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In 2015, a friend of mine and I vowed to go through all the "three and four boot" (rating system of scenic proportions) hikes in the Canadian Rockies guidebook: Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies. To that end, I selected Mount Assiniboine as a trip I would venture in 2016. Conventional routes to Mount Assiniboine were uninspiring; on the other hand, stealthily trekking into the popular destination and retreating out the back way greatly appealed to me. I consulted my maps, and directly South of Mount Assiniboine lies an obscure trailhead in the Kootenay Land District: Marvel Pass Trail.

The planning required to do the Mount Assiniboine Valley in British Columbia, Canada includes: getting a map, booking required campsites or shelters, purchasing two backcountry permits, checking bear and weather reports and arranging transport to and from the trailhead.

Research suggests there are two main routes to Mount Assiniboine. First, a bus from Canmore, Alberta or Banff, Alberta can transport backpackers to Sunshine Ski Area. From Sunshine Ski Area, a relative southward trek leads to Mount Assiniboine. Trekkers can return from whence they came, or alternately, hike onward to Mount Shark Trailhead and plan a shuttle back to their vehicle or Sunshine. Additionally, backpackers with extensive travel budgets can book a helicopter ride to (or from) Assiniboine Lodge to Mount Shark Trailhead or Canmore Alpine Helipad. As can be expected with a serviced route, the Sunshine route to Mount Assiniboine is well-maintained and occupied.

You can reverse the path. Backpackers may choose to start from Mount Shark and hike (or fly) to Mount Assiniboine Lodge. The North-Westerly route follows popular Bryant Creek Trail. Horses share it. For a short time, mountain bikes share the path. Bryant Creek Trail is busy and well-traveled.

Read on for the full report!

  • Introduction
  • Trip Review
  • Logistical Notes
  • Equipment Notes
  • Bears and Scares
  • Navigation
  • Crossings

# of Photos: 2; Word Count: 1,900

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