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Route from Banff's Sunshine Meadows to the Assiniboine base area.
||Linear - One Way
The access road to Sunshine Village is 10 km west of Banff on Highway 1 in Banff National Park. Public vehicle traffic is permitted to Bourgeau parking lot only, a distance of 9 km.
Accessed from the Sunshine Village Ski Area. Most hikers pay White Mountain Adventures $25 for a bus-ride that negates hiking along several uphill kilometres of ski-out road. White Mountain Adventures has an information-booth set up in a building at the Sunshine Village parking lot.
Visitors may hike 6 km to Sunshine Village. From Sunshine Village the trail leads to Lake Magog via Quartzridge, Citadel Pass, Golden Valley and Valley of the Rocks (a distance of 27 km, with an estimated hiking time of 8 hours, an elevation change of 488 metres and a maximum elevation of 2408 metres.
Gain: 615 m
From where you get off the bus, the trail makes a relatively short climb into the expansive Sunshine meadows above. Some use the first kilometre or so of the trail as part of a scenic day-hike loop that eventually branches off to the right, so be careful to stay on the correct path.
The trail reaches a minor high-point just before Howard Douglas Lake. Howard Douglas Lake has a Parks Canada backcountry campground, reservations required.
Beyond Howard Douglas Lake, the trail ascends very gradually through more scenic meadows to Citadel Pass.
Citadel Pass is a popular window looking out towards spectacular Mount Assiniboine. Experienced hikers sometimes scramble higher yet to better viewpoints (no trail).
Backpackers bound for Mount Assiniboine plunge down the trail beyond Citadel Pass, crossing into B.C. and down into the upper Simpson Valley and the Valley of the Rocks. That, however, is the topic of another trail-description!
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