Bourgeau Lake / Harvey Lake / Harvey Pass

Banff
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Bourgeau Lake / Harvey Lake / Harvey Pass

Distance: 20.4km
Elevation: 1,075m
Time: 6-8h

Difficulty Rating:

This hike to Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass is a sure-fire way to induce happiness. Though the numbers make this trail seem big, the feeling of being on a true adventure makes the day go easily and quickly. Definitely one of the best hikes near Banff!

Getting there

The Bourgeau parking lot is on south side of the Trans-Canada Highway, roughly 13.0km west of Banff. There is a turnaround on the Trans-Canada for those who are heading to the route from Banff.

About

When to do

June through October

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Trailhead

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Elevation


Detailed Description

Start in the Bourgeau Lake parking lot and take the only path out of the parking lot, outwards into the forest. You will quickly replace the buzz of the Trans-Canada Highway with the songs of birds chattering and the delightful addition of a fresh forest smell. Spend about 7.5km in the forest trekking up to Bourgeau Lake. During this time, you will be near Wolverine Creek, with occasional crossings. Enjoy the tranquility as you gain 0.7km of elevation.

While for many people Bourgeau Lake is a trip in itself, the real magic is the journey up to Harvey Lake and Harvey Pass. After enjoying a break at the head of the lake, pass to the right of the water and follow the rougher path upwards, enjoying the wonderful views down upon the lake and the enormous cliff face of Mount Bourgeau.

As you rise, keep your eyes open for marmots, one particular stretch along here we often refer to as “Marmot Town”, having seen so many on previous trips.

Quickly, after 2.0km you reach Harvey Lake. Don’t stop here – although it’s lovely. Continue on the left of the lake and make it to the pass, another 0.5km. We recommend coming over the pass to get out of the wind. From here you have views to Mount Assiniboine as well as down over Healy Creek to Sunshine Meadows. For those who are adventurous, you can continue up to the top of Mount Bourgeau, roughly 2.7km and 400m higher.

Insider Hints

  • Keep your eyes open for marmot and ptarmigan between Bourgeau and Harvey Lakes.
  • If you’ve got the energy, you can scramble to the top of Mount Bourgeau.
  • There is faint cellphone signal at Harvey Pass, in case you wish to share the beauty on Instagram or Facebook.

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