Thursday, 9 July 2009

Hiking Trails - Sawback Trail - Day 8

[97-Rocky Mountain Sheep have lost most of their natural fear of humans]

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 8 the hike leaves the Baker Creek Junction (1830m) Wildflower Campground (Ba15) at about the 53.5 km mark to Baker Lake Campground (Sk11) covering a distance of about 6.4km to the 59.9 km mark.

Upon leaving the Wildflower Campground the hiker may not find a bridge over the Wildflower Creek and will have to wade through.

[98-Anthozoan Mountain, 2695m (8842 ft) was named in 1925 for the fossilized coral found in the Devonian limestone of the mountain - click to enlarge]

Due to the possibility of trail deterioration after leaving Wildflower Creek campground it is advisable to stick to the marshy meadows below the east ridges of Anthoazoan Mountain.

The trail then climbs through forest across avalanche paths along a rough trail on the east side of the creek.


Approximately 2km later the trail enters boggy meadows where the hiker should be prepared for mosquitoes. At the north end of the meadow the trail crosses a side-stream and rocky area, followed by a short steep climb on a rough and muddy trail. Above is an alpine meadow with the trail crossing to the eastern side of the creek.

[100-Baker Lake - click to enlarge]

At 58.9km mark turn left at the Junction to Deer Lakes for the trail to Baker Lake.

[101- Fossil Mountain, 2946m (9666 ft) was named in 1906, for the numerous fossils found in its slopes - click to enlarge.]

At 59.9km the Baker Lake Campground (Sk11) is in a treed area, but Baker Lake itself lies in marshy meadows. This campground has a notorious reputation for camp robbing wolverines.

[102-Baker Lake from campsite - click to enlarge]

There are trout in Baker Lake and the fisherman will have to compete with local Osprey.


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

Photo Credits: [97]-timmredpath CC=nc-nd-flickr, [98][101]-Kris Griffon CC=nc-sa-flickr, [99]-Chris & Lara Pawluk CC=nc-flickr, [100][102]-orlandk CC=flickr.


Charles Gramlich said...

Great places to film a western in.

Gallow said...

Incredible. The vistas are wonderful. Thank you for sharing the trip, and the fantastic photographs. I really like 100, and 101.

Leah J. Utas said...

Beautiful. I love this virtual hike.

Teresa said...

Thanks for another beautiful trek in the mountains, Barbara. I loved the chipmunk in the tree and the majestic peaks.

RuneE said...

I had to look twice to see that this was a sheep - totally different from ours.

Diane AZ said...

The scenery is breathtaking, especially in the last photo. Beautiful sheep and chipmunk too.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Baker Lake is magnificent - breathtaking!

(Necky Becky has just told me that my face looks a bit like that mountain sheep's!!)

Barbara Martin said...

Charles, the western movie 'Saskatchewan' was filmed in Banff National Park at Lake Minnewanka and Moraine Lake.

Gallow, I have been in this area some years ago, but the scenery never seems to change except for the expansion of the forests.

Leah, for now this is the only way I can drink in the beauty and splendour of mountains.

Barbara Martin said...

Teresa, I'm pleased to see you like the mountains as much as I do.

RuneE, Canada's domesticated sheep tend to have more woolly coats than these wild sheep do; although the Rocky Mountain Sheep do shed great clumps of it in the spring.

Barbara Martin said...

Diane, when fall comes the rams fight for their harems, and this male has quite the set of horns to butt heads with.

Raph, how cheeky of Necky to say so! I have always found giraffe's heads to have an elegance to them that other herbivores lack.

Lauren said...

I love pictures of mountains. Yours are beautiful. And that's a great shot of the chipmunk. Cute little guy.

Barbara Martin said...

Lauren, when I choose the photographs to accent the post I try for the ones that best show the area or the creature that lives there. Several hours of research go into the hiking posts to ensure the mountain names, creeks, photo locations belong where they do rather than relying upon my memory.