Mount Assiniboine Walking Tour
Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its meadows and easy hiking peaks which lie below the 3618 metre Matterhorn-like peak that towers above. Using a helicopter to transport our guests and gear, we by-pass the typically strenuous hike to reach this alpine paradise. With our food and gear flown in we are able to travel light during the day as we explore the lakes, peaks, meadows and passes that surround our base for the four days.
This relaxed hiking program is for those interested in experiencing four days of walking in the beautiful alpine region. There are not many areas where it is possible to do this and avoid carrying the heavier backpack usually required to visit such a place.
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 a 12.30pm departure.
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. Upon arrival, we’ll carry our packs 1.5 km to the Magog campground where we will be based for our stay. After settling in we can head out for the remainder of the day to explore a bit and get a feel for the area. Gog Lake is not far away so we can sit by the lake and watch the Osprey fish or the marmot who is checking us out!
Day 2: Day hike
There are numerous trails and scenic circuits to explore. A good outing is to hike on past Gog Lake to Wonder Pass (2395m). We will attempt the ridge walk to the summit of Wonder Peak if we find there’s still energy to spare. The mountain scenery is always spectacular and depending on the season there will be wildflowers or flaming Larches to add to an already inspiring view. Then it’s back to our camp for a cup of tea, followed by a hearty meal and a good rest. Distance 7km. Elevation gain 650m.
Day 3: Day hike
Today we will head off in a different direction – Either Sunburst, Cerulean and Elizabeth Lakes, Chuck’s Ridge and the Nub (14km, 545m) or to Og Pass and Windy Ridge (17km, 500m). From high alpine meadows to rocky ridges, to crystal clear lakes and deeply shadowed forests, it’s all here for us to explore!
Day 4: Our last day in paradise!
We still have some time for a last walk before we fly home in the afternoon, wandering the meadows for the last time before we head back reluctantly for the flight to Mount Shark. We should be back in Canmore by mid-afternoon where you can enjoy an evening in one of the local restaurants to cap off a rewarding trip.
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
We will be camping at the beautiful Magog Lake Campground. This campground is a short 1.5 km hike from the helipad and has its own cooking shelter. We will be camping in comfortable 2 and 3 person tents for this trip.
Accommodation in Canmore is not included. A variety of accommodation options exist in both Canmore and Banff, including campsites, hostels, all levels of hotels as well as condo style accommodation with kitchens or suites. We recommend that you book your own pre and post-trip accommodations well in advance as all levels of accommodations in the Bow Valley fill quickly. You can find information about accommodation options at http://www.tourismcanmore.com/accommodations/overview as well as on TripAdvisor.
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 4. Groups generally go out for dinner in Canmore on the final evening (own cost). Trail cuisine is prepared from lightweight wholesome ingredients including our Yamnuska custom-made dehydrated dinners to which we can add a variety of fresh items (we do have to keep baggage weights down for the flight in). For guests with dietary restrictions, we are able to modify the program food pack to meet your individual needs. As food pricing and preparation for these diets is more costly, we have implemented the following surcharges. For vegan, gluten free, lactose free, soy free, nut free or any similar type of single restriction menu requests there will be a $15/day surcharge. For a diet requiring any 2 restrictions a $25/day surcharge will apply. For any 3 restrictions a $30/day surcharge will apply. Vegetarian meals will not be surcharged. For more complex diets our kitchen staff will assess the restrictions to inform you if the diet can be accommodated and what surcharge would 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.
Equipment and Clothing
We supply group camping and cooking equipment, as well as an emergency communication device, trip food, bear spray, water purification equipment and a full expedition emergency first-aid kit. You will need to bring personal backpacking equipment and clothing. When purchasing gear consider both functionality as well as weight. Lightweight packs, sleeping bags, sleeping mats and clothing are readily available and will lighten your load substantially.
What you bring will have a big impact on the quality of your experience. Please take the time to read the information below, and cross check with our Traveling Light and Making Backpacking Fun. The list below will keep you very comfortable in the field. Make sure you have all your clothing and gear before you arrive, and reserve any rentals with us in advance. Your guide will go through your clothing and gear with you prior to the trip.
When hiking in the mountains, it is important to be able to adjust for the changing conditions. We recommend bringing clothing that can be layered to achieve comfort as you change from periods of activity to periods of rest. We discourage cotton clothing as it causes rapid heat loss when wet.
You will need to bring:
- Wool or fleece hat / toque
- Sunhat – Wide brim or baseball style
- Long underwear top and bottoms – Lightweight synthetic or merino wool
- Socks – Preferably a synthetic / merino wool blend. Bring at least three pairs.
- Light Synthetic Shirt
- Jacket – A midweight synthetic jacket
- Insulated Jacket – synthetic or down jacket
- Waterproof / Breathable Rain Jacket
- Rain Pants – Also waterproof / breathable. Ideally with side zips so they can be put on without taking off your boots.
- Hiking Pants – Preferably windproof and quick drying. No blue jeans or cotton pants.
- Light Gloves / Mitts
- Light Footwear – Crocs, Tevas, or running shoes for the occasional creek crossing and use around camp.
You will need to bring:
- Boots – Spend some time walking around in your boots before you arrive for your trip and get used to how they feel. They should have good ankle support and tread, with sturdy soles. Your boots will make or break your holiday so some time getting used to them is time well spent. Ensure they have been waterproofed or have a good waterproof liner material.
- Gaiters – Recommended early & late season. Really help to keep feet dry, keep socks and pants clean from mud and keep debris out of your boots.
- Large Backpack – This should be between 55 and 75 Liter capacity depending on the bulk of your personal gear and length of the trip. In it you will carry your clothing, sleeping bag and mat, plus your share of group camping gear and food which is typically an extra 10 – 20 liters of space. Lightweight packs with good suspension are recommended. If bringing an additional day pack, this should be very light and compressible in order to fit inside the bigger pack on the approach hike.
- Pack Cover – This should be waterproof and large enough to cover the outside of your pack to keep the contents dry in a rain storm. You can also line the inside of your stuff sacks with plastic bags to keep gear dry.
- Sleeping Bag – We recommend a ‘3 season’ bag rated 0ºC to –6ºC as temperatures can drop to below freezing at night. Make sure you bring a stuff sac lined with a plastic garbage bag that will reduce your bag to its minimum size (i.e. one with compression straps). This will provide enough space in your pack for everything else. A down bag will be lighter and more compressible for the weight than a synthetic bag.
- Sleeping Mat – Lightweight “Therm-a-rest” mats are recommended (Not Required on Wapta Ice Hike and Lake O’Hara Hiking Tour).
- Pillow – A small, compressible pillow or a spare stuff sack into which you can stuff extra clothes to create a pillow.
- Trekking Poles – Must be collapsible.
- Sunglasses – With 100% UV protection and a hardcase.
- Headlamp – With fresh batteries
- Water Bottle / Bladder – 1-2 litre capacity.
- Blister Kit – Moleskin, Second Skin, etc.
- Personal First Aid Kit – Our guide carries a group first aid kit so keep this small. Band Aids, Tylenol/ibuprofen, etc.
- Sun Block & Lip Balm – Extra strength with UV protection.
- Eating Utensils – Bowls, sporks, a large mug, light pocket knife, etc. (Not required on the Lake O’Hara Hiking Tour)
- Personal Toiletries – Keep to a minimum with no scented items.
- Insect repellent
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. A deposit of 35% 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.
Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the trip. Click here for waiver copy.
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:
There may be a charge for rescue/evacuation from Assiniboine Provincial Park. It is advisable to check if your personal health insurance covers you for this potential cost.
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 Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure’s trip.
$1650 CDN per person
*Scheduled to follow our Canadian Rockies Walking Tour for those guests wishing to combine hotel-based hiking in the beautiful Bow Valley with the adventure of the Assiniboine Walking tour.
Pricing is based on a minimum group size of 3 guests and includes 4 days of hiking with professional guide, 3 nights of shared accommodation, meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 4, helicopter flights, local transfers and Park fees.
Not included: Canmore accommodation, Gratuities for guide & 5% Goods & Services Tax (GST).
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
How difficult is it?
How fit and experienced need you be?
This a relaxed walking program and the daily itinerary will be chosen based on the groups energy and aspirations. There is NO technical mountaineering involved in the ridge walking or accessing the easy summits. We classify this program as easy to moderate.
Being in good shape for hill walking will significantly enhance enjoyment. Try to get out and do some walking and general fitness training before you come (use flights of stairs if in the city).
On arrival we will need to move all our group gear, food plus personal gear to the campground, 1.5km away. Hiking each day you will be carrying a day pack containing spare clothing, your camera, lunch and something to drink.
Visit our Trip Difficulty Comparison Chart.
- The “Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies”
- Sixth highest peak in the Canadian Rockies
- 11,870 feet
- “Assiniboine” is a Chippewa word meaning “stone boilers” or “people who cook with hot stones.”