Mount Burgess
2599m (8527ft.)

Located in the Emerald River and Kicking Horse River Valleys; southwest buttress of Burgess Pass. Yoho Park, Major headwater Columbia River.
Latitude 51; 25; 20 Longitude 116; 30; 00, Topo map 82N/07

Panorama viewpoint: Ottertail River Bridge. Can be seen from Highway 1

Named by Otto Koltz in 1886. Burgess, Alexander MacKinnon (After serving as a Deputy Minister of the Interior during the construction of the CPR, Alexander Burgess became Commissioner of Public Lands for Canada in 1897.) Official name.

First ascended in 1892 by J.J. McArthur, H. TuzoJournal reference CAJ 1-53.

Photo: Looking south-southeast across Emerald Lake to Mount Burgess
More photos

Other Information
Photo: Looking northeast to Mount Burgess from the Trans-Canada Highway at the Ottertail River Bridge

As the backdrop to Emerald Lake and Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park, Mount Burgess is a well known peak. Beginning in 1954, it became known as "Ten Dollar Mountain" because it was featured on the back of the ten dollar bill. Seventeen years later it was superseded by one of Sarnia’s petrochemical plants.

The mountain lies between Emerald Lake and the Kicking Horse Valley. It may be seen from the Trans-Canada Highway in the vicinity of Ottertail Creek but is not a particularly attractive feature from this angle.

Mount Burgess was named in 1886 by Otto Klotz who discovered the fossil beds on Mount Stephen. In 1886 he named the peak in honour of Alexander MacKinnon Burgess (1850-1908). Burgess was Deputy Minister of the Interior and in 1897 became Commissioner of Public Lands for Canada.

In 1996, the north peak of Mount Burgess, the high point on the left side of the peak when viewed from Emerald Lake, was named Walcott Peak after Dr. Charles D. Walcott the geologist who discovered the Burgess Shale Fossils. The name was suggested by geologist Brian Norford, and subsequently endorsed by various geologists and paleontologists in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Mount Burgess was first ascended by James J. McArthur in 1892 during his survey of the lands adjacent to the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Scrambling Routes
An easy scree ascent from Burgess Pass trail. Mount Burgess is a quick and easy scramble with an excellent approach trail. It overlooks braided Kicking Horse River and the hamlet of Field to the south. To the north is beautiful Emerald Lake ringed by Mount Carnarvon, the President and the Vice-President. This area is world-renowned for the Burgess shale beds, where many unique and previously unknown fossils of invertebrate life forms have been found. The route described takes you to the north, or lower summit. Reaching the marginally higher south peak is more challenging and requires routefinding skills, but is feasible. Try this ascent from late July on. Kane, Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies page 260

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