BCP743 - Wonder Pass Lookout
Posted: N 50° 52.843 W 115° 34.891
My GPSr: N 50° 52.843 W 115° 34.892
I've spent quite a bit of time exploring the front range peaks. Sure, they have their charm and are easily accessible, but they have NOTHING on areas like the amazing Mount Assiniboine Region. It's truly unlike anything I've ever seen or experienced.
The hardest part of enjoying the magnificence is access. Your options are: a) a very long day hike (not a reasonable option, and doesn't give enough time for exploration); b) a multi-day backcountry camping trip or c) a helicopter ride and a stay in the luxurious Assiniboine Lodge. Lucky for me, I was able to enjoy the latter option. The helicopter ride meant that we'd save a day on either end, as well as the energy that would go into the 25+ kilometer approach to the area.
Once there, your next decision is where to hike! With so many great options, it's truly a monumental task to figure out how to use the time. Well, one thing was for sure; we were going to go visit the Wonder Pass Lookout! It just so happened that I noticed an ASCM marker near the lookout, and OFTH graciously agreed to add it to the Brass Cap page prior to my trip.
Seven of us set out from the Assiniboine Lodge with the goal of reaching the Lookout: Stan (70+), Susan (65+), my Dad ChubLaw (60+), my brother Thonor1, his fiancée, my fiancée GeoJamie22 and me. We followed the excellent trail past a scenic waterfall up to Wonder Pass (aptly named), which straddles two provinces on the Continental Divide. From there, we dropped into Alberta and found a trail leading up to the viewpoint. The hardest part was a steep trail about 100 m long and about 50 m of gain. It was well trodden with good footholds, and once atop the ridge there was a huge plateau. It was only a couple hundred more meters to the cap site. Once there, I found the cap in excellent condition.
I continued on about 100 meters further and was rewarded with a view of 3 beautiful lakes: Marvel Lake, Lake Terrapin and Lake Gloria. All 3 were bright blue and beautiful. We took a bunch of photos, and my Dad was in complete awe. What a spot! Our views were a little cloudy, but it would have been a 10/10 with a clear sunny day. We enjoyed it nonetheless. After enjoying the scenery we stopped for lunch near the survey marker and took it all in. What a treat!
We returned the way we came. 5/7 returned back over Wonder Pass while I convinced GeoJamie22 to scramble up the nearby peak called The Towers. I was able to get some nice photos of the cap site from up on the mountain. Although I must say that the views of the lakes were nicer from the cap site!
Truly a phenomenal spot, and easily accessible once you're in the Assiniboine Region (3 people on our hike were over 60 years old after all!). Thanks for letting me share the adventure OFTH!