Skoki Loop Backpacking Adventure


Join us this summer from August 22nd to August 25th, 2019 for a premier Canadian Rockies experience through the Banff backcountry!

The trip will travel through alpine wildflower meadows, past stunning glacial fed lakes and some of the most pristine landscapes in all of the Rockies. Trails lead through the alpine for much of this trip which offers exceptional scenery viewing opportunities. With less demanding distances between campsites, we will have plenty of time to explore the hidden treasures this area has to offer, and enjoy the spectacular areas surrounding our campsites.

Package Price Is $1095 Per Person And Includes:
  • Professionally certified guide - 4 days.
  • High quality backcountry meal plan.
  • National Parks backcountry camping permits.
  • Transfers to trailhead from Lake Louise hotels
  • Group camping & cooking equipment.
  • Group emergency equipment.

Food

Your high quality meal plan will be carefully crafted by your guide. Our delicious and hearty meal plans will keep you energized on your adventure through the Banff backcountry. While our guides are able to accommodate many dietary requirements, some menu changes may be restricted by the nature of cooking in a backcountry setting. Please check with our guides if you need more information.

Note: This multi-day adventure takes place August 22nd to August 25th, 2019 and reservations are required by July 15th, 2019.

Note: Rates shown above do not include tax (5%GST). Pricing subject to change without notice. Dates/times are subject to change as the conditions of hiking trails are weather and wildlife activity dependant. Due to the natural grade of the mountain trails, all participants should be of moderate fitness ability. Please wear proper footwear and dress for all weather conditions. We recommend bringing sunglasses, water, snacks, jacket and a camera.

Itinerary

Day 1: Temple Lodge to Merlin Meadows

Distance 11.7km - Elevation: 460m: After a short meeting at the Lake Louise ski resort, you will be dropped off at the Temple Lodge Trailhead where your adventure will begin! From Temple Lodge you will make your way 3.2km to historic halfway hut. You will then climb for 1.5km up and over Boulder Pass. After admiring the views at the top of Boulder Pass you will hike along the Wildflower covered Shores of Ptarmigan Lake. From the Ptarmigan Lakeshore you will climb to the top of Deception Pass for one of the most impressive panoramic views in the entire Park! From the top of deception pass you will hike down into the Skoki Valley and past the stunning Skoki Lakes. We will hike past the historic Skoki Lodge that has been a premier destination for backcountry users for almost 100 years!  Down the valley just 1.1km we will make camp amongst the wildflowers in Merlin Meadows.

Optional Side Trip - Distance 8.6km Elevation: 150m: From camp in Merlin Meadows you have the option to make the trip to Merlin Lake. This can be done either in the evening after dinner, or in the morning after breakfast! The trip is about 4km each way. Merlin Lake which is surrounded by impressive Limestone Peaks, glaciers, and otherworldly geological features.

Day 2: Merlin Meadows to Red Deer Lakes

Distance 4.9km - Elevation: 50m: On day two you will make a short climb out of Merlin Meadows, through the forest and into the Little Pipestone Valley. After 4.9km of hiking you will arrive at the Red Deer lakes campsite which is situated at the intersection of two awe inspiring valleys. You will set up camp, and set out to explore the wildflower meadows, expansive views and gorgeous lakes surrounding camp.

Optional Side Trip - Distance 11km - Elevation: 120m: You then have the option to spend the afternoon/evening or the following morning hiking past the Cyclone Warden’s Cabin, and up to the incredible hidden natural bridge to see where the melt water from a glacier has carved its way through the limestone and has created its own natural bridge across the valley!

Day 3: Red Deer Lakes to Baker Lake

Distance 5.2km - Elevation: 90m: From camp you will climb over Cotton Grass Pass and hike through a wide open Glacier carved valley while enjoying the views of the spectacular meadows and rocky peaks this area is famous for. You will set up camp on a hill overlooking Baker Lake and take the afternoon to explore the glacially carved valleys of wildflowers and subalpine forests surrounding the lake.

Day 4: Baker Lake to Temple Lodge

Distance 9.2km - Elevation: 150m: On the final morning you will pack up camp and follow along the North shore of Baker Lake and enjoy the morning stillness of the Rocky Mountains. After a short climb from Baker Lake you will be welcomed by the now familiar view of the Ptarmigan Valley. From there you will retrace your steps along the shore of Ptarmigan Lake before you descend Boulder pass and walk the last few Km’s back to the trailhead at Temple Lodge.

Equipment

For a multi-day hiking trip what you put in your pack will have a big influence on your enjoyment during the trip. We will supply the necessary group gear, but you are responsible for your personal backpacking equipment and clothing. We recommend lightweight synthetic fabrics for clothing as cotton dries slowly and causes you to remain wet and cold. When you are purchasing your backpacking equipment consider both weight and function, to keep your pack weight as light as possible.

Please contact us with any questions relating to equipment at 403-522-1385 or guides@skilouise.com. Make sure to bring all of your gear and clothing, ready to hike on the first day. If necessary, arrangements can be made to rent any items you may still require. Please contact us as soon as possible to make these arrangements. During the meeting on the first day of the trip, your guide will go over all of your gear with you.

The following list is provided for your reference. Please take a moment to review the items below. This list has been carefully prepared to ensure you are prepared for the conditions encountered while hiking in the mountains. Please consider carefully before omitting or adding any other items.

Backpacking Equipment

We Provide

  • Tents & rain tarps for the cooking area.
  • Food & the equipment to cook and prepare it.
  • Water filtration system.
  • Emergency equipment, first aid supplies, radio, etc.
  • Your guide will also carry other necessary items such as a repair kit, and bear spray.

You Will Need

  • Large backpack with rain cover – We recommend 60-75 liter capacity. Try packing it before the trip and ensure that there is enough space to fit your personal gear as well as your portion of the group equipment and food (which is usually about 10-20 liters of pack space). Your rain cover should be large enough to cover your entire pack.
  • Stuff sacks-These are incredibly handy for separating your equipment and clothing as well as waterproof ones will add an extra layer of protection during wet conditions.
  • Sleeping Bag- Lightweight & compressible down or synthetic sleeping bags are recommended with temperature rating of -2 to -7 degrees Celsius. Consider packing it in a waterproof compression sac or similar to keep it dry and reduce its packed size.
  • Sleeping pad- Lightweight pads such as “Thermarest” or “Exped” are recommended.
  • Pillow- Small backpacking specific pillow or small sack which can be stuffed with clothing to improvise a pillow.
  • Trekking poles – Collapsible.
  • Water bottle/ Hydration pack – 1-2L capacity recommended.
  • Eating Implements- Cup, bowl, ‘spork’, small pocket knife
  • Headlamp- With spare batteries.
  • Small personal first aid kit and blister kit-Band-Aids, ‘Tylenol’/’Advil’, Moleskin, glacier gel etc. 
  • Insect repellent, Sunscreen & Lip Protection with UV rating.
  • Sunglasses- UV Protection sunglasses with a protective case.
  • Camera
  • Personal Toiletries- Keep other items limited. Consider travel size and unscented items.
  • Gaiters to keep your boots and bottom of your pants dry and clear of mud.
Clothing
  • Hiking boots – make sure you walk in them before the trip to avoid blisters from new boots. They should be above ankle, waterproof, and a good fit with tough soles. Your boots will have a huge impact on your overall enjoyment, so make sure to spend as much time in them as possible before the trip.
  • Light footwear- For creek crossings and in camp. Crocs, sandals, Tevas, light runners etc.
  • Hiking pants – Lightweight, Quick dry material. No cotton pants or jeans.
  • Waterproof Rain Pants & Jacket- Breathable and lightweight.
  • Lightweight synthetic shirt-Long or short sleeves is personal preference.
  • Midweight Synthetic jacket or sweater.
  • Insulated Jacket.
  • Long underwear top and bottoms- Synthetic or wool, no cotton.
  • Hiking socks – Avoid cotton. Lighter, moisture wicking material is preferred. With at least two spare pairs.
  • Waterproof/ Breathable Rain Jacket and Rain pants.
  • Light Gloves & warm hat or touque.
  • Sun Hat- Ball cap, or wide brimmed hat.
Booking Information

This 4-day adventure takes place August 22nd to August 25th, 2019 and reservations are required by July 15th, 2018. To make a reservation you can either book online, email us at guides@skilouise.com, or call 1-403-522-1385.

Cancellation Policy

Reservations are recommended due to limited spaces. Changes to reservations can be made based on availability. After July 15th, 2019 refunds will not be issued. There will be no refunds for extreme weather conditions or wildlife activity cancellation.

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