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Castleguard Meadows Hike
Timestamp Free: 2019.10.17 - 11:52:35
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Columbia Icefield
  (5 days)     Elevation Gain: 976m
Participants: Laurent Tourville-Blanchet, Andrea Sanchez
Difficulty: 3: Lots of overgrown bushes; deadfall requires detours; creek crossing up to knees depending on water levels; route finding; saw tons of bear signs.
The Castleguard Meadows are accessed through the Alexandra River Trail. It is an approximately 35KM hike to reach the primitive campground from the trailhead.
Day 1 - Trailhead to the Warden's Cabin

The first few kilometers prepare you for this hard journey. Deadfall after deadfall and bear scat every 50 meters. [photo]cm11.jpg[caption]What to expect for the first 6 kilometers[/photo] The trail is not that wide and a bear encounter here would leave you in a tricky situation with nowhere to go. We made lots of noise while hoping the big fallen trees. An avalanche washed the trail early in the trip and the walk-around was hard with the morning dew leaving every piece of wood damp and slippery. Little did we knew that "wet" would be the recurrent theme of the next two days. Once the trail opened up on the Alexandra River, the views were jaw-dropping. No wonder why the few people going there every year say it's worth the efforts. The few creek crossings were not too bad as there were "natural" bridges at all of them. Once the trail left the riverbank for the flats, we were not quite sure where to go, but following game trails led us back onto the main path. [photo]cm1.jpg[caption]Warden's Cabin[/photo] Reaching the old Warden's Cabin at the end of the day, we made camp and lit a fire and enjoy the sunset while drying our gear. The water access at this site was a little difficult. The privy was clean, but remember to bring your own TP.

Day 2 - Warden's Cabin to the Castleguard Meadows Campsite

It rained all night long but a 30-min break allowed us to pack up quickly. But as soon as we hit the trail, the rain started again. Nothing too hard, but enough to soak a GoreTex jacket and pants right through. This section was the worst. The "trail" was flooded with tiny creeks and having only a general direction of travel, we spent more time analyzing our next steps than actually hiking. [photo]cm6.jpg[caption]The flooded area...

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