Lake Bourgeau Trail

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in

Distance:
15.2 km
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Elev. gain:
705 meters
Time required:
4 - 6 hours
Bikes permitted:
No
Dogs permitted:
Yes

Directions to trail head

From Banff drive west on highway #1 approximately 12 kilometers. There is a sign for the Bourgeau Lake Trail. The parking lot is on the south side of the highway.

Hazards on trail

There is no bridge at the second stream crossing. You will likely have to cross on a pile of logs or get your feet wet. The stream flows quite quickly so you will have to be very careful crossing.

Hike Description

This is a hike in highly recommended. Make sure you have a national park fishing license and check with the Banff Information Center to make sure there are no fishing restrictions. This trail through the forest averages a 10% grade and is well sheltered both from the wind and sun. It features a waterfall and the lake is full of fish. I could see dozens swimming to the surface grabbing mosquitoes. Here is a photo of the lake from the southeast shore.



The hike starts in a lodgepole pine forest and about halfway up turns into spruce forest. As you hike through the forest it opens in spots for views of the Bow Valley. Along the way you will cross two separate streams, the second of which is a waterfall and see some impressive cliffs towering above the trail on the left side. After 5.5 kilometers, once you cross the stream at the waterfall the climbing really starts as the trail switchbacks to the upper valley floor. At this point you are only 2 kilometers from the lake. As you cross the valley to the lake Mount Bourgeau is to the left and Mount Brett is to the right. If you are ambitious you can continue from Bourgeau Lake to Harvey Pass and even to the summit of Mount Bourgeau. The climb to the Pass is an additional elevation gain of 290 meters and the top of Mount Bourgeau is 760 meters. The trail to Harvey Pass heads up into the pass in the photo above. There is a sign for this trail just before you reach the lake.


Follow the link to explore the area using Google Earth.


The GPS track for this hike can be downloaded via the file attached to this post. Go to the "About" page for directions prior to download or use of this data or any information in relation to this hike. Please submit your feedback and let me know your thoughts on the hike. If you have the the GPS data for other hikes in Alberta please send it along with a couple pictures to chris[at]hikealberta[dot]com.



Hike Photos

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Bourgeau_Lake_Hiking_Trail_Banff.gpx25.29 KB