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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Default Recommendation for backcountry trails

Hi - I'm looking for a recommendation for some great 3-5 backcountry trails.
Our ideal would really be Berg Lake, but our vacation time is at the end of August and that's all booked by now.

What other trails could we do that would be similar?
- 3-5 days of moderate hiking and camping
- accessible - we'll fly in to Edmonton or Calgary and drive from there
- beautiful landscapes - possibility of side trails or scrambles to high alpine, glacier views, alpine lakes and waterfalls etc
- good chances of wildlife viewing

Any recommendations will be appreciated!
My initial searches have turned up Rockwall, Mt Assiniboine, and Turbine Canyon trails but I don't know too much about them, so thoughts on those trails will be helpful as well.

I have done Skyline and Tonquin Valley trails in Jasper - they are amazing, but I'm not thinking of doing them again this year, so they are off the table.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 12:28 PM
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You can try searching up Tonquin Valley.... it’s in jasper and you could do a loop also within around 3 or 4 days depending on how much Kms your going a day.. the only problem with doing the whole loop is that you’d need to find a ride back to your car but you don’t really have to do the loop to get I really nice view. I’d say the best view is at amethyst lakes.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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You can try searching up Tonquin Valley....
Thanks @123chilliwack! I did Tonquin Valley as a 4 day hike this past summer - it really is amazing. I'd love to do more beautiful hiking in that area. Berg lake is the other one that I'm familiar with but it's already full (I've hiked Skyline as well). Would love to hear about any other amazing trails in that area or further south.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 03:19 PM
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Jasper and Banff backcountry opened for bookings late Jan, so many of the popular trails (Rockwall Tonquin Valley) are likely booked. You still have time to book Assiniboine and Kananaksis trails (Alberta Parks does a 90 day rolling booking window). The Kananaksis Pass loop might be a good one. Hike in to Three Isle Lake, loop through Height of the Rockies (some routefinding may be needed here) and back to Turbine and then out.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kellymcdonald78 View Post
Jasper and Banff backcountry opened for bookings late Jan, so many of the popular trails (Rockwall Tonquin Valley) are likely booked. You still have time to book Assiniboine and Kananaksis trails (Alberta Parks does a 90 day rolling booking window). The Kananaksis Pass loop might be a good one. Hike in to Three Isle Lake, loop through Height of the Rockies (some routefinding may be needed here) and back to Turbine and then out.
Thanks! I hadn't realised Rockwall trail booking opened already too...
We want to do 2 3-5 day trails, I think Mt Assiniboine and Kananaskis Pass loop may be our best bet. They look pretty good!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Default Advice on Kananaskis Passes Loop and Mt Assiniboine trails

Hi!
I am looking for specific recommendations and advice on the Kananaskis Passes loop and Mt Assiniboine trails from people who have done them based on their experiences:

- Where do you recommend to start and end, which trail head to start at, which trail head to end at, which direction to do the loop? How to get between the trail heads (assuming we want to leave our vehicle at the end)?

- What sections do you recommend to do each day (assuming 4 days)? What side trails are most worth while?

- What are the best campgrounds to stay at?

Any other advice or comments on these trails is welcome!
Thanks in advance!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dpdp View Post
Hi!
I am looking for specific recommendations and advice on the Kananaskis Passes loop and Mt Assiniboine trails from people who have done them based on their experiences:

- Where do you recommend to start and end, which trail head to start at, which trail head to end at, which direction to do the loop? How to get between the trail heads (assuming we want to leave our vehicle at the end)?

- What sections do you recommend to do each day (assuming 4 days)? What side trails are most worth while?

- What are the best campgrounds to stay at?

Any other advice or comments on these trails is welcome!
Thanks in advance!

For Kananaskis Pass you can complete it as a loop, starting and ending at the Interlakes parking lot in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. For day 1 I'd hike into Three Isle Lake (or Beatty Lake if you want to push it). On Day 2, through South Kanakaskis Pass, loop into Height of the Rockies, and back through North Kananaksis Pass. Stay at Turbine for 2 nights and day hike to Haig Glacier. Day 4, out back to Interlakes.


For Assiniboine, it depends on how much you can cover in a day. Most recommend in via Sunshine Meadows (park at the Ski Resort and take the gondola up) and out via Mt Shark in Spray Lakes Provincial Park. You'll need two vehicles for this option. Some folks will make the full ~25km into Lake Magog in one day (and spend several days in at Magog exploring the area). Others will break it in two and spend the first night at Porcupine (no reservations needed here) and continue to Lake Magog on day 2. You can either spend one day hiking around Assiniboine, and hike out in one long day, or split the hike out in two and spend the last night at Marvel Lake. Try to take Marvel Pass on the way out. It's a little longer, but worth it
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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@Kellymcdonald Thanks! This is great information!

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Originally Posted by kellymcdonald78 View Post
For Kananaskis Pass you can complete it as a loop, starting and ending at the Interlakes parking lot in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. For day 1 I'd hike into Three Isle Lake (or Beatty Lake if you want to push it). On Day 2, through South Kanakaskis Pass, loop into Height of the Rockies, and back through North Kananaksis Pass. Stay at Turbine for 2 nights and day hike to Haig Glacier. Day 4, out back to Interlakes.
Does anyone know if the campsite bookings can all be done through one of the parks, or if we need to book Beatty Lake through Height of the Rockies and the rest through Peter Lougheed?

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Originally Posted by kellymcdonald78 View Post
For Assiniboine, it depends on how much you can cover in a day. Most recommend in via Sunshine Meadows (park at the Ski Resort and take the gondola up) and out via Mt Shark in Spray Lakes Provincial Park. You'll need two vehicles for this option. Some folks will make the full ~25km into Lake Magog in one day (and spend several days in at Magog exploring the area). Others will break it in two and spend the first night at Porcupine (no reservations needed here) and continue to Lake Magog on day 2. You can either spend one day hiking around Assiniboine, and hike out in one long day, or split the hike out in two and spend the last night at Marvel Lake. Try to take Marvel Pass on the way out. It's a little longer, but worth it
Sunshine meadows to Mt Shark seems like a great route but I have no idea how we can get between the trailheads. Is there a cab company that operates in the area? Or does anyone know of an internet message board to arrange carpools and hitchhiking in the area?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 12:07 PM
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@Kellymcdonald Thanks! This is great information!



Does anyone know if the campsite bookings can all be done through one of the parks, or if we need to book Beatty Lake through Height of the Rockies and the rest through Peter Lougheed?
Beatty Lake doesn't require a booking. Everything else is through Alberta Parks
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Sunshine meadows to Mt Shark seems like a great route but I have no idea how we can get between the trailheads. Is there a cab company that operates in the area? Or does anyone know of an internet message board to arrange carpools and hitchhiking in the area?
This will be more of a challenge. You may be able to arrange a cab out of Canmore or Banff, but it likely wont be cheap. I believe you can get a bus from Banff to Sunshine. It's Mt Shark that is going to be the most difficult as its a bit off the beaten path. If you can, I'd recommend parking at Mt Shark and then arrange a cab (or get someone to drop you off) to Sunshine. It's always easier to be hiking towards your car
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 02:38 PM
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I'd recommend parking at Mt Shark and then arrange a cab (or get someone to drop you off) to Sunshine. It's always easier to be hiking towards your car

Spot on


Re transit between trailheads: It would be worth making a post in "Bow Valley Network" FB group. It is quite active and all kind of things get posted & you never know. Cab == ultra expensive. Only other option I can think off is hitch-hike Shark - Canmore (fairly sure someone would stop for a hiker), public bus Canmore - Banff (http://roamtransit.com/services/canmore-banff-regional), then Banff-Sunshine shuttle (https://www.banffsunshinemeadows.com/hours-index). Bit time-consuming & needs coordination but feasible.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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@zeljkok @kellymcdonald78 Thanks for the help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymcdonald78 View Post
Beatty Lake doesn't require a booking.
Hadn't realised this - does it fill up (end of August)?


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Originally Posted by kellymcdonald78 View Post
If you can, I'd recommend parking at Mt Shark and then arrange a cab (or get someone to drop you off) to Sunshine.
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Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Re transit between trailheads: It would be worth making a post in "Bow Valley Network" FB group. It is quite active and all kind of things get posted & you never know. Cab == ultra expensive. Only other option I can think off is hitch-hike Shark - Canmore (fairly sure someone would stop for a hiker), public bus Canmore - Banff, then Banff-Sunshine shuttle Bit time-consuming & needs coordination but feasible.
We definitely would plan to park at the end. Thanks for the tip about the FB group, hope we'll find a cab that isn't crazy expensive or someone local to carpool/hitch with to Sunshine.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 12:26 PM
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Technically, random backcountry camping is permitted throughout Height of the Rockies PP. In Beatty Lake's case, it was becoming popular enough they decided to put in some facilities (pit toilet, food locker and tent pads). There are 5 pads at the lake, but you can random camp as long as you are 2 km from the campground (there will of course be no facilities there). You can find all of the details here.

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/exp...arkpgs/height/
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Default Need help/advice finding a hike

Hi All

I would like to book a 4-5 day hike in the last week of August. I'm going with a friend who is less experienced and would like to stick with maintained trails and camp sites.

Berg Lake and the Rockwall are already booked up, I've done Tonquin, Skyline and Assiniboine. Any ideas of what else we could do? Preferably something similar to the trails I just mentioned, and relatively easy/quick access from Calgary or Edmonton.

Some possibilities: North-South Kananaskis passes loop, Brazeau loop. How are these options? Any other advice is very welcome.

Thanks!
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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Default Looking for advice on Northover Ridge & Turbine-3 Isle loop

Hi

I would like to hike the Northover Ridge and Turbine - 3 Isle Lake loops together over 4-5 days and am looking for advice from anyone who has done both:

Does it make more sense to go counter-clockwise: Night 1 - Turbine, Night 2 - Beatty/3 Isle Lake, Night 3 - Aster Lake/tarns on BC side? Or does it make more sense to do it in the other direction? What are the pros and cons of each?

What are the better places to camp between Beatty vs 3 Isle lake and between Aster lake vs the tarns?

If I want to stay at 1 campsite over two nights to have some time to explore the area more which one would you recommend? What should I explore?

I read that Turbine-3 Isle loop is best clockwise and Northover ridge best counter-clockwise (subjective opinion in some of the descriptions I read) - would it make any sense to do the following: Night 1 - 3 Isle, Night 2 - Turbine, Night 3 - 3 Isle, Night 4 - Aster lake??
This would mean doing the section from Forks to 3 Isle twice instead of not at all...
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 10:52 AM
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My only caution is your friends experience level. Northover is a more complex traverse with some exposure. The climb into Aster can be a slog for someone new to hiking.

If you are going do the Northover, Kananaskis Pass loop, I'd do first night at Aster Lake (or Northover Tarns, but that would make for a long day). There isn't really any place to camp in between those two as random camping isn't permitted within Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, once you cross the divide into BC, you're pretty much at the Tarns. Second night would be at Three Isle Lake or Beatty Lake. You may be able to camp just across the South Kananaskis Pass border, I believe it is 2km from Beatty Lake. Next day I would hike down into the Palliser Valley and back up to North Kananaskis. You could camp on the BC side or at Turbine. I've heard that it is easier to find the trail up to North Kananaskis Pass coming from South Kananaskis Pass rather than vice versa. Spent 2 nights at Turbine and do some day hiking before you head out.

If your friend only wants to stay at developed campgrounds, that would be Aster Lake, Three Isle Lake, Beatty Lake and Turbine
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