Eniwa-dake Dayhike

恵庭岳 | e-en-iwa

Posted on Jul 29, 2020
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Posted on Jul 29, 2020

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Reading time: 2 min
6km

Distance

6 hours

Time

829m

Ascent

1150m

Highest point

6/10

Difficulty

Best season icon (Hokkaido Wilds)
June-Nov

Best season

Eniwa-dake (恵庭岳, 1320m) is an imposing rocky volcanic peak standing above Lake Shikotsu. It is a steep climb and the final few hundred meters to the dramatic summit tower are off-limits as it is dangerously unstable, but the views from the high point on the steaming crater rim take in plenty of the rugged terrain and the lake far below.

We visited this route on Jul 4, 2020

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

Eniwa-dake stands on the north shore of Lake Shikotsu 支笏湖 in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park 支笏洞爺国立公園, on Route 453 about 40km south of Sapporo city centre. The route starts at the Marukoma-bashi Bridge, about 1km before Route 453 hits Lake Shikotsu. There’s a large car park here.

General notes

The Ainu name for the peak, e-en-iwa means rocky mountain with a pointy top (Hokkaido Natsuyama Gaido, 2010, p.170), which is exactly how it looks. The downhill course for the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics was built on the mountainside but there are no traces visible from this route. Due to an earthquake in 2002, the final rock tower is dangerously unstable and prone to rockfall, and the trail is closed after the second viewpoint 第二見晴台. There are no facilities at the trailhead. There are public toilets and a restaurant at Poropinai on the lake here. There are more options at Shikotsu Lakeside 支笏湖畔, about 20 mins drive away. The summer hiking season is from late May into November.

Hut

None

Route

The trail is well defined and signposted. From the car park (310m elevation) by Route 453 head up the track by the river bed to the trailhead postbox. The terrain around here shows ample evidence of a flash flood a few years ago and boasts newly constructed steel and concrete flood barriers. Follow the track a bit further then go under one of the red barriers into the dried up river bed until the track turns off and begins climbing in earnest after about 30-40 mins. From here the path is relentlessly steep with occasional ropes for aid, at one point splitting into two separate short sections for ascent and descent. After about an hour and half you arrive at the rocky shoulder of the first viewpoint 見晴台. From here the gradient eases as you skirt the crater rim for another 30 mins up along to the second viewpoint 第二見晴台 at about 1150m. Here the trail is roped off and a sign informs you that further access is prohibited. The view down into the steaming crater and across the lake is still pretty dramatic though. Return the same way.

Route Timing
Up | 3hrs
Down | 2.5hrs

Transport

Public transport:

No public transport access.

By car: 

The trailhead car park is located by Route 453 just a few hundred meters north of the junction to Marukoma Onsen 丸駒温泉.

Physical maps

Yama to Kogen Chizu 山と高原地図, No.2 Niseko Yoteizan ニセコ・羊蹄山. Published by Shobunsha 昭文社. 1:50000 hiking map in Japanese with marked routes and course times (the Sapporo region hills are at 1:85000).

Official Topo Map: Eniwa-dake (恵庭岳) – map no. NK-54-14-12-3

NOTE: The GSI 1/25000 topo map(s) above can be purchased for 350yen from Kinokuniya bookstore next to Sapporo Station or online (in Japanese).

route safety

The upper sections of the mountain are exposed to the weather and rain gear and a warm layer should be carried. The path is steep and rocky in places, no place for bad knees. Take all food and water with you. This is bear country so take the usual precautions. As the devastation around the trailhead eloquently attests, this is no place to be during or after heavy rain.

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Eniwa-dake

Onsen nearby

The low-key but traditional feeling Marukoma Onsen (丸駒温泉, location, 1000yen) with its open lakeside baths is just 5 mins down the road. The baths close to day visitors at 3pm.

Extra Resources

Show Full Route Notes Close Route Notes

Route Trip Notes

Eniwa-dake is another mountain I used to gaze at every day from my Sapporo apartment window, its bulk and prominent rocky nipple distinctive on the southern skyline. On clear days I could even see the small plume of steam from its crater. However, I only ever climbed it once, despite many trips to its near neighbour Ichankoppe-yama. I think it’s to do with the fact that the relentlessly steep climb is not rewarded with a summit to stand on, especially disappointing as the closed sections beyond the rope lead to a very enticing rocky scramble up the dramatic final tower. Hopefully it will reopen sometime.

In fact, though, in retrospect it’s a fine climb nonetheless and and the final viewpoint gives some dramatic views over the rough active crater and jagged ridges, while it seems a long drop down to the lake beneath your feet.

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Comments | Queries | Reports

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