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Thanksgiving in the Tonquin Valley
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.28 - 05:27:49
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (4 days)
Participants: Dieter Kepper easy
This is a description of a four day backpacking trip into the Tonquin Valley
For years I had been going up into the Tonquin Valley over Thanksgiving with a friend who owns one of the outfitter camps on Amethyst Lake. It's an end of the year party. It is always a good time. I carried in a bunch of food and alcohol, as did the others who showed up. But all the hiking I did on this trip was solo. It was going to be a snowy and cold four days, but staying in a cabin makes it much easier. I got to the trailhead early and it took about four hours to hike into Amethyst Lake. This is the view from the road near the trailhead of the Astoria River Valley and some of the peaks of the Eremite and Tonquin Valleys. [photo]start.jpg[caption]Throne,Thunderbolt,Erebus,Outpost,Macdonnel and Bennington[/photo]

The first five kms of the hike is generally downhill until you reach the Astoria River and cross it. You are mostly in the trees but every now and then you get some great views. [photo]macdonnel.jpg[caption]great views[/photo]

About two kms from the crossing of the Astoria you come to the first campsite and one km from there you come to a horse gate. The bridge over the Astoria, which leads to the ACC hut at outpost lake, is immediately after the gate. But I stayed on the main trail as i was heading for the Tonquin. Over the years I have done many long day hikes as a loop where I hike to Amethyst Lake then down to Outpost Lake via Surprise Lake Camp and then out via the Acc trail. It makes for a wonderful day hike. Shortly after the gate the trail starts the long climb up. At this point you have to go through a rockslide for a few hundred meters, which can be a bit nerve racking as many large boulders come down, especially when raining. Once through the slide the switchbacks starts, 21 of them. But there is a short cut located at switchback seven...

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