Floe Lake and Numa Pass

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Floe Lake

I did this hike in early October 2014. I couldn’t quite make up my mind whether to do this hike or to visit Lussier Hotsprings in White Swan Provincial Park, however the weather was good so I couldn’t justify spending so much time in the car driving all the way to Lussier Hotsprings.

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The Kootenay River

I pulled into the parking lot for Floe Lake and there were only two other cars, so I knew that the trail up to Floe Lake probably wouldn’t be very busy. In fact I saw only four other people the entire time. From the trailhead at the parking lot you head to a small bridge over the Kootenay River, before following the trail through dense new growth forest. When I did this hike last October there were a number of burnt trees which had fallen over the trail, though these were relatively easy to get over or around.

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Crossing the Kootenay River

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Looking back through the burnt forest

The trail remains relatively flat for quite some time, and then begins to climb more steeply for a short section, before it becomes more gradual as you travel along the side of the valley.

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Looking up the valley, still a long way to go!

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Crossing different areas of vegetation

You’ll traverse across between lots of areas of burnt forest and clear areas of grass (and wild flowers in the summer) on the avalanche slopes. This traverse does take a long time, so it’s nice to break it up by taking a couple of breaks.

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Greens and greys of vegetation on the valley sides

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A long way from the trailhead

There’s a bit more of a climb towards the end of the valley, and the trail switchbacks for quite a while as you gain elevation getting up to the lake.

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Crossing the outflow from the lake on the way up

There’s a campground at the lake, and a little further on is the warden cabin. I stopped here and enjoyed the views of the lake whilst eating my lunch. It would be really incredible to spend the night here, it was so quiet and it would have been nice to spend the whole day there.

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Huge cliffs surrounding the lake

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Floe Lake Warden Cabin

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Perfect spot to enjoy lunch

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Beautiful blue/green water of Floe Lake

However, I wanted just to go a little further up the trail to Numa Pass, just so I’d get a little glimpse of the next valley over. So I set off and carried on up the gentler trail.

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The trail back down to Floe Lake from Numa Pass

On the approach to Numa Pass you leave the shelter of the trees behind and the landscape becomes a little more bleak. The wind had increased and so I stopped to put on a few more layers.

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Looking down into the next valley from Numa Pass

Numa Pass has really fantastic views, both down towards Floe Lake and further along the Rockwall Trail in the other direction.

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Floe Lake beneath Floe Peak

To return back to the trailhead you follow the same route back, it takes quite a while so it’s a good idea to stop along the way. I stopped at Floe Lake again on the way back, just to take a few more photos.

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One last glimpse of the warden cabin

In total the return distance to Numa Pass is 26.5 km (16.5 miles) with an elevation gain of 1030 metres (3400 feet).

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On the way back down

Ā© RockiesOutdoors 2015.

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27 responses to “Floe Lake and Numa Pass

  1. Thanks for sharing your Canada with us Rob. As an international reader, I really enjoy this armchair tour of your country. So many amazing sights. I was there in 1999 – maybe it’s time to come back to do some walking!

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  2. What a great view from Numa Pass! Looks like a nice hike, but a long one so better start early in the day:) The clear blue lake with enormous, dramatic cliffs is spectacular! Is it allowed to camp there overnight? Great post!

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    • Thank you for reading! Yes, it’s a really nice hike. It would have been better earlier in the summer as the wildflowers had died off by the time I did it, but still very beautiful. There’s a camp site at Floe Lake and then the next one along would be Numa Creek campground, but I didn’t get that far! šŸ™‚

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      • We have only done one hike in this area, the forest fire has definitely left its mark, on the other hand it gives a very good view! šŸ™‚ And as you mention, usually these areas have a very green floor compared to some if the dense areas is i.e. banff / lake louise.

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      • Which hike did you do? The burnt forest is so strange to walk through. I was amazed by the diameters of some of the burnt trees that had fallen over the trail, they never seem as big when they’re alive! šŸ™‚

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