The Ultimate Guide to Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls

If you’re putting together your bucket list of Ontario’s coolest waterfalls and hiking spots, you absolutely can’t miss out on Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls. These awesome places are right there, smack dab in the middle of the Spencer Gorge Wilderness Area, just a hop, skip, and a jump outside of Hamilton.

Dundas peak trail
Photo Credit: Andrea Beiko

No matter when you decide to go, a day spent exploring Dundas Peak and its nearby waterfalls is like a dose of natural wonder therapy. It’s a surefire way to get your awe, adventure, and outdoor fix! After all, Hamilton is well known as the city of waterfalls for a reason. 

Where are Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls Located?

Harvest Rd, Dundas, ON L9H 5K7 – Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls are both located within the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area. The conservation area is located in Dundas, Ontario which is a part of the City of Hamilton and is part of the Niagara Escarpment. 

Dundas peak hamilton
Photo Credit: Andrea Beiko

Why Visit Dundas Peak?

Dundas Peak stands as one of the most captivating viewpoints in Hamilton, gracing the Niagara Escarpment with its natural beauty. This rocky vantage point, perched high above the Spencer Gorge, offers breathtaking panoramic vistas of both the surrounding wilderness and the cityscape below.

While “Dundas Peak” originally referred to the lookout itself, it has since become synonymous with the entire experience, encapsulating not just the viewpoint but also its close neighbor, Tew Falls.

When is the Best Time to Visit Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls?

The best time to visit Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls largely depends on your preference for weather and scenery. This is a great place to visit to view some of the best waterfalls in the area. 


Spring is a lovely time to visit as the area starts to come alive with vibrant greenery and blooming flowers. Water flow in the falls is usually good during this period due to melting snow and spring rains.


​The summer months are an amazing time to visit tews falls and Dundas Peak. As part of the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area, there is something here for everyone. If beautiful waterfalls are your thing, this is a fantastic place to take a great hike in the summer in Southern Ontario. 


Fall is arguably one of the peak times to visit Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls. The fall colours are in full swing and the hiking trail will be encompassed by a stunning backdrop. Bring along your camera to capture the beautiful fall foliage. 


While less popular, visiting in winter can be magical. The falls may freeze partially, creating unique ice formations, and the snow-covered landscape offers a serene atmosphere and a unique, yet stunning view. Be prepared for colder temperatures, and check for trail conditions before visiting.

Each season offers a different experience, so you can choose the one that suits your interests and schedule best. Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to check for any seasonal closures or restrictions before your visit no matter what time of year you plan to visit. 

Dundas peak reservations
Photo Credit: Andrea Beiko

Hiking Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls

To start your journey along the Dundas Peak Trail towards Tew Falls and the Dundas Peak lookout, you set off from the Tew Falls Parking Lot. The path is clearly marked, guiding you towards Tew Falls and Dundas Peak, and offering several signs and prompts along the cliffside. Expect to see a few fellow hikers, especially around the lookout points.

Within just a few minutes of walking along, you’ll arrive at the first of two lookout spots. From here, a set of stairs ascends to lead you to the second viewpoint.

Once you’ve taken in the grandeur of Tew Falls, you can continue your journey. Walk along the well-marked Tew Falls Side Trail, adorned with blue (and sometimes orange) markers. This trail to Dundas Peak is wide and manageable, with a few inclines that might get slippery when wet.

It’s not a difficult hike, and even those less accustomed to hiking will find it manageable. Just ensure you’re equipped with sturdy footwear, especially if you’re navigating through snow or damp terrain.

Dundas peak lookout
Photo Credit: Andrea Beiko

Reaching the Dundas Peak

The Tew Falls Side Trail escorts you along the Niagara Escarpment, offering occasional natural lookout points for a breather and scenic enjoyment before leading you to the grand finale: the Dundas Peak lookout. 

The pathway is alternatively known as the Spencer Adventure Trail and is considered a segment of the Bruce Trail. You’ll know you’ve reached Dundas Peak when you encounter a section lined with black metal fencing, guiding you toward spacious viewing platforms. The fencing was put in place to prevent serious injuries. It keeps people from getting too close to the edge for safety reasons.

Once you’ve absorbed the beauty at the Dundas Peak lookout, continue along the main trail for a few more minutes. You’ll come across a sign with arrows indicating a left turn, directing you onto the Glen Ferguson Side Trail, which serves as the return leg of the loop trail. This path will guide you back to Tew’s Falls and the parking lot.

Dundas peak hike
Photo Credit: Andrea Beiko

How Long Does the Hike Take?

Hiking the Dundas Peak loop trail, starting from the Tew’s Falls parking lot to the Dundas Peak Lookout, typically takes about two hours if you pause to savor the breathtaking vistas. For experienced hikers, the trail is relatively easy, and you may complete the loop more swiftly.

Dundas Peak Reservations

Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls now offer the convenience of an online reservation system, managed by the Hamilton Conservation Authority. Given the immense popularity of the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area, the reservation system plays a crucial role in ensuring a pleasant experience for visitors while managing crowd levels. This measure aims to prevent any disappointments, especially for those traveling from out of town who might otherwise be turned away.

Starting on September 23, 2023, reservations will become mandatory for every day of the week during the enchanting fall color season. When you’re ready to secure your time slot, visit the Spencer Gorge Reservations website for more details. 

Each Dundas Peak reservation is designed for a delightful 2-hour adventure, and they are ready to welcome you come rain or shine. Remember that reservations must be made online in advance, with the option to book up to a week ahead and until midnight the day before your visit. There won’t be any walk-up, drive-up, or same-day reservations, so plan ahead.

Spencer Gorge Reservations

When making a reservation for Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls, it’s essential to be aware of the associated fees. Firstly, there is a reservation fee of $10. This fee is applicable to all bookings, including HCA Membership pass holders, although it’s important to note that entry to the area is still covered by your HCA Membership Pass.

In addition to the reservation fee, there is a per-vehicle parking fee of $11. Each reservation allows for the admission of one vehicle. There is a fee of $5 for individuals aged 6 and over. Children aged 5 and under can enter free of charge. 

These fees help support the maintenance and conservation efforts in the area while ensuring a seamless and enjoyable visit for all.

Why is Dundas Peak a Popular Spot?

Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls offer an exceptional opportunity to experience the beauty and wonder of the Hamilton area. The lookout point of Dundas Peak provides breathtaking panoramic views. These views showcase the rich, natural landscapes and the vibrant cityscape below.

The well-marked trails guide you through these remarkable nature trails with ease, ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast, the marked trails offer something for everyone.

Explore the charm of the Hamilton area and make the Dundas Peak hike and Tew’s Falls your next destination. 

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