Wall and Forum Lakes


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Distance - 12.6 Elevation gain - 460m

Our second day, we hiked into Wall and Forum Lake, from the Cameron Lake trailhead. I'd never seen either before, so it was good to scout both options.
The trail starts with a short steady switchbacking ascent to Akamina Pass. Just after this we stopped to check out the campground, which looked like a nice base.
We then continued on with the more distance / less elevation option - Wall Lake. It's a straightforward hike on good trail through lush forest.

The trail to Akamina Pass.

Akamina Pass and the Continental Divide.

The trail to Wall Lake.

Akamina Ridge above the lake.

Bridge across Wall Creek just below the lake.

A first glimpse of the lake.

Wall Lake under the cliffs of Akamina Ridge. The trail continues around the west side to get up the ridge.

The cliff and some permanent snow on the far side.

The pretty lakeshore.

Wall Lake.

The sun comes out over the lake.

Pano of the green lake in the sun.

The green shallows and distant blue deep.

Wall Creek flowing out of the lake.

We left Wall Lake, and headed back to the pass. The time remained, so we hiked up to Forum Lake as well.
Shortly into the Forum trail is Forum Falls - it's a pretty little waterfall, and anyone in the area would be worth taking at least this small detour.

Akamina Creek on the way back.

Ranger cabin just into the Forum trail.

Laurier hikes into Forum Falls.

Forum Falls.

Laurier and Piglet explore behind the falls.

Laurier hikes back in.

Above the falls, the character of the Forum trail is very different from that of Wall.
The Forum trail is narrower, less travelled, and beelines straight up, with some switchbacks, but nowhere near as many as might be expected for the elevation gain.
Forum Lake itself is at treeline, and tucked closely into a tiny ridge between Akamina Ridge and Forum Peak.
While I am a fan of many other stark lakes, I actually found this one somewhat unimpressive, and much less attractive than Wall Lake - I'd choose Wall to do one of the two.
It might be nicer in the summer, with flowers - there were certainly many along the trail, but then, Wall Lake would have them as well.
At any rate, from Forum Lake, we hiked back down the same way, being hit by steady rain from near Forum Falls and the rest of the hike down.
When the rain continued steadily, we decided to skip our planned dinner, and stop into a Waterton restaurant for a burger, rather than sit back at the campground in the rain.
It was a nice option, but surprisingly, when we reached our campground back at Payne Lake, we found that no rain had fallen there - it was just in the mountains.

A bridge over Forum Creek on the hike up.

Laurier takes an alternate bridge.

Nice boardwalk through a marshy meadow.

The final section of trail up to the lake.

The cirque just ahead.

Forum Lake in the small cirque.

Wide view of the Forum Lake cirque - Forum Lake on the west, start of Akamina Ridge on the right.

Photos taken by Rachel

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