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||11.0 km (one-way)
||5 - 8 hours
||Linear - One Way
Heading west Highway 11, just prior to the Banff Park signage, there is a small parking area beside an unmarked bridge which crosses Owen Creek. Here a crude handwritten sign marks the trailhead.
The trail follows the creek for a short distance before climbing beside a spectacular canyon, so narrow at points that you can literally walk across the top while the creek courses far below your feet. The stream soon flattens out again, and the hike turns serene as the water channels through mossy rocks.
When the valley widens, it becomes more difficult to pick a good trail. Stay within earshot of the creek and pick through a network of game and foot trails. The Wilson Icefield to the northwest comes into view during this part of the trail.
When beginning the ascent towards the lakes, it might be easier to rock-up up the valley than to keep to the trees. Views begin to open up to the south. As one approaches treeline, several good camp spots are apparent. Please leave no trace!
The route to the pass is obvious; it is a long but moderate ascent, and relatively sheltered from strong northwesterly winds. The view of the lakes from beyond the pass is magnificent. Descending to the lakes, one can enjoy excellent fishing. Expect to encounter some heli-fishing groups.
From here your options are to return to the trailhead or continue over two more passes to reach Pinto Lake.
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