*Scheduled to follow our Canadian Rockies Walking Tour program for those guests wishing to combine hotel-based hiking in the beautiful Bow Valley with the adventure of the Assiniboine Backpacking tour.
$1445 CDN Includes guides, out-trip meals, Park 'Wilderness Pass', group camping gear, helicopter flight and local transfers.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Optional pre and post trip accommodation packages are available from $80 per person per night for shared room lodging ($160 for single occupancy). Purchase with booking. Subject to availability.
How difficult is it?
How fit and experienced need you be?
This trip is rated moderate. Backpack weights are moderate, on the 1st day the group will be carrying the heaviest loads, food and gear for the entire trip but only for 2km of flat trail. Day 2 will require daypacks only. On the backpack portion (last 3 days) participants will be carrying personal clothing and gear plus a fair share of food and group gear (tents, stoves etc). By keeping personal gear light, pack weights need not exceed 14kg (32lbs) on the 1st backpacking day, thereafter weights drop. Please read our Traveling Light & Making Backpacking More Fun for information and suggestions on clothing and equipment.
Prior hiking experience is not a prerequisite but is recommended. Participants must be in good physical condition and able to carry a backpack over hilly terrain for three days.
The trails are generally good. We will hike a regular and steady pace that conserves energy but you must be in as good as possible hiking shape before you come. We cannot emphasize enough that training pays great dividends in enjoyment. We suggest you train by walking and/or cycling and/or hiking (ideally in hilly terrain).
"Assiniboine" is a Chippewa phrase meaning "stone boilers" or "people who cook with hot stones."
Mount Assiniboine Backpack
Meadow walking, 2007
Hiking to the Nub, Assiniboine behind
From Mount Assiniboine, 'Matterhorn of the Rockies', vast alpine meadows stretch far to the north interspersed with forested valleys and rocky peaks. It's a world-famous hiking area which we look forward to sharing with you!
This hike is designed specifically for hikers and backpackers who want to avoid more difficult itineraries whilst still preserving a true back country experience. We start with a day and a half in the core area around the base of Mount Assiniboine before heading out on a three-day backpack trip to Sunshine Meadows.
From the vast park-like Assiniboine Meadows we drop into the eerie rockscape of the aptly named "Valley of the Rocks". The next day we climb to Citadel Pass back to beautiful meadows which will lead us the next day to the trip's conclusion at Sunshine.
Join us in July and August when the alpine wildflowers are in full bloom or in September when the fall begins by tinting meadows and larches yellow and red in summer's final explosion of color!
If great scenery, healthy exercise and good company sound like a great holiday then come and join us for an unforgettable mountain experience.
Day 1: Fly to Mount Assiniboine
At 8.30am we meet at the Yamnuska Mountain Adventures office in Canmore. We'll go over the trip with you and check to see that you are properly outfitted before packing and heading to the helipad for 12.30pm.
Twenty eight kilometers and a twelve minute helicopter flight leaves us a world away in a land of lush meadows, turquoise lakes, snow covered glaciers and rocky peaks. We fly from Spray Lakes in Kananaskis Country (50km south of Canmore), to British Columbia's Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, landing right beside the historic Lodge. We will be based at the Lake Magog camping area which is 2km away. Once we have set up our tents we are free to go for a walk to nearby Sunburst and Cerulean Lakes. Their names give testament to their beauty.
Day 2: Day hike in the Assiniboine area
There are many options ... the meadows and views are gorgeous. An enjoyable day which allows us to gradually acclimatize to the altitude and get used to hiking. We can finish off with tea and cake at the Lodge.
Day 3: Magog to Porcupine
Now the backpacking begins and we embark upon the most scenic hiking route out of Assiniboine, that to Sunshine Meadows via Citadel Pass. Today we head south across the meadows to Og Lake from where the trail descends among the eerie formations of the Valley of the Rocks. Dropping further we enter the Golden Valley to reach our campsite below Citadel Pass for a welcome cup of tea. Distance 16km, total elevation gain 250m, total elevation loss 565m, mostly level or downhill but with occasional small hills) .
Day 4: Porcupine to Howard Douglas Lake
A steady climb of 430m brings us to the summit of the Pass at 2360m. Hiking upwards we may be distracted by bighorn sheep at a "mineral lick" not 200m from the trail or by the profusion of wildflowers in the slide paths. Half way to the Pass we emerge back into the meadows and stop above an alpine lake for a break. The Pass comes soon after and we can see far across the meadows to Sunshine, tomorrow's destination. Behind us rises Assiniboine, still dominating the skyline. Once over the Pass we continue for another 3.5km to our campsite which is nestled in the trees by Howard Douglas Lake. Energy to spare, then a hike up Quartz Hill for views in all directions will finish the day off nicely. Distance 7.5km, total elevation gain 500m.
Day 5: The last leg of our journey takes us 6km across the famous Sunshine Meadows to the Sunshine ski area an optional side trip to Rock Isle Lake. It's all downhill from here with a shuttle bus to the valley floor where transport to Canmore awaits. This allows us to finish up in Canmore by 3pm. After hot showers and a rest, head out to celebrate our adventure at one of the excellent local restaurants. Distance 6km, total elevation gain 250m, total elevation loss 400m.
Meeting Place and Time
We will meet you at our Yamnuska Mountain Adventures office at 8.30am the morning of Day 1.
Our office is located at 200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore. See this map for location.
For your greater convenience we offer a pre-meeting shuttle service within Canmore. Please let us know in advance where you will be staying if needing this service. Pickup will occur between 8.00 and 8.20am.
Please ensure that you have your hiking equipment with you.
Guides and Group Size
Yamnuska Mountain Adventure guides are certified through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Our professional guides have extensive experience in the Canadian Rockies. Guides also have advanced wilderness first aid training and heritage interpretation accreditation. Guides carry emergency equipment including a first aid kit, bear spray and radio.
There will be a maximum of eight guests and a minimum of four.
Accommodation and Meals
On the trail you will be staying in modern, lightweight 2- and 1-person weather-proof tents.
Accommodation in Canmore is not included. For your convenience we can arrange hotel accommodations in Canmore for $160 per night. This accommodation can be booked with the trip online or by calling us. Subject to availability. Hostel accommodation is also available for $30 per night.
You can also make your own arrangements. Check our links page for a range of Canmore accommodations.
Excess luggage can be left at your hotel or our office.
We supply all meals and trail snacks from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 5. Groups generally go out for dinner in Canmore on the final evening (own cost).
Trail cuisine is constructed from lightweight ingredients including our Yamnuska custom-made dehydrated dinners. Please specify any special dietary requirements you have on booking so we can incorporate them into our menus. A dietary surcharge will apply.
Getting to Canmore and Transportation
Canmore is situated 100km (65miles) west of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway. It is well served by scheduled bus lines both from Calgary (airport and downtown), Banff (20km west) and points further west. Calgary International Airport is well connected to major cities throughout North America and Europe. Once in Canmore we will supply all transport needed for the trip.
Frequent shuttles connect Calgary International Airport and Canmore. Greyhound Bus Lines (1 800 661 8747) serves Canmore from points east and west along the Trans-Canada Highway. Call 609 8790, 609 0300, 609 1490 or 609 8505 for taxis in Canmore. We can arrange the shuttle for you at a rate of $55 each way.
Clothing and Equipment
We supply group camping and cooking equipment plus a full emergency and first-aid kit. You will need to bring personal equipment (backpack, sleeping bag, etc.) and clothing. Yamnuska Mountain Adventures does have rental and retail equipment such as sleeping bags, mats, and backpacks. Rental Gear List. Contact us in advance to reserve.
Contact us if you have any questions or concerns or check out our latest video on how to pack your backpack
Sunburst, Cerulean and Magog Lakes fish well for rainbow trout. Participants are welcome to bring lightweight fishing gear. BC licenses are required and can be purchased from Assiniboine Lodge. Fishing regulations apply.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. A 35% deposit CDN (including GST) is required at time of booking. Final payment is due eight weeks before the start of the trip.
For detailed Booking Instructions and Conditions, click here.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travelers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
In Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park you may have to pay for evacuation should you hurt yourself or fall ill (not astronomically expensive). However, it is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident while here.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries and other unplanned events. For these eventualities the Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian and International Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.