Bow Valley Highline Trail
an awesome backpacking trip of lakes, meadows, and high passes

Adam, Leila, and I spent four days in August along this excellent 55km traverse.


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Days 1 and 2 on this page, days 3 and 4 on page 2

Day 1 - from Sunshine Village trailhead, over Healy Pass to Egypt Lake campground.

After stashing a car at our finish point along highway 93, we parked at Sunshine Village and packed up.
The first part of the trail is relatively boring, as the trail remains treed until about the 7km point as we steadily gain elevation.
When we get high enough, the trail suddenly bursts out of the trees and into the incredible subalpine meadows that extend from this healy area over to sunshine.
The last couple kilometres up to the top of Healy Pass ascend through meadows of flowers with views opening up further and further.
Healy Pass is reached at 9km, and we walked a little up the ridge towards the Monarch for better views of tomorrow's route.

The Monarch beyond the Healy Meadows

Leila and Adam ascend towards the pass.

The last bit of trail below the pass.

View to west just through the pass.

From Healy Pass, it's a steep 3km descent to Egypt Lake campground.
We arrived with just enough time to set up our tents and cook dinner as darkness fell.

Scarab and Egypt Lakes below Haiduk Peak.

Day 2 - from Egypt Lake, over Whistling Pass to Ball Pass Junction.

We took a slow morning packing up on day two, and got going somewhat late.
First stop is to Egypt Lake - a half kilometre from the campground.
This lake is the first of many very pretty ones on the trip, fading from a deep blue in the middle to a teal in the shallows.

Egypt Lake.

Egypt Lake below Sugarloaf Mountain.

Adam checks out the lake.

Ancient signs pointing our way.

Beyond Egypt Lake, the trail ascends aggresively, climbing a headwall to reach the cirque containing Scarab Lake.
This one is smaller, and pretty, but best viewed from across at Healy Pass with the waterfall that drains it into Egypt Lake below.

Marshy trail past Egypt Lake.

Leila passes some larch on the way up.

Unnamed mountains ringing Mummy Lake.

Scarab Lake.

Waterfall draining Mummy Lake into Scarab

Scarab Lake.

At this point, we dropped our packs in the trees and took a detour.
The spur trail goes around Scarab Lake, passing the outflow waterfall, and climbs up to Mummy Lake, in another cirque above.
By this point, we had lost the little sun we saw in the morning, and the thickening clouds threatened to rain on us.
Although it didn't clear up for the full rest of the day, we thankfully saw no more than a few drops.

Haiduk Peak above Scarab Lake, from the outflow stream.

Waterfall down to Egypt Lake.

Leila looks for a good shot of Egypt Lake.

Outflow stream and Egypt Lake.

Larch at Mummy Lake

After our Mummy Lake detour, we returned to our packs and continued up to Whistling Pass, above the other side of Scarab Lake.
Whistling pass is named for the whistling hoary marmots that inhabit the area, but could be just as well for the wind.
It's a much longer pass than Healy, and very stark.
Beyond Whistling Pass, the trail descends into Whistling Valley, Passing Haiduk Lake on the way to the junction.

View across Scarab Lake to Whistling Pass

Whistling Pass and view north.

Leila and Adam walk below Whistling Pass.

Deep pool formed from runoff.

Waterfalls running into Haiduk Lake.

Small lake along the valley.

Mangled bridge crossing a stream.
A few flowers from the healy meadows, and a highly cute froggie from Vista Lake.

Piglet and Mookie enjoy a meadow near Scarab Lake.

Indian Paintbrush (castilleja miniata).

Indian Paintbrush (castilleja miniata).

Indian Paintbrush (castilleja miniata).

Fringed Grass-of-Parnassus (parnassia fimbriata).

butterfly

froggie!

froggie!

froggie!


See days 3 and 4 on page 2

Photos taken by Rachel.

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