Looking for Reviews: Lake Minnewanka to Mt Inglismilde Camp (Aylmer Pass) - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Calgary AB
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Default Looking for Reviews: Lake Minnewanka to Mt Inglismilde Camp (Aylmer Pass)

Has anyone done the hike from Lake Minnewanka to Aylmer Pass in the last year or two? We might be doing that one the weekend on June 17, doing an overnight at Mt. Inglismilde (Lm20) or Mt. Costigan (Lm22) and back out. I've been reading that ticks and bears are both major issues in this area. I'm looking for honest answers - is this trip inadvisable? Should we just to a day trip in and out to Aylmer Lookout? Our group is training to do West Coast Trail in August and seeking overnight treks to do throughout June and July. Open to suggestions
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 09:37 PM
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I wouldn't recommend the distant campgrounds. They aren't campgrounds in any reasonable sense of the word. They haven't been maintained in a decade or two and are a mess. I went in from the east end to Lm22 in 2010, and we barely found one vaguely flattish spot to call a "tent pad", and an outhouse long since reclaimed by the spiders. In June, the ticks will have calmed down a little (it was just *swarming* in April), but the "campgrounds" will still be pretty awful.
There is also a wolf pack that lives around the east end, two of which approached us at twilight, which was not enjoyable.
Bears are an issue, but it's more that they like it back in the Ghost and tend to come through Aylmer as their access to the Bow Valley. But mid-June, I wouldn't rule out the area for that. I'd just be on alert. You say "we", so it sounds like you're not alone, which is good.

Personally, I would suggest that you carry your packs out to the junction, hike up Aylmer Pass (with your backpacking packs on) if the snow conditions seem appropriate, or Aylmer Lookout if the snow is lingering, and then go back down, continue east, and camp at Lm9, or even better, Lm11. It's a little further out of the main area, avoiding the issues at Lm8 and Lm20-22, but is still a proper campground,
And doing that you'll get a solid day with elevation in your packs, even if it's via a scenic detour.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rachelo View Post
I wouldn't recommend the distant campgrounds. They aren't campgrounds in any reasonable sense of the word. They haven't been maintained in a decade or two and are a mess. I went in from the east end to Lm22 in 2010, and we barely found one vaguely flattish spot to call a "tent pad", and an outhouse long since reclaimed by the spiders. In June, the ticks will have calmed down a little (it was just *swarming* in April), but the "campgrounds" will still be pretty awful.
There is also a wolf pack that lives around the east end, two of which approached us at twilight, which was not enjoyable.
Bears are an issue, but it's more that they like it back in the Ghost and tend to come through Aylmer as their access to the Bow Valley. But mid-June, I wouldn't rule out the area for that. I'd just be on alert. You say "we", so it sounds like you're not alone, which is good.

Personally, I would suggest that you carry your packs out to the junction, hike up Aylmer Pass (with your backpacking packs on) if the snow conditions seem appropriate, or Aylmer Lookout if the snow is lingering, and then go back down, continue east, and camp at Lm9, or even better, Lm11. It's a little further out of the main area, avoiding the issues at Lm8 and Lm20-22, but is still a proper campground,
And doing that you'll get a solid day with elevation in your packs, even if it's via a scenic detour.
Thanks

We have booked a spot at Lm11 (Inglismaldie). Will probably hike up to the lookout and then to camp, back out next day.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 11:50 PM
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We were at LM22 last year in May - it wasn't that bad. Three parties including us? and if you are not the first arriving you won't get the nicest place with lake view - our spot wasn't perfect but I would prefer it the way it is, not these gravel squares for tents elsewhere. One cable for hanging food didn't work so you had to share another, the table with the bench was not in best shape but: the surrounding area at the lakeshore is very nice - with campgrounds 9 or 11 you are almost directly besides the trail if I remember correctly. I think we took a short look at LM20 - accidentally went there and this didn't seem as nice, but I would try this one as well next time. Nice thing about LM8 is deer seem to linger often there, green grass. Also in the meadow around the Ranger Cabin and somewhere on the way we saw some bighorn sheep at the lakeshore.

At least you get out of the busy zone once you pass the Cabin (it wasn't that busy but I would assume there are even more Mountainbikers in June - and along the first 8 km there are a lot of day hikers). Ticks are an issue, towards the end on the way back it seemed like they constantly fall on you, hanging around everywhere - it didn't seem that bad at LM22 but maybe we started to pay more attention the following day after we saw the first one there setting up the tent. Not sure with this cold spring,maybe they stick around a bit longer or maybe it won't be that bad this year. I found the last one on my head in the shower afterwards.

I'm looking forward to check out the far end at Devil's Gap next time - I wasn't in shape for doing this in 2,5 days including Aylmer Lookout or: it wasn't the plan to do an overly exhausting trip, the way back was fast - without hesitating to book LM22 again or with a slightly different itinerary for variety. And yes, there was a grizzly track.

We agreed on the way back that it would be quite boring in comparison to stay within the first 10 km going back the following day, especially if it's about hiking - backpacking. I would recommend going further for another day.

Last edited by Kokanee75; 05-27-2017 at 12:34 AM.
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