Mount Niles Col and Wenkchemna Pass

Just a normal weekend when you live in Calgary.  Heading up to the mountains on Friday after work for a couple of days of fantastic day hiking.

Mount Niles boulder field

Mount Niles boulder field

The best of our two hikes was the hike to Mount Niles in Yoho National Park, just on the BC side of the Rockies near to Lake Louise.   Given this was a beautiful day in mid August, the trail was very quiet.  And we didn’t start particularity early.  It’s a short hike to the impressively deep Sherbrooke Lake, and then a steady, easy climb up to a meadow / wetland basin below Niles Mountain.  In the wetland area we missed the trail and scrambled our way up to Niles Meadow, rejoining the trail.   This is a great area to explore, and we really recommend heading west around the base of Mount Niles, up the boulder field, to the col. From here you have great views of the Daly Glacier and glacial lake that sits on the cliff above Takakkaw Falls.  Across the valley is the Iceline Trail, which we hiked several years earlier.  We dropped down the actual trail from Mount Niles on the way back and tried to make it more obvious for others with a bit of cairn building.   Fabulous hike!

Check out the Photo Album.

Climbing to the Pass with Wastach Mountain, Eiffel Peak and Mount Temple in the middel

Climbing to the Pass with Wastach Mountain, Eiffel Peak and Mount Temple in the middle

The following day we failed to get up early again, and braced ourselves for the parking issues at Morraine Lake near Lake Louise.  Not too bad, but Parks Canada close the access road depending on how busy it is at the lake.  The hike to Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass initially follows the same trail as the popular Larch Valley / Sentinel Pass hike.   We’ve done that twice, so it was great to turn off and follow the trail along the tree line on the eastern side of the Valley of Ten Peaks.   Eiffel Lake is a small and fairly nondescript lake, but we followed the trail past the lake, climbing the boulder field to Wenkchemna Pass.   We can understand why this trail is not rated quite as highly as some others.  It’s a really great hike along the Valley of Ten Peaks, but the Pass and valley beyond are not as impressive as others in this area.   It’s relatively quiet trail though, which scores points from us.

Check out the Photo Album.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *