Cory Pass and Edith Pass Loop – Banff National Park

Cory Pass and Edith Pass loop

12 July 2019

Distance: 13.5 km

Elevation Gain: 1,201 m

Moving Time: 4:57:47

Total Time: 5:22:30

img_1440-1What a beautiful hike.  The views start within half an hour as you ascend a wildflower slope after a short jaunt though aspens and ancient Douglas firs.  View of the bow river and the vermilion lakes make me think back to the ancient campsites of 10,000 years ago in this valley.

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The trail ascends though forest before emerging onto a ridge after a tricky up/down
scramble section.  The views are tranquil and Cory pass beckons in the distance.  After crossing several scree slopes below the fossilized coral reef of Mt. Edith, the pass is a desolate place of solace with several hoodoos in mystical shapes, the gargoyles.   The view beyond offers a glimpse into the high rockies world.  Mt. Louis looms over the descent valley.  Perhaps one of the most impressive mountains in the park.

Descending scree slopes before enter green subalpine forest over Edith Pass is an indulgence as the moist air enters my lungs after a few hours in the alpine.  Shortly after I emerge onto avalanche paths with tremendous views as I descend img_1492though wild flowers where a mother Spruce Grouse camouflages with her chicks.  The air becomes humid, the lichens longer and the flowers grow taller as I enter the lush montane forest of the valley bottom for a silent walk for over an hour.

Emerging onto the trail just above HWY 1 at the ancient Douglass Firs I reflect on the wonders of the last 5 hours.  A trip to do again.

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