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Backpacking - Glacier Lake (note - beginner-intermediate trip) (9/16/2017)

PRE-REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. You will then make your payment for this event at the venue, NOT in advance to the EOC.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to read this page in its entirety before signing up. If you'd like to attend, we ask that you abide by our rules and procedures as a time/cost saving process (with an end result of keeping membership free and lower cost events).

The Basics:
Event Type:Overnight
Event Location: Banff National Park
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Sep 16 2017, Sun, Sep 17 2017  12:00 PM
Registration Cut Off: Tue, Sep 12 2017 11:55:00 PM
Event Duration:1 night and 2 days
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Event Coordinator(s): Ryan
You must be logged in to get the Event Coordinator contact information.
Member Cost:$12.75/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 18 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:1
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 7 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


If you are interested in attending, please place your name on the waiting list, and then contact Ryan for further information.

In June 1807, David Thompson and a party of fur traders camped for several days above the Howse River. From the beautiful spot where they camped (which is located 1.2 km down the Glacier Lake trail in Banff National Park), it is possible to view Howse Pass, Mount Murchison, Mount Outram, the Sir James Glacier and the beautifully colored Howse River.

Venturing futher to the west, David Thompson and his party encountered a large lake in the Rocky Mountains where, in the words of David Thompson, "all the Mountains in sight from the end of the lake are seemingly of Ice." Glacier Lake was later named by James Hector of the Palliser Expedition, and it is one of the largest lakes in Banff National Park.

We will hike to Glacier Lake, where we will spend the night at a campsite located on the eastern shore of the lake. The hike in is relatively short (8.9 km), with minor elevation changes along the way (approximately 210 m elevation gain over the first 7 km, followed by a 220 m descent over the final 2 km). Due to the modest distance and elevation gain, beginners with more limited backpacking experience are welcome to participate. (However, if you have never been on a backpacking trip before, please advise me so that I can ensure that you are bringing the needed gear for this trip).

After arriving and setting up camp, we should have an opportunity for day hiking in the area. A 3.5 km (one-way) trail from the campsite continues alongside Glacier Lake, to the far western shore of the lake. A rougher trail beyond the lake's western shore follows alongside a creek, ultimately leading towards Lyell Lake and the toe of the Lyell Glacier. It is quite unlikely that we'll be able to get all the way to the glacier (the distance between the Glacier Lake campsite and the toe of the Lyell Glacier is 22 km return) - although if we start our hike at an early enough hour, then stronger hikers in the group may be able to complete a hike of this distance. Having completed this hike previously, at the very least I do expect that everyone will be able to reach the far end of Glacier Lake - this will be a very nice hike!

We will meet at the Glacier Lake trailhead at noon on Saturday to begin our hike. The Glacier Lake trailhead is located along the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) approximately 1 km past its intersection with Hwy 11 (the David Thompson Highway) at Saskatchewan Crossing. There are several potential car-camping options near the Glacier Lake trailhead. The Rampart Creek and Waterfowl Lakes campgrounds in Banff National Park are located along Hwy 93 15-20 minutes by car north and south, respectively, of the trailhead. The Thompson Creek campground is also nearby, 10 minutes drive from the trailhead, alongside Hwy 11 just outside of the Banff Park Boundary. All of the campgrounds listed above operate on a first-come basis.

I have booked 4 tent pads at the Glacier Lake campground. The group size is likely to be 4-8 people. If you are interested, please contact me by e-mail to provide information about gear that you would be willing to bring to share with others in the group (i.e. tents, water filtration equipment, camping stoves).

Required Items to Bring:
Required by everyone:
- water (2L)
- cash for carpool costs ($25-$30)
- appropriate clothing for the trip
- hat, mitts or light gloves
- snacks and food for the trip
- waterproof sack for storing food overnight on bear pole
- backpack (60-75L size)
- sleeping bag rated for -10C or lower
- sleeping pad
- waterproof hiking boots
- bear repellent
- headlamp
- hiking poles

Gear to be shared:
- water filter, extra water filtration tablets
- cooking stoves
- tents (note: I have booked 4 tent pads, which provide space for up to 4 tents)
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:Directions to Glacier Lake Trailhead: From Saskatchewan River Crossing, where David Thompson Hwy (11) intersects the Icefields Parway (hwy 93), drive the parkway 1km northwest. Turn left (southwest) into the trailhead parking area.


- We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines at all times while participating in EOC events.
- Please scroll through and read the entire online waiver when you sign up.
- Details of this event are subject to undergo a change at any point in time, with or without warning.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$12.75/Person
Cost Includes:Overnight ($9.80 per person) backcountry fees, plus share of $11.70 reservation fee.
If you have an annual Parks Canada wilderness pass, please send me the pass number. The cost for wilderness pass holders will be $2.00 (to go towards the cost of the reservation fee).
Make a Payment:Although there is a cost for this event, you do not pay through the EOC. Please review the event details carefully for information about how/where to make your payment.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:
Please review our Cancellation Policy carefully!