Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park
We had two adventures planned for our week-long stay in Alberta. I don’t think we realized how much the Rockwall would take out of us. Our next traverse was through Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park and in Banff National Park with more long days and multiple passes to climb. The weather was starting to look sketchy. We had an opportunity to stay another evening in Canmore after the Rockwall trek in an awesome hotel. Soft beds and hot showers… it was lovely.
Mt Assiniboine is the Matterhorn of Canada. Our original plan would have brought us right to the base, with views so amazing that they actually helicopter people in to small cabins there to see it. Personally I think that’s cheating, not to mention the helicopter noise in the Rockies was a bit annoying.
Our new plan was just an out and back overnight trip to a cute little cabin 8 miles in to the park. It gave is a nice taste of what Assiniboine Provincial Park has to offer, and left us excited for when we can come back for the full traverse!
The weather was holding out for us, and since we were headed to a cabin that had a fireplace inside, we weren’t to concerned if we got rained on.
The hike was mellow, along what seemed to be an old access road. It is used for cross country ski routes in the winter, and I had visions of skate skiing through Assiniboine one of these years!
Even with the mellow hike, the views were still there. Beautiful rivers and streams, with mountain peaks showing themselves through the trees.
After we arrived to the cabin, we decided to explore the surrounding area a little. It was only 8 miles in, so we had plenty of time to check out the near by lakes and loop around a linking trail.
Marvel Lake did not disappoint! There was even a little peak of Mt Assiniboine that we could see from the right angle! This was a place that I would have been happy to just sit down with a book by the water and read the day away.
We thought about trying to hike up to Wonder Pass for views, but it was getting late, and we didn’t want to chance it taking longer than expected and burning ourselves out completely. So we decided to take a little side loop back to the cabin, traversing through some beautiful meadows and coming across a horse ranger camp to boot!
After arriving back to the cabin, we had dinner and made s’mores in the fireplace. A fun treat to have when backpacking!
The next morning was nice and lazy. No rush to tackle another pass, and only 8 miles to hike out! The clouds were coming in, but we only got sprinkled on the very last mile. What luck!
This small taste of the area left me yearning for more. I certainly hope that we are able to plan a trip here in 2017 to explore more of this magical place.