Trailhead: Park at the Helen Lake trailhead parking lot 1km south of Bow Lake. Across from the Crowfoot Glacier viewpoint approximately 38kms north of Lake Louise on the Icefields Parkway. Banff National Park.
Description: Cirque Peak is one of the least technical high elevation 2993ms peaks that you can summit in Banff National Park. Cirque Peak is located above Helen Lake, another beautiful hike that can be completed the same day. Follow the Helen Lake trail as it climbs through beautiful meadows along Helen creek, more on that here. Once you arrive at the lake, work your way to the east end then up to the top of the headwall. From the headwall it’s a steep grind through loose scree to the summit of Cirque Peak.
The last 30ms before the summit is a scramble up a few short cliff bands with loose rock. The true summit is another 50ms along a knife like ridge connecting the two. Be careful here, the north and southeast faces are cliffs to the bottom. Views from the summit are 360 degrees and well worth the effort. To the west you can look down towards the Wapta Icefields, Bow Glacier, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake. You’re almost eye level with Mount Hector and Dolomite Peak to the south. To the northeast you can see Isabella Lake and the Siffleur Wilderness area. Dolomite Pass is directly below to the south east. This Is Bear Country.
Feels like the top of the world. The true summit only has room for a few people. Avoid the ridge if there’s snow on it. I’m not sure it’s worth worth the risk, views are awesome from both.