Written by The Cabin Chronicles Curator and Contributor, Mandy Hansen. IG @coloradowanders
The distant sound of the whirring of the chopper coming from the mountains could be heard as we (my husband and I) stood in an open clearing waiting with our packs. This was just the beginning of an adventure that I will never forget. We had decided to fly in via helicopter and hike the 27 km back out a few days later.
Mt. Assiniboine, nicknamed “Matterhorn of the Rockies”, is tucked away south of Banff National Park directly on the border of British Columbia and Albert Canada. The park offers 3 different types of lodging depending on your comfort level and budget - the Assiniboine Lodge, the Naiset Huts, and tent camping in the 4 nearby campground areas.
We decided to tent camp for the 3 days that we stayed there. We woke up at 4am to hike to the top of the Nublet (one of the many day hikes within the park) to experience the sunrise on Mt. Assiniboine and Sunburst Peak. Our headlamps and the moon were the only guidance that we had on that early morning trek. Although we were well aware that we were hiking in Grizzly country, the only goal was to watch that sun reach over the horizon and kiss the mountaintops.
The absolutely cold and biting wind could not even begin to take away from the indescribable beauty that lay before our eyes. There are no pictures that can capture the vast expanse of these incredible mountains.
Over the next few days we explored the park, indulged in afternoon “Tea and Crumpets” (as my husband would say) at the Assiniboine Lodge. Sitting on the front porch of the lodge we could watch Lake Magog glistening below the majestic Mt. Assiniboine.
The cozy little (cabins) Naiset Huts are scattered around the landscape near the lodge. These are dorm style sleeping accommodations which allow like minded travelers to meet and share life experiences.
On the trek out we chose to descend towards Mt. Shark via Wonder Pass and Bryant Creek. This is an experience that will change you forever. The views of Marvel Lake while descending Wonder Pass are absolutely breathtaking.
Once we passed Marvel Lake we soon arrived at Bryant Creek which has a small cabin at about the halfway point in the journey. If I had it to do over again, I would have stayed the night there and rested my weary feet. This cabin is open with a small outhouse nearby, but requires a pre-paid permit to stay overnight. It is surrounded by Grizzly country, so we were making noises and kept our bear spray always at our fingertips.
Overall, my time in Assiniboine Provincial Park was life changing, and I look forward to going back again and staying in the Naiset Huts.
Follow us on Instagram @thecabinchronicles @coloradowanders