The Sawback Trail follows the rugged Sawback Range from the town of Banff to Lake Louise over a distance of 74km (about 45 miles). There are side trails to be discovered too which would increase the distance.
Note: some of the trails are not well marked except for the main trail and the horse trail. It is recommended that hikers carry a compass and obtain the relevant maps for the areas they will be hiking in from Gem Trek . Topographic maps: 82 O/4, 82 O/5. An excellent preview map from ParksCanada on Banff National Park's backcountry trails, campsites including information on the different users of the trails can be seen here. It will help in planning your outdoor excursions.
Maximum elevation: 2345m (7700 ft)
Minimum elevation: 1615m (5300 ft)
[36- Larry's Campground sign]
Larry's Camp (Jo9) is located in the trees as pictured above next to Johnson Creek. There are several fire pits near the creek.
On Day 4 the hike covers a distance of about 10km after leaving Larry’s Campground at the 29.3km mark (Jo9 on ParksCanada map) to Luellen Lake. The trail is a relatively slow climb in the forest along Johnston Creek.
[37- Block mountain]
At the 33km mark the trail passes the Johnston Creek warden cabin.
[38- Warden cabins]
At 37.9km the trail branches left and crosses over the Johnston Creek bridge to the west bank and campground.
[39- Young black bear - click to enlarge]
[40- Clark's Nutcracker]
This bird is often seen around camp sites and picnic areas where it scavenges for scraps of food. Though its main food source is pine nuts.
At the 38km mark the hiker will arrive at the junction with the Luellen Lake Trail, where anglers can fish. Although the lake has not been stocked with fish for years, there are still enough for anglers and osprey.
[41- Lake Luellen with Helena Ridge behind]
The Luellen Lake campground (Jo19-ParksCanada) is another 1.0km.
[42 -Osprey above]
They build their nests in a tall tree or on a rock pinnacle located near water, often returning to the same nest each year.
[43- Luellen Lake - click to enlarge. The mountain to the left is Helena Ridge that backs onto the rear of Castle Mountain.]
Luellen Lake is long and narrow in a forest of englemann spruce and alpine fir at an elevation of 1,985m.
ParksCanada – Banff
ParksCanada Backcountry Overview
ParksCanada Trail Conditions
ParksCanada Backpacking Equipment Checklist
Gem Trek maps for Lake Louise and Skoki
Gem Trek maps for Banff and Mount Assiniboine
HI Hostels Intl Survival Guide
A Field Guide to Birds of North America, Michael Vanner, 2006, p. 73, 169.
Photo Credits: -Shane Huang CC=nc-sa-flickr, -Kris Griffon CC=nc-sa-flickr, -Kasey Kasey CC=nc-sa-flickr,  Chris & Lara Pawluk CC=nc-flickr, -meganpru CC=nc-flickr, -lafalott CC=nc-sa-flickr.
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