Thursday, 28 May 2009

Hiking Trails - Sawback Trail - Day 2

[8-Mt Louis - click to enlarge]

The Sawback Trail goes from the town of Banff to Lake Louise following the rugged Sawback range over a distance of 74km (about 45 miles). 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 several campgrounds to stay an extra day to explore other trails that branch off the main trail.

On Day 2 the hike covers a distance of about 12km with the trail leaving the Mount Cockscomb campground at the 8.2km mark.

[9- Mt Louis]

The hike to the Mystic Valley campground has little elevation gain with the trail in a forested area.

The Mystic Valley campground is located at roughly the 18.5 km mark where the hiker will find 5 campsites and an outhouse. Campfires are allowed.

[10-Sign for Mystic Lake and campground]

A short distance farther down the trail is the Mystic Pass Junction followed by the Mystic Pass Warden Cabins.

[11-Creek at Mystic Lake - click to enlarge]

The next stop is Mystic Lake where the hiker can fish for trout, perhaps catching one for their supper while spending the night at the campground.

[12 - Mystic Lake - click to enlarge]

[13 - Mystic Lake - click to enlarge]

For those who would prefer to ride to Mystic Lake there are several outfitters who provide backcountry trips, some of which are overnighters.

Warren Outfitters
Lake Louise Tours


ParksCanada – Banff

Photo Credits: [8]-ronsipherd CC=nc-nd-flickr, [9]-mikewarren CC=nc-sa-flickr, [10]-
Kris Griffon CC=nc-sa-flickr, [11][12][13]-meganpru CC=nc-flickr.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Barbara,
So lovely to return here and resume a virtual tour of these amazing places. The beauty of nature never ceases to leave me breathless. I drove back today from Taranaki, an active volcano and a beautiful back drop covered in snow, and all the way home I was surrounded by snow covered peaks in the distance. Makes me want to grab my pack and get amongst it, but tonite your place will do nicely! cheers.

David Cranmer said...

The Mystic sign that’s faded looks very ominous.

RuneE said...

Mystic lake - that kind of name must be universal. I have heard it may times around here for even small ones - very often so named by children, but then it makes the way into the language.

Teresa said...

I love the picture of the mountain crags in the clouds and of Mystic Lake. This hike passes through truly beautiful scenery.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

OMG..............heaven. Barbara, will you be traveling to any places like this over the summer?

L.A. Mitchell said...

What a hike. That lake looks emerald and magical :)

Charles Gramlich said...

You seem to know just what images will help me visualize my current WIP. Much appreciated.

Barbara Martin said...

Robb, it's a pleasure to hear that my virtual hikes fill that gap of wonderlust for you.

David, there is always the possibility that some ne'er do well pointed the sign in the wrong direction.

RuneE, the name Mystic conjurs up the early morning mist often found in the mountains before it is burned off from the heat of the rising sun.

Barbara Martin said...

Teresa, most of this hike passes through forests and meadows with portions over passes that are almost bare except for lichen, moss and the odd alpine flower.

Gary, I'm not going west any time soon, though I would like to visit with my brothers sometime this year.

L.A., the colour of the lake has to do with the amount of silt from the spring run-off. Later in the season the lake will be more blue.

Barbara Martin said...

Charles, this is truly a coincidence.

A Cuban In London said...

What I loved the most was the progression from mountain to lake. it was really beautiful and I felt as if it was me breaking through the dense forest. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Reader Wil said...

This lake looks as if some secret creature lives in it. Perhaps there is a haunted castle hidden under the apparently calm surface of the water. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos! Have a great weekend!

Michele said...

These photos truly fuel the imagination, Barbara. I've watched a few shows that feature the absolutely stunning Lake Louise and have been very eager to visit the even more so! :)

Mystic Lake--Breathtaking. Magical.

Rajesh said...

Extremely beautiful snaps.