20140629: Sunshine Meadows (Banff)

Given how early in the season it is I’m surprised at how many people are on the shuttle this morning. (Assiniboine Lodge 29km down the trail only opened their doors for the 2014 season two days ago!) But, sunshine meadows is considered world class hiking, and for good reason.

  • Proximity! 20 minutes drive from Banff.
  • Accessibility! Park at Sunshine base and take the shuttle up to Sunshine Village ski area for $27 round trip ($15 one way). It’ll save you 6km each way on a boring switchbacking skidoo trail. Well worth the price.
  • Within 2 km you get lakes, waterfalls, larch stands, wildflowers, and mountain views from the Great Divide, of Quartzite Col, Mount Assiniboine “the Matterhorn of the Rockies”, the Monarch; beauty in every season and at every turn.
  • Infrastructure! Sunshine Lodge is open with washroom, café and merchandise.
  • Wildlife! Common to see lots of sheep, deer, and goats by the waterfall and along the road. We saw lots of little babies too.
Snowshoeing in (almost) July.
It’s still shoulder season up here! The shuttle drops us off at 2100m above sea level. Snowshoeing in (almost) July.
The sun comes out for a bit and as we go along a good part of the path has been cleared by the ski resort, or has already melted
The sun comes out for a bit and as we go along a good part of the path has been cleared by the ski resort, or has already melted
Glacier lilies, anemones, and other ground cover starting to bloom
Glacier lilies, anemones, and other ground cover starting to bloom
delicate glacier lilies
delicate glacier lilies
There's still ice on the lakes
There’s still ice on the lakes
Rock isle lake up close
Rock isle lake up close
Starting to rain. The forecast had called for thunderstorms but so far, so good..
Starting to rain. The forecast had called for thunderstorms but so far, so good..
View from Standish Ridge
View from Standish Ridge of Grizzly, Rock Isle, and Laryx Lakes, with Assiniboine in the far back

We were intending to do Citadel Pass but decided on a somewhat gentler day given the conditions, the forecast and our desire to just relax in this awesome setting today.

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