Survey Hill Guided Hike

Explore the Kootenay Plains on a walk along the North Saskatchewan River
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A different kind of hike taking us through the Kootenay Plains to some amazing views of Lake Abraham, the North Saskatchewan River valley and the peaks of Ex Coelis Mountain.

The Survey Hill hike is approximately 16 km with an elevation gain of about 110 m on a well established trail. The hike starts on the Kootenay Plains and takes us along the North Saskatchewan River toward Abraham Lake. Just before the lake, across from Preacher´s Point, we veer off toward Survey Hill where we´ll be having lunch. From the viewpoint we have great views of the lake, the Whiterabbit Creek Valley and the surrounding peaks. Heading back we follow the trail into the forest back to the trailhead.

The tour includes your guide who will be highlighting the natural and human history of the area, a gourmet lunch and hiking poles.


  • Experience the classic views of David Thompson Country.
  • Hike on a scenic trail in a lesser-known area.
  • See Abraham Lake and the North Saskatchewan River Valley from a new angle.
  • Learn about the natural and human history of the area.

Perfect for: Anybody looking for a fun day playing outside. No prior hiking experience required.

This day trip is open to all ability levels, whether you are a beginner and or an expert. You must be comfortable walking 16+ km in a variety of conditions. This tour is recommended for for those 13 and older.

Tour Overview

  • Activity: Hiking
  • Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
  • Hiking Distance: 16 km
  • Elevation Gain: ~110m
  • Duration: 5+ hours
  • Departure: Nordegg or Abraham Lake

Available daily from April to October.

The Experience

The Siffleur River

The first section of the hike follows the Siffleur Falls trail, taking us along the boardwalk to the Siffleur River. From there we're heading up on the benches overlooking the North Saskatchewan River Valley.

The History

The Kootenay Plains have a rich history and along the way we'll come across a few physical markers, like geological survey markers from nearly 100 years ago.

The North Saskatchewan River

The hike is relatively flat as we make our way along the North Saskatchewan River toward the area across from Preacher's Point.

There are a few trail options in this area and depending on the group this hike can range between 13 and 18 km.

Abraham Lake

Our lunch spot on top of Survey Hill makes for a different view of Abraham Lake, the Whiterabbit Creek Valley and the surrounding peaks.

The Return

Leaving Survey Hill we make our way up along the Glacier trail, an abandonned road that connects Preacher's Point to Banff National Park.

From there we're heading into the forest for a pleasant walk in the shade. This hike can be quite hot on a sunny day and the shelter of the forest is great in the afternoon.

The Explorer Series

Looking to join a scheduled tour instead? The Explorer Series is a great option when you have 1 to 3 people looking to meetup with others for a fun adventure.

The Details

When and where does the tour start?

You'll meet your guide at the Siffleur Falls Trail Staging Area at 9:30 am. Get Directions >

Return time varies based on the group and conditions but you can expect to be back at the trailhead by 1:30 pm.

The itinerary may change without notice due to the weather and other factors. Our goal is to always provide the best possible experience.

How much is it?

The full-day hike includes your professional guide, gourmet lunch and hiking poles. 

This is a private tour, just for your group. The rate per person is:

  • 1 guest: $380
  • 2 guests: $190
  • 3 guests: $126.67
  • 4 to 12 guests: $95

Is transportation available?

We currently have limited availability for transportation options. You will have the option to add transportation to your booking if it is available for the date you have selected. Please contact us if you need to arrange transportation for a specific date or from a different location.

Nordegg and Abraham Lake Area

We offer complimentary pickup and dropoff in the Nordegg and Abraham Lake area for this hike.

Available pickup locations in the Nordegg area include cabins within Nordegg, the Nordegg Lodge, the Nordegg Canteen, Shunda Creek Hostel, Expanse Cottages, Goldeye Centre, Goldeye Campground and Fish Lake Campground. Pickup is at 8:45 am.

Available pickup locations in the Abraham Lake area are David Thompson Resort and Two O'Clock Creek Campground. Pickup is at 9 am.

Rocky Mountain House

Transportation from the Visitor Information Centre is available for this tour. The rate is $300 per group, including up to 12 guests. Your guide will pick you up at the visitor information centre at 8 am and return is at approximately 4 pm.

What kind of transportation is provided?

Transportation will be in an SUV or minivan, full-size passenger van or 16 passenger bus depending on the group size.

What kind of lunch is included?

Lunch for this adventure includes the choice of:

  • Veggie sandwich (hummus, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and green pepper on a Montreal style bagel), or
  • Honey maple chicken sandwich (honey maple chicken, Boursin cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber with deli mustard).

Lunches also include a juice box, energy bar, veggies and dip, chocolate chip cookie and trail mix.

Please make sure to mention any dietary requirements when you book your adventure and we will try to accommodate whenever possible.

What do I need to bring?

Required Items

  • Proper footwear (shoes or boots)
  • Appropriate clothing for the weather
  • A windbreaker, shell and/or rain jacket
  • A warm sweater (conditions can chance quickly)
  • A water bottle
  • Sunhat
  • Tuque and gloves (spring and fall hikes)
  • A small backpack

Recommended Items

  • Sunglasses
  • Camera

What's included?

  • We provide hiking poles (and ice cleats on early season hikes) at no charge for this tour. You are welcome to bring your own if you wish.
  • A professional guide.
  • Gourmet lunch and trail snacks.
  • Guides carry emergency equipment, including first aid kits and cell phone or satellite communicators on all tours.

What's Not Included

  • Appropriate clothes and footwear for the weather conditions.
  • Water bottles, camera and backpack.

What's the group size?

The standard group size is 1 guide with up to 12 guests for this tour. Contact us if you are planning for a group of 13 or more guests.

This tour is recommended for those 13 or older.

What safety and COVID protocols are in place?

Safety Guidelines

There are risks associated with any outdoor activity. Some of the steps we take through our risk management program to mitigate those risks include:

  • Our guides are certified through the Outdoor Council of Canada, the Interpretive Guides Association or similar programs. They have first aid training and are familiar with the region we operate in and the specific areas where they lead tours.
  • Our guides carry emergency equipment, including first aid kits, bear spray as well as a cell phone or satellite communicators on all tours.
  • Our lunches and snacks are made in our commercial kitchen, under permits from Alberta Health Services and following established food safety protocols. 

Contact us if you have any questions about the steps we take to make you feel safe and comfortable on your adventure.

COVID Specific

We all need to work together in these challenging times. We ask that you not join us on an adventure if you have COVID symptoms, are not feeling well or have a reason to believe you may have been exposed to COVID. On our side, we are taking additional measures in response to the pandemic, including:

  • Screening all staff members prior to each shift. Staff are using additional personal protective equipment as required.
  • Guided hikes are offered for small groups of up to 12 guests where social distancing can easily be accomplished.
  • Transportation options for tours are only available for private groups, ensuring that you only share the space with your cohort. The first row on our bus will be kept empty to ensure greater distancing with the driver.
  • We're only offering our individually bagged lunch for the time being to limit the sharing of food.
  • All equipment and vehicles are sanitized between tours.
  • Hand sanitizer continues to be available on all of our tours.

In addition, we have extended our flexible cancellation policy. Tours booked by August 31, 2020 are eligible for a full refund up to 72 hours prior to the tour in the event of cancellation.

What are the terms and conditions?

Advance Booking

This tour requires bookings to be made at least 2 days prior to departure. Please contact us at (403) 986-6190 for a last-minute booking.

Cancellation Policy

All bookings are non-refundable but we will offer you a credit for a future adventure if you cancel a minimum of 72 hours prior to departure.


Waivers are required for all participants. You can review the waiver here.

Please review our complete terms & conditions prior to booking.

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A Few More Things To Know

We get to play outside on our tours and that means you’ll want to come prepared for the weather. Make sure to dress in layers and come prepared for the unpredictable weather we often get in Alberta. We rarely cancel tours due to weather, as long as we can have a safe adventure. You’ll be amazed at how warm we get snowshoeing at -20C or how much fun hiking in the rain can be!

Need help with your booking or have a few more questions? Give us a call at 403 986-6190.