Thursday, 21 May 2009
Hiking Trails - Sawback Trail - Day 1 of 11
[1-Mt Norquay from south bank of Bow River. Note the bridge has an Indian head on the side - click to enlarge]
The Sawback Trail begins in the town of Banff to Lake Louise following the rugged Sawback range over a distance of 74km. Many hikers take this as a four to five day hike, although this post will reflect a more leisurely hike with frequent stops over a longer period. There are campgrounds to stay an extra day or so to explore other trails that branch off the main trail.
On Day 1 the trailhead is located at Mt. Norquay.
[2-Mt. Norquay ski area - click to enlarge]
Follow the trail through the ski area while watching for trail markers.
[3-Trail heading for Forty Mile Creek - click to enlarge]
About 1km farther there is a dividing to the trail: left for the Sawback trail, while taking the right fork will head toward Elk Lake.
[4-Horse trail from Mt. Norquay - click to enlarge]
In another 6 km is the Edith Pass Junction where the hiker should move straight ahead. The Cockscomb campground is only 2 km farther. As this is a long hike, I would like to take it easy and enjoy the sights rather than forging ahead. This portion of the trail is short and easy at about 10km.
[5-Mt Edith from trail - click to enlarge]
The Mount Cockscomb campground provides views of Mt. Louis and Edith from the nearby Forty Mile Creek in a forested site.
[7-Camp food cache]
Hikers should be aware the Sawback Trail is used by commercial horse parties.
TO BE CONTINUED - See Sidebar on right for list of Trails
ParksCanada – Banff
Photo Credits: -Satoru Kiuchi CC=flickr, -Kris Griffon CC=nc-sa-flickr, -meganpru CC=nc-flickr, -Dru! CC=nc-flickr.