Mardy and I started out at a civilized hour on June 22, 1992, hiking the well-worn trail that most of you are perhaps overly familiar with: 3.9 km from Fish Creek parking just S of the Lake Louise ski area up the Temple access road to Temple Lodge and the official trailhead; another 3.2 km to the halfway hut and the Hidden Lake trail; a further 1.5 km up to Boulder Pass; followed by 1.9 km along the N shore of Ptarmigan Lake to the Deception Pass/Baker Lake junction. It's a total of 10.5 km to this point.
The shortest route to the upper Red Deer valley from the junction is (perhaps unfortunately for the already weary) up over Deception Pass, a climb of perhaps 400' over half a kilometre. Then a long downhill to the Red Deer Lakes trail junction (2.4 km from the Deception Pass turn-off); it is another 4 km through the Skoki/Fossil pass and down into the valley leading to the lakes and the backcountry campground. The total from Fish Creek is about 17 km. The Baker Lake/Oyster Peak alternate route adds another 1.6 km to this total (19.3km). Alan Kane's "Scrambles in the Rockies" provides good trail directions on pp. 246-47, and Patton and Robinson's "The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide" (84-85) is a valuable supplement. To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
In any case, it is a long hike with a heavy backpack; but even with a nagging pain in one's shoulders and with feet becoming increasingly angry, the pleasures of the lakes, meadows, and peaks are innumerable - this is a genuinely exciting trip with lots to see and vistas opening up around...
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