Distance: 10.4 km round trip, allow 1.5-2 hours one way, half-day or day trip.
Access: Follow the Maligne Lake Road to its termination point at the parking lot where the road ends. The hike begins at the trail kiosk beside an access gate near the parking lot.
Tip: Bring water and bear spray!
Bald Hills doesn’t exactly sound like the most rewarding trip. I mean really, “Bald Hills”? But contrary to first impressions the hike is a lot of fun and some great rewards at the end including an awesome view of Maligne Lake and the surrounding peaks. In my opinion the hike up is not the most inspiring but worth it in the end, doing it with friends will keep you motivated to keep going and keep your mind away from how long the trail is beginning to feel.
The trail starts at a kiosk which says Bald Hills on it. The trail starts to climb through lodge-pole pine forest on a well groomed fire road. After 2.5 kilometers the trail enters the sub-alpine with open meadows and alpine fir and Engelmann spruce. The road ends near the site of an old cabin that was removed in the 1980s. The old lookout site provides the first view of Maligne Lake. If you continue on up the ridge you can follow a footpath leading beyond the roadbed for another kilometer to a large cairn. Continue south through wildflower meadows and if you have the energy and time, another 2 kilometers will lead to even better views.
There is a shortcut on this trail but it is much steeper and not as smooth. The junction is about 2.5 kilometers up the trail and branches off to the left.