Thursday, 23 July 2009

Hiking Trails - Sawback Trail - Day 10

[112-Skoki Lodge]

The Sawback Trail follows the rugged Sawback Range from the town of Banff to Lake Louise over a distance of 74km (about 45 miles). The trail is rated moderate to challenging.

On Day 10 the hike leaves the Skoki Lodge for a day trip to Merlin Lake via Merlin Meadows covering a distance of about 6.2 km return.

[113-Inside the Skoki Lodge]

[114-Brewers Blackbird - click to enlarge] This bird has a preference for human modified environments. It is sociable and gregarious, nesting and gathering in large flocks.

[115-Merlin Meadows looking south to snow capped Mt. Richardson]

[116-Alpine meadow flowers - click to enlarge]

[117- Bull Elk]

Merlin Lake is set between Merlin’s Castle , 2840m (9318ft) named by John Porter in 1911, and the Wall of Jericho . [Please look at the link to the photo for a very unusual mountain.] This photo was taken from Pika Peak. Merlin Lake is on the left side of the photo of the Wall of Jericho.

[118 - Merlin Meadows looking south to snow covered Mt. Richardson, to left is the west side of the Wall of Jericho - click to enlarge]

[119-Bear Berry - click to enlarge]

[120-Mt. Richardson from Merlins Meadows - click to enlarge]

Mt Richardson 3086m (10,125ft) with long northwest ridge called Merlin Ridge, and the northeastern ridge is called the Wall of Jericho. The eastern ridge extends out to Ptarmigan Peak and its southern ridge includes a smaller summit known at the Whitehorn. Mt. Richardson was named by James Hector in 1859, for Sir John Richardson, surgeon and naturalist on Franklin’s Arctic expeditions.

[121 - Merlin Meadows]

[122- Clark's Nutcracker - click to enlarge] This bird visits mountain camp sites and picnic spots where it likes to scavenge for food scraps, though it's main food source is pine nuts. It stores pine nuts for the winter and is able to carry the seeds a long distance with a pouch under its tongue.

ParksCanada – Banff
Backcountry Overview
Trail Conditions
Backpacking Equipment Checklist
Gem Trek maps for Lake Louise and Skoki
HI Hostels Intl Survival Guide

Photo Credits: [112][121]-orlandk CC=flickr, [113]-Gamber CC=nc-sa-flickr, [114]-quinet CC=flickr, [115][118][120]-petes_pics CC=nc-nd-flickr, [116]-dbuc CC=nc-nd-flickr, [117] Chris & Lara Pawluk CC=nc-flickr, [119]-Satoru Kikuchi CC=flickr, [122]-richardcjones CC=nc-nd-flickr.


Leah J. Utas said...

Beautiful pics. Sounds like a wonderful hike.

bindu said...

This really is heaven on earth.

Charles Gramlich said...

Beautiful pics as always. I'd love to see an elk in the wild.

Teresa said...

I love Merlin Meadows. The place looks as magic as the name from these pictures!

Rick said...

Hello Barbara! I so have to have that Skoki lodge...

Barbara Martin said...

Leah, this is a good area to hike in, with alternative day hikes to choose from.

Bindu, there is another hike coming in a few weeks that I'm sure you will like even better than this one.

Charles, then you need to go where there are wild elk: the Rockies.

Barbara Martin said...

Teresa, then you and John Porter are of similar minds.

Rick, perhaps a visit and a couple of nights might satisfy you.

Reader Wil said...

Fascinating mountains,Barbara! I love the lodge and should like to spend a holiday there.

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

What a fantastic experience!

Bedse Caves

L.A. Mitchell said...

A picnic in that spot looks PERFECT :)

Barbara Martin said...

Wil, the Skoki Lodge is a wonderful place to stay and meet other travelers.

Bhavesh, come again for future and past hikes in my favourite wilderness.

L.A., a picnic anywhere on a hike is bliss.

Bhushavali said...

Beautiful pics of the landscapes of Canada... I'm totally in love with your blog...
Do drop into my blog when time permits - My Travelogue