Borgeau Lake and Harvey Pass (Banff)

Borgeau Lake (Harvey Pass)

July 2013

Borgeau Lake, a quintessential Rocky Mountain subalpine lake with a mind quieting alpine pass and tarns.  Located close to the town of Banff, just past the Sunshine turnoff in Banff National park.  Leaving the parking lot, you start off on the trail along Wolverine Creek after you close the giant, formidable gate at the entrance.  Some think it’s for keeping the animals in… but don’t be fooled.

An epic access trail along Wolverine creek leaves you wondering if you made the right choice by choosing to hike Borgeau lake, hopefully you didn’t make plans in the evening because the return trip along this leg is equally endless, and good luck getting cell reception.  Although the forest is beautiful, old spruced and rich with green, it is long.  The disappointment dissipates as you near the subalpine and glimpses of wildflower meadows, cliffs and cascades lift your spirits.  Fresh airy heights leads to the impossibly blue waters of Borgeau Lake beneath the behemoth of Mt. Borgeau.

After eating our lunch and regaining strength, the sisters and I headed up to the marmot haunted plateaus Harvey Pass.  The ascent is exposed to the elements as you lumber along the well trodden screed ascent, passing beautifully folded limestone outcroppings encrusted with lichen with views of the Wolverine creek valley you endured earlier.

A babbling alpine brook keeps you company as you ascend higher still towards the pass.  Views back down the valley are exceptional but nothing prepares you for the Nirvanic bliss of viewing the alplands of Harvey pass for the first time.  Your round the corner around 2250 m…

A clouds reflection in still water.

Quiet tarns lap silently on the tundra shore.  Ground squirrels pause, shrill and silence.  A marmot whistles in the distance.   Harvey pass is an imaginative horizon too hidden to describe accurately with words.  It must be felt to experience.

Thoughts become still, what a special place this is.

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