Niles Meadow and Sherbrooke Lake
The hike to Niles Meadow is a wonderful trail. Walk past the beautiful Sherbrooke Lake and then up a lightly used trail to Niles Meadow. Be warned that the trail from Sherbrooke Lake to Niles Meadow could use some maintenance!
Take the Trans-Canada Highway from Field east for 11.5km. Turn north into the Wapta Lake Picnic Area, right beside the West Louise lodge.
|When to do|
June through October
Out and back
The easy to miss Wapta Lake Picnic Area is where the hike begins. Watch out for the West Louise Lodge, as the picnic area is almost immediately afterwards when you are heading west. Enter the parking lot and head to the upper parking lot, where signage and the washrooms are.
A gentle 3.0km climb up to Sherbrooke Lake is scattered by two well-marked junctions. After around an hour of hiking you’ll reach the south end of Sherbrooke Lake. The lake itself is not that easy to access along the hike, so save a break for somewhere with a view.
As one continues past the lake, the trail becomes rougher and wetter (especially early in the season), however route finding skills are not required. After the half hour walk from end to end the path slopes upwards as you enter an old forest with a beautiful stream. Within a few minutes you’ll find yourself in an open meadow, with panoramic views of peaks across the valley.
From this point in 2016, several small bridges were broken or missing, so poles were very useful for getting across the streams. As the summer goes on and water levels drop this should reduce the difficulty.
Continue the hike up and pass several cascades and waterfalls until you reach the flat Niles Amphitheatre. Many people stop here, but Niles Meadow is actually another 200m up. Start from the large Cairn and continue along the surprisingly easy trail switch backing until you find yourself upon Niles Meadow. This picturesque meadow will grant you fantastic views of Mt. Niles and the valley below.
For those really ambitious, a path heads out right towards a large Cairn and goes immediately uphill towards Niles Col. Snow lingers here, and we have been turned back, however getting up high the views are stunning!
This hike is unique as the way back down is almost better than the way up, with grander views.
For those more adventurous continue 1.2km further to Niles Col (west of Mt. Niles) across the rubble field.
Start early and bring a picnic to enjoy in any one of the meadows.
This is a hike you want to do in a group, as it isn't very busy. We saw a lot of recent bear scat and only two other people when we did it on a weekend in early July.
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