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.

[6-From camp]

[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: [1]-Satoru Kiuchi CC=flickr, [2][4][6][7]-Kris Griffon CC=nc-sa-flickr, [3]-meganpru CC=nc-flickr, [5]-Dru! CC=nc-flickr.


Teresa said...

More glorious nature pictures to brighten the day! Thanks, Barbara.

Charles Gramlich said...

You've got me thinking Banff for our next vacation.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

What beatiful scenery, Barbara. I really wish I could see some of these places and walk through the lovely landscapes! You have a real abundance of natural beauty in your area.

Barbara Martin said...

Teresa, this will be a longer trail as I will be posting about the potential side trips too.

Charles, you certainly will not be disappointed. There are many things to do in the Banff and Jasper parks.

Raph, the Canadian Rockies are one of my favourite places on the planet.

Silver said...

Such a lovely trail..but i think it's a little challenging for an old lady like me though..;o

from One Day at a Time with Silver/

Barbara Martin said...

Silver, welcome. The nice thing about these virtual posts is you can sit back and follow along to enjoy the scenery.

Neil Bytes said...

Beautiful pictures.

Barbara Martin said...

Neil, thank you.

Shelley Munro said...

I love all the photos you've posted of the Banff area. Hubby and I are going to have to get up that way again.