Deception Pass


Very snow first off!

Back in September we attempted to hike to Skoki Lodge. We’d waited a couple of days to make sure we had good weather, but the night before the day we went it snowed. When we started out  it was warming up and the snow was melting. Knowing that we probably wouldn’t make it to the lodge, we decided to go as far as Deception Pass.

Setting out the snow was covering the path from the trailhead, and we slowly gained elevation heading away from the Lake Louise Ski Area towards Boulder Pass.


Halfway Hut

On the way up to Boulder Pass we stopped off at a little log cabin along the route known as Halfway Hut. Technically it’s not halfway on our route, but it makes a good point to stop and have some snacks inside. Halfway Hut was built as an overnight refuge around the same time as Skoki Lodge, and is roughly halfway between the Canadian Pacific Railway Station in Lake Louise village and Skoki Lodge. Guest would have originally made their way by ski from the train station in Lake Louise. Today we’re lucky we don’t have to hike as far.


From Boulder Pass looking towards the Lake Louise Ski Area


Mt Temple from Boulder Pass

Leaving Halfway Hut we press on towards Boulder Pass. It doesn’t take too long from Halfway Hut, so there’s plenty of time to take photos from the pass and as we make our way along the lakeshore of Ptarmigan Lake.


First sight of Ptarmigan Lake


Ptarmigan Peak from the shore of Ptarmigan Lake


Walking along the shoreline

By this point it was about lunch time, so we stopped and enjoyed our lunch whilst taking in the beautiful views of Ptarmigan Lake and Mt Redoubt.


The perfect view of Ptarmigan Lake and part of Heather Ridge


Redoubt Mountain above Ptarmigan Lake and Boulder Pass

After it’s not too much further to get to the top of Deception Pass, but we had to break through a shallow layer of snow as we reached the top.


Looking in the direction of Skoki Lodge from Deception Pass


Brachiopod Mountain from Deception Pass


Back towards Ptarmigan Lake and Redoubt Mountain

We spent a little bit of time to take some photographs at the top, and had a chance to look down the valley in the direction of Skoki Lodge. When we’d taken enough, we began the descent back down to the lakeshore and then on towards Boulder Pass.

The trail was a little wetter than on the way up, it had become incredibly sunny and had warmed up a lot. The trail further down was clearer than higher up, but still a couple of patches of slushy snow.


On the way back down, near Temple Lodge at the Lake Louise Ski Area

Though we didn’t get all the way to Skoki Lodge, it was still a really rewarding hike and a very long day out. We took a fair bit longer than when I hiked it in October when the snow had fully cleared. In total the return distance to Deception Pass from the trailhead at the Fish Creek Parking Area is about 22 kilometres (14 miles) with an elevation gain of roughly 785 metres (2575 feet).

© RockiesOutdoors 2015.


15 responses to “Deception Pass

  1. Very funny that we are both posting from the Skoki trail today:) Very nice pictures! Ptarmigan lake looks line quite an idylic place.

    Liked by 2 people

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