Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop

Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

Canadian Rockies + East Kootenay, British Columbia

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Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop

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  • Bull Moose at the trailhead.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • The start of the trail is built for horses and cross-country skiing and is quite wide.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Many creek crossings open up to views of the surrounding mountains.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Much of the beginning of the trail is forest, but occasionally it will open up and reveal the valley.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • On the way to Assiniboine Pass.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Great signage for much of the trail.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • First views of Nub Peak in the distance, the premier day hike and viewpoint in the park.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Assiniboine Lodge. Make sure not to miss tea time!- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Lake Magog with Assiniboine's summit trapped in the clouds.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Typical cabin.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • At the dining hall, all food goes into the bear lockers.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Inside the dining hall.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Close-up of Assiniboine after a light dusting of snow.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Stars from Lake Magog Campground.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Morning light on Assiniboine. - Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Close-up of the golden morning light on the peak.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Fields full of wildflowers in the summer.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Last views of Assiniboine Provincial Park from Wonder Pass.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Looking south from Wonder Pass.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Marvel Pass beckoning in the distance among the mountains.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Marvel Lake.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • The peaks surrounding the open meadows at Marvel Pass.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • An unnamed lake at Marvel Pass.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • At Marvel Pass, turn left here toward Owl Lake to return.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Another unnamed lake just below the pass.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Mount Byng.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Looking north back toward Bryant Creek.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Owl Lake looking north.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
  • Owl Lake looking south toward Mount Byng.- Lake Magog, Marvel Pass + Owl Lake Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great Views. Wildlife. Low Crowds.
Cons: 
Long Approach.
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Region:
Canadian Rockies + East Kootenay, BC
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
58.00 km (36.04 mi)
Trailhead Elev.: 
532 m (1,747 ft)
Net Elev. Gain: 
207 m (679 ft)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back/Loop
Dogs allowed: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy starting in the evening.
72°F
44°

Thu

Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening.
73°F
47°

Fri

Partly cloudy until evening.
62°F
44°

Sat

Mostly cloudy starting in the afternoon.
69°F
42°

Sun

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
74°F
44°

Mon

Mostly cloudy in the morning.
79°F
49°

Tue

Mostly cloudy starting in the evening.
80°F
50°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Sponsored Contributor

For those looking for a more remote experience in the Canadian Rockies, look no further than Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. Established in 1922, the park sits nestled between Kootenay Provincial Park and Banff National Park, and Mount Assiniboine dominates the skyline. Beckoning anyone with a line of sight to see the iconic “Matterhorn of the Rockies,” there is actually no road access into the park at all! The only way to access the park is by horse, foot, skis, or helicopter, and it is worth every ounce of energy to get there in person.

This adventure builds off the Lake Magog Hike that describes in detail the route from Mount Shark to Assiniboine Pass and out via Wonder Pass. Hikers wanting a more varied hike out and who have the time and a little gas left in the tank can opt for adding Marvel Pass and another valley to the list of views.

While descending the appropriately named Wonder Pass, you have a great view of the climb and open forested Marvel Pass ahead. The low point between Marvel Peak (2,712 meters) on your left and Mount Gloria (2,888 meters) on your right is what is convincing you to tackle a few extra kilometers on the trek back to the Mount Shark parking area. The trail forks about 80% of the way down to Marvel Lake, and at that point you need to decide to turn left or press on down to the lake shore and up the other side. The ascent to Marvel Pass is steep and mostly forested, opening up into gorgeous meadows full of unnamed lakes and wildflowers. Keep an eye out for wildlife, as these alpine lakes make excellent opportunities for viewing many of the park’s ungulates.

The pass itself is unsigned, but it will be marked by a sign indicating you are leaving Banff National Park. Keep an eye out for trails to the left to find your way to the larger lakes that mark the pass itself and the way down toward Owl Lake and the Bryant Creek Trail. All around you will be surrounded by Mount Gloria, Aurora Mountain, Mount Byng, and Marvel Peak. Follow the trail down toward Owl Lake, which may be overgrown and difficult to navigate depending on the season. There will be several openings in the trees and meadows to view the surrounding mountains and the valley you are descending. Once you make your way along the western flank of Owl Lake through several large boulder fields, make sure to keep checking behind you for great views of Mount Byng (2,940 meters)

Keep descending the Owl Lake Trail toward the creek crossing to regain the Bryant Creek Trail, turn left, and keep following signs to Mount Shark. This addition is an excellent example of the trails that crisscross the various valleys and canyons in the Canadian Rockies, adding many possible varied loops and adventures. Mount Assiniboine won’t be soon forgotten, and it continues to draw back anyone who gets to see it in person.

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