canada. The hut was on the Continental Divide so the provincial and National Park borders run right down the middle of the hut. Make dinner in Alberta, eat it in BC.

Strong hikers found the hut a sublime reward after the approach hike and a well-equipped alternative to the campgrounds down in the trees. For many, this is the highest elevation that they will ever spend a night.

Mountaineers came from around the world to climb the classic routes of the Rockies and two of the best – the West Face of Mt. Lefroy and the South-East Ridge of Mt. Victoria – begin from the front door of this stone hut.

Tradition and history, awesome mountains, a cozy fire – Abbot Pass was one of the great destinations in the Rockies.

Abbot Pass Fact: Snow melting on opposite sides of the hut will flow into two different oceans.

At A Glance

Location
General: Near Lake Louise, on the Continental Divide between Mts. Lefroy and Victoria
Map and Grid Reference: 82N/8 (Lake Louise), grid 495903
Hut Elevation: 2,926 m (9,598 ft)
GPS: NAD83 11U 549660 5690657
Lat / Long: 51°21′50.598″ / -116°17′24.7488″
Access
Quick Description: From Lake O'Hara via a 3 to 4 hour hike or from Lake Louise via hazardous mountaineering routes.
Elevation Gain to Hut: 915 m (3,000 ft)
Approach Time: 4 to 5 hours
Approach Description: Printable PDF

Rates
(Whole Hut)

This hut is presently closed.

Facilities

24
Mattress pads provided, bring your own sleeping bag
Propane stovetops (propane supplied)
Outhouse
Propane lighting – propane is supplied
Wood stove – firewood is provided
Snow melt

Recreational Opportunities

Summer
  • Mountaineering

Access (Historical)

Via Lake O’Hara (recommended route): Lake O’Hara is reached by a Parks Canada bus (June to September only) or a 13 km hike. From Lake O’Hara, excellent trails lead to Lake Oesa which is followed by 1,500 vertical feet of difficult scrambling/hiking on scree slopes. 4 to 5 hours.

You can learn more about getting to the hut on our Lake O’Hara bus page and through Parks Canada

Fuhrmann Ledges (mountaineering route): From Lake Louise across the Lefroy Glacier and then scrambling up the east face, around the north ridge and along ledges on the west face of Mt. Lefroy. 8 to 10 hours. This route is more often used as a descent from the hut, rather than an ascent.

Death Trap Route (not recommended): Historically the hut was been approached straight up the Victoria Glacier. This route has hazards of travel on crevassed glaciers and seracs falling from above on both sides. This route is not recommended.

Printable detailed approach description.

References and Links

The Hut Experience

Staying in a backcountry hut is a shared, rustic experience. Sleeping, kitchen and living areas are communal, and foam mattresses, cooking and eating utensils are provided. Guests are expected to bring their own sleeping bags, food and personal items.

All of our huts are user-maintained, meaning that the custodial work of keeping the hut clean, chopping firewood and shovelling snow is done by the guests. The ACC provides major service and renovations to all of our huts each year to ensure they are in good repair.