Day 9 — Harvey Pass - Lookout Point
Mt. Assiniboine from Harvey Pass

Another day and another hike I was really looking forward to: Harvey Pass and Mt. Bourgeau. I had incredible luck with the weather so far and this day was no different.

This hike would end up taking the entire day, but the journey and views would leave a lasting image. Definitely one of my favourite hikes of the entire trip.

Day 9 — Harvey Pass

Harvey Pass

Gallery
  • Log "Bridge" to Harvey Pass

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park A bit of a haphazardly put together bridge across a stream. A lot of branches and twigs to navigate.

  • Muddy Trail to Harvey Pass

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park After a lengthy forested section, including a series of seemingly neverending switchbacks, I arrived a clearing. Unfortunately, the trail passed through mud that was ankle deep in places (a boardwalk was built when I visited again in later years). It was a messy slough. Mt. Bourgeau is visible at least.

  • Resting under Mt. Bourgeau

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park After the muddy section, there was a natural resting area by the lake sitting under Mt. Bourgeau. I refueled here, but people weren't the only things here.

  • Scouting Chipmunk

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park Just like at Sulphur Skyline, these hardy chipmunks seem to congregate where people rest and refuel.

  • Food Sense

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park It's hard to resist feeding something so adorable. I didn't feed it though. People shouldn't feed animals in the wild so that they don't become dependent on us, although it's probably too late for these chipmunks. I'm sure they'll get enough food from the other people who come by.

  • Mt. Bourgeau

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park After resting and refueling, I resume my ascent. On the way up, the enormity of Mt. Bourgeau becomes more visible. The massive rock face on this side of Mt. Bourgeau. It's not even fully captured in this shot.

  • Into the Bowl

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park After an arduous climb from the previous lake, I arrived at another lake in a bowl surrounded by elevation. The trail continues (and more climbing to come).

  • In the Bowl

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park It was nice and calm within this bowl. At the same time, I didn't really know how much further I had to go, although I guessed that I can't be that far away given how much elevation I've gained.

  • Harvey Pass: First View

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park After another ascent, Harvey Pass is within sight. In the distance, I can see Mt. Assiniboine in the distance too I didn't know the name at the time). Although having seen snow at multiple locations now, the icy lake here was a surprise. The complete exposure to the sun is clearly not enough to melt this.

  • Me at Harvey Pass

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park Finally at Harvey Pass. And what a view it was. As you can tell from my puffy pants, it was quite windy up there. One of the rare photos where I'm in it, thanks to another hiker who was also at the pass.

  • Harvey Pass

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park After about 4 hours, I was finally at Harvey Pass. And what a view it had. I sat here and marvelled at the view for a while.

  • Mt. Assiniboine from Harvey Pass

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park The distinctive Mt. Assiniboine in the distance. I took my time using my different camera lenses.

  • Mt. Assiniboine Close-Up

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park Sking trails are visible in the foreground, while Mt. Assiniboine looms in the distance.

  • The Route Up Mt. Bourgeau

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park The trail continues after Harvey Pass to on top of Mt. Bourgeau. I didn't continue on and satisfied myself with Harvey Pass.

  • Heading Back Into the Bowl

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park The route back would take me through the "bowl" again. Going back would seem a lot faster since I knew where the turns and landmarks were.

  • Snow Bridge

    Harvey Pass, Banff National Park Snow "bridges". I avoided stepping on it since I don't believe the heat is having no effect on the snowpack.

Canada Day in Banff

  • Canada Day Fireworks in Banff

    Banff, Banff National Park As it turns out, it was Canada Day too and I got to enjoy some fireworks in Banff. I didn't exactly get a good location to capture it though, but I was late to the party (the crowds had gathered long before).

This was the longest hike so far and definitely one of the best up to this point. In some ways the length of the hike made the view at Harvey Pass even more worthwhile.

When I think about returning to the Rockies now, this hike is one of my primary motivators. I also have a personal mission to go up Mt. Bourgeau too next time I do this hike. (Spoiler: I didn't actually achieve this the next time I did this hike - a story for another time.)

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