Mt Assiniboine: Sunshine to Magog - Itinerary/Campsite Help - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default Mt Assiniboine: Sunshine to Magog - Itinerary/Campsite Help

Hi everyone. I've read a couple other posts about backpacking to Lake Magog but couldn't find some opinions about my special circumstances.

I'm planning on a 4 night, 5 day trip with my brother in mid-August. All I know for sure is that we both wish not to use the helicopter option and are planning on taking either the gondola/bus up to Sunshine then hiking in and out from Sunshine to Lake Magog and back, staying 2 nights at Lake Magog. My uncertainty is how to space out the rest of the trip/nights. Splitting the way in and out in half would have us staying at Porcupine both ways but I heard that it's not the most scenic of campsites to stay at and seems like a waste to stay at the same place twice.

I get the impression that it's easier, as far as elevation gain, going to Lake Magog, whereas returning to Sunshine is the harder trek. With that in mind I thought about the possibility of going all the way to Og Lake the first night, which would be about 21km, as it would give us more time in the core area. The longest we've backpacked in a day was 19km between Snowbowl and Tekarra campgrounds on the Skyline Trail, if any of you are familiar with that hike in Jasper. So I thought we could probably handle going to Og Lake in one day. Anybody have comparisons between those two trails, that have done them before? Comparisons as far as elevation and difficultry?

I thought on the way back we could stay one night at Porcupine, to split the km's on the way back evenly, as the way back is supposed to be more difficult as far as elevation gain and making the days a little shorter would make it a little easier.

So that would make our trip Og Lake - Lake Magog x2 - Porcupine. Thereby skipping Howard Douglas altogether. That would give us one long 21km day, a short 5km day on day two (with the option to rest or do a quick day hike), then a full day to hike around Lake Magog, then splitting the way back in half staying at Porcupine (I think Howard Douglas would be to much from Lake Magog in one day).

So I'm looking for some input and opinions on this itinerary from anyone who's hiked in and out from Susnhine to Lake Magog and from people who have stayed at all the campgrounds. Thank you everyone for your help and taking a moment to read this.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 01:27 PM
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I haven't done Assiniboine before so I can't help you with your questions. I'm planning on doing Assiniboine this summer with my kids and have been working out details with a coworker who has hiked there a lot. We're going all the way through from Sunshine to Mt. Shark trailhead and are planning on going to Og for the first day and then jumping over to Magog for 2 days similar to you. If you can hike from Snowbowl to Tekarra in a day then I don't think you'll have an issue with going back from Magog to Porcupine and then to Sunshine. That day from Snowbowl to Tekarra has a lot of uphill and you won't see anything like the Notch on this hike.

If it were me, I'd be debating on whether I would just hike all the way out rather than stopping at Porcupine. Get up early and start hiking. If you get to Porcupine by noon then just keep on going.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 01:25 PM
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Going to Og Lake in one day is definitely doable as the route from Sunshine is largely downhill. It may make for a long day depending on your pack weight and fitness. Coming back, I'd recommend splitting the day as there is the slog up to Citadel Pass. If you do decide to try for a one day return, take the high route, if you determine that you won't be able to make it in a single day, you can always hike down to Porcupine
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 04:53 PM
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I ended up doing Assiniboine area a few years ago.

Great trip overall good choice on not taking the helicopter the hike in is stunning. The trek down from sunshine to core would definitely be easier then the reverse option. Hiking to Og Lake in a day is doable i believe it is 24 ish km however I do recall books distances being different from the posted signage. ( As a side note make sure to have water before leaving Citadel Pass, once you are in the rock garden there is next to none.) especially on a hot day

I never ended up staying at Porcupine Campground and never did plan to. It is quite far down the valley and the thought of climbing back up the valley was something I did not want to do. Og lake campground is a nice area I wish there was a bit more privacy and tree cover from the hot sun however this was very minor.

Below is a itinerary that might be good starting point for planning

Day 1 (take the bus up to sunshine.) Hike to Og Lake Camp.

Day 2 (Hike from Og Lake to Magog ) Day Hike,Wonder Pass)

Day 3 ( Day hike Nub peak making sure to stop by and see Sunburst, Cerulean and Eizabeth lakes) Or you could consider windy ridge

Day 4 ( Do quick day hike to Assiniboine pass then hike to Howard Douglas Lake camp)

Day 5 (Hike out the rest of the way)


Elevation will be more for Assiniboine than Skyline most of that will be downhill. ( Until if you exit by the way of sunshine meadows)

If the possibility exist you could always look at parking a car at Mt Shark allowing to exit via Marvel Lake.

Depending on how you arrange your trip other worthwhile day hikes are Owl lake and Marvel Pass. ( However those are farther from core area.)

Hope this helps a bit.

Happy trecking
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 12:24 AM
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I'd never split hike in/out & do it in a day. So many different options in core area well worth extra couple of days. Wonder - Cautley horseshoe is highly recommended, with couple of moderate steps with routefinding on descent from Wonder, but straightforward otherwise.

https://forums.clubtread.com/130-can...horseshoe.html
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 02:56 PM
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I don't recommend Porcupine CG unless there is a lot of rain. It is forested. Og Lake does not have any coverage. Magog Lake has trees if you can get a campsite. The overflow section is a little grassy area that is very open, but at least they have a covered eating/cooking area. Nub Peak is amazing and worthwhile, too. Have fun!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 03:25 AM
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Permits for Magog and Og look pretty scare for prime time so you might be looking for cancellations?
https://discovercamping.ca/MountAssiniboine?Calendar
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 06:46 AM
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I'm planning to do Assiniboine with my brother at the end of August as well.
I've done Skyline and I think you'll be able to get to Og Lake easily in one day if you start early enough. Hope you can get a permit though...

Other people on here probably know better about this, but I believe you can random camp once you're in BC and outside of the core Assiniboine area? So you can just stay wherever you want?

@mm53bar - we're going to be going through from Sunshine to Mt Shark too, how are you planning to get between trailheads (assuming you're leaving a car at the end?) ?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 02:27 PM
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I heard of someone camping at Aurora Lake; Parks line runs across the lake. They were camping on the side of lake that was already inside the park. Ranger happened to pass by & made them move tents to other side less than 100 m away.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 08:19 AM
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Hi!
I've been looking into planning details and am extremely confused about access to the trail, hope someone can help!

It looks like you can get by car to Sunshine parking, from there you get a shuttle (free? do you have to book? when does it come? I can't find info on it) to Sunshine village (can a private car travel on this road?) and from there you take the gondola (do you have to book? is there a shuttle that gets to the same place?) to Sunshine meadows.

Can anyone confirm if this is correct: car to Sunshine parking, shuttle to Sunshine village, gondola to Sunshine meadows? Is there another way to do it?

How long should I plan for it take from leaving Banff to getting to the Sunshine meadows trailhead (late August)?

Thanks!
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 12:45 PM
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You drive to the Sunshine parking lot and take the gondola up to Sunshine Village (there is no shuttle, nor car access past the parking lot). Sunshine used to run a bus from the parking lot up to the Village, but now operate the gondola in the summer. There are shuttle busses that operate from Banff to the Sunshine parking lot and, new this year, a shuttle that connects to the Mr. Shark trailhead. From Sunshine Village it's a short hike to the meadows.

They also operate one of the ski lifts from the Village as a sightseeing option, but there is no advantage to taking it if you're hiking to the meadows or Assiniboine.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 03:35 AM
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Thanks @kellymcdonald78! That is useful information and much clearer than anything else that I could find online.
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