Mount Assiniboine Lodge operates the campgrounds in Assiniboine Provincial Park. Campground space in the park operates on a "first-come, first-served" basis in the summer with a self- registration system- you can not make a reservation for the campground Magog & Og Campgrounds. There is always space available at the park campgrounds during the summer.
The Magog Campground has 25 designated sites with gravel pads. There are no picnic tables at the individual sites. There is an roofed cookshelter that is not enclosed in the middle of the campground. The cookshelter has some small tables and benches.There are four outhouses, a water tap, and metal storage boxes for food. Bring a primus stove for cooking. BC Parks recommends boiling the water. There are no open fires permitted in the core of the park. Pack out all of your garbage.
The Og Lake Campground has one outhouse and a metal box for food, as well as an area with a small table and benches for eating. The water source is Og Lake. Bring a primus stove for cooking. Pack out all of your garbage.
CAMPING COSTS: $10.00 PER PERSON PER NIGHT (HST included)
Group Camping at O'Brien's Meadows (by reservation)- minimum of 15 or more people- Contact Assiniboine Lodge for reservation information (403) 678-2883. Cost: $10.00 per person/per night (HST included).
O'Brien's Meadows is also a horse camp for small parties. Visitors with horses are required to have a Permit in advance from the Ministry of Environment (B.C. Parks -call 250 489-8540).
Information Needed When Making Reservations for O'Briens Meadows
- Name, address and phone number of the Group Leader
- Number of members in the group
- The dates you want to make a reservation
- Helicopter reservations in advance through Assiniboine Lodge if your group is flying and out of the park or if you are flying gear
- a valid Visa or Mastercard number to pay for the reservation in full.
- If you are hiking in to the park which route you will take into Assiniboine Provincial Park.
HOW TO GET TO ASSINIBOINE PROVINCIAL PARK, B.C.
Camper Helicopter Reservations
OPTIONS TO FLY IN GEAR IF YOU ARE SKIING OR HIKING TO ASSINIBOINE
Camper Helicopter Dates for 2010
Winter Helicopter Reservations from : December 27, 2009 to January 3, 2010, February 12-April 5, 2010
Summer Helicopter Reservations from June 18-October 3, 2010
FLIGHT DAYS, CHECK-IN TIMES: Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 12:30 pm the Mount Shark Heliport. On Long Weekends the flight days are on Fridays and Mondays.
Summer- $160.00 PER PERSON/EACH WAY-from the Mount Shark Heliport (includes 5% GST) -for advance reservations made in Canmore
Fuel Surcharge: We reserve the right to charge a surcharge if fuel price increases affect supplier rates charged to Assiniboine Lodge.
Flights should be booked at least two weeks in advance. Our reservation office hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. Last minute bookings are on a space-available basis only.
CAMPER WEIGHT LIMIT: 40 Pounds PER PERSON (18 kg) Plus 1 pair of skis per person in the winter. Your gear will be weighed. Overweight charges are $2.00 per pound.
FOR CAMPER HELICOPTER RESERVATIONS CALL:
Tel: (403) 678-2883
MOUNT ASSINIBOINE LODGE
Office & Reservations Manager- Sandy Wing
8:30 am-2:30 p.m. Mon-Fri Mountain Time
Fax: (403) 678-4877
MOUNT ASSINIBOINE LODGE
Box 8128, Canmore, Alberta
Canada T1W 2T8
|Camper Helicopter Booking Conditions
Payment is taken as agreement to the following terms:
- No helicopter reservations will be held without full payment by Visa, MasterCard or money order at the time the booking is made. Personal cheques are not accepted.
- Your verbal authorization of the use of your card indicates your compliance with our booking conditions and confirms your reservations whether or not you have actually signed the appropriate draft.
- We do not send out receipts. Confirmation of your payment will appear on your monthly credit card statement (deposits payable to Mount Assiniboine Lodge Ltd.). If you pay by money order your flimsy copy is your receipt.
Credit card payments will be processed in Canadian funds, based on the bank exchange rate the day the payment is processed.
If your bags are overweight you will be charged $2.00 per pound for amounts over 40 lb (18 kg) per person. These charges will be applied directly to your credit card.
$20.00 Cdn of the helicopter fee per person is non-refundable in the event of cancellation. You can cancel up to 48 hours prior to the helicopter trip. If a cancellation occurs before the 48 hour cut-off time, you will forfeit the $20.00 per person non-refundable booking fee. If the cancellation occurs less than 48 hours prior to the trip the whole helicopter fee will be forfeited. Regardless of when you cancel your flight you must call our office.
There are no refunds for trips already in progress
We are not responsible for delays or cancellations due to poor access conditions: poor roads, restrictions on trail access, or weatherand flight delays. Flights are sometimes delayed due to inclement weather. You will still need to be at Mount Shark on time as we often fly between storms after waiting for weather systems to clear. If the weather does not clear and we are unable to fly the flights are rescheduled to the following day.
Carry-on bags are not permitted on laps in the passenger seats. All of your gear must go in the luggage compartments of the helicopter.
If your packs are too large, the loaders may have to remove gear (ie. sleeping pads) in order to fit your pack into the helicopter. You are responsible for making sure that you pick up all your gear in the event that the loaders have to separate some items off your pack for the flight. Check your bags when you fly in and fly out.
You must let the helicopter loader know if you are carrying bear spray or white gas. Both of these items must go in the tail boom of the helicopter.
Children 2 years and older must pay for a seat on the helicopter
Pulks (ski toboggans) for children do not fit in the helicopter
Snowboard terrain is poor at Assiniboine- bring skis instead
No dogs are allowed on the helicopter. Leave your dogs at home
Space is very limited on the 6 passenger helicopter. Campers are allowed 40 lbs. per person (18 kg) total plus ONE PAIR OF SKIS PER PERSON in the winter. Your bags will be weighed at the Mount Shark Heliport.
If your bags are overweight there will be a $2.00 per pound overcharge that will be taken automatically off your credit card . Wear your bulky winter clothing on the helicopter. Bring a soft internal-frame pack and small duffels (12"x 20"x12")-these fit best in the helicopter, or bring your gear in one or two smaller bags. Try to avoid having gear which dangles off your pack. NO SUITCASES PLEASE. Do Not Bring Ski Bags- they don’t fit in the helicopter rack.
TYING YOUR SKIS FOR THE FLIGHT
Place the skis together and loop the ski strap from each pole over the ski tips. Twist the two poles together, tightening the wrist straps, then secure the poles to the skis with ski straps or strapping tape.
|Options to fly gear if you are
skiing or hiking to Assiniboine
Flying in gear- if you are skiing or hiking into Assiniboine
Cost: $2.00 per pound/ each way
- Drop your gear off before 9:00 am at Alpine Helicopters in Canmore (on the eastern access into Canmore- just off the Trans-Canada Highway). Go into the log building to get luggage tags for bags flying in. Each bag must be tagged or it will not be picked up. PUT YOUR NAME ON THE LUGGAGE TAG AND THE DATE THAT YOU ARE HIKING IN. Drop the luggage to be flown into the Lodge at the Assiniboine Lodge bin by the grey building. Our driver will make sure that the bags are picked up and flown into the lodge. The bags will be weighed at Assiniboine Lodge. You can pay for flying gear at the Lodge (by Visa, Mastercard or cash- no personal checks). NO SUITCASES PLEASE. Medium-size duffel bags (i.e. 12"x 20"x12") and internal soft-frame packs fit best in the helicopter.
Flying Gear Out if you are Skiing or Hiking Out of Assiniboine
Cost: $2.00 per pound/each way
- Drop off your gear at Assiniboine Lodge before 10:00 am on the flight day. Gear will be weighed at the Lodge and each bag must be tagged for the flight out. PUT YOUR NAME ON THE LUGGAGE TAG . Pay for flying out gear at Assiniboine Lodge (by Visa, Mastercard or cash- no personal checks). Your gear will be flown out to Canmore and stored in the Assiniboine Lodge bin by the grey building at Alpine Helicopters. Gear can be picked up from 2:30 p.m. UNTIL 6:45 PM at Alpine Helicopters in Canmore IN THE SUMMER AND FROM 2:30 PM UNTIL 5:00 PM IN THE WINTER. This Bin Is Locked At Night. If You Don’t Pick Up Your Bags By 6:45 p.m. You Will Have To Wait Until 7:00 Am The Next Morning.
|Helicopter Procedures and Operations
HELICOPTER MEETING PLACE AND TIME
12:30 PM CHECK IN TIME AT THE MOUNT SHARK HELIPORT (see Map) on SUNDAYS, WEDNESDAYS AND FRIDAYS. On long weekends the flight days will be on Fridays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. If you are booked on the Canmore flight, you need to check in at the Canmore Municipal Heliport (Alpine Helicopters) no later than 11:00 am.
GETTING TO THE MOUNT SHARK HELIPORT
Located 41.3 km West of Canmore, Alberta. This is a 1 hour drive from Canmore, a 1.5 hour drive from Banff, a 2.5-3 hour drive from Calgary. Drive to Canmore. Drive West through town following the Spray Lakes signs and Canmore Nordic Center signs. Drive past the Canmore Nordic Centre, up the steep hill on the Smith-Dorrien Road through Kananaskis Country. This is a good gravel road. You will be on the left side of the Spray Lakes. At 34.4 km you will see the Buller Mountain sign. Down the road is Mount Shark/Engadine Lodge (you will see a bridge on your right before the turn-off.) Turn right at the Engadine Lodge sign and drive 5 km to the Mount Shark Heliport (on your left). Park your car in the parking lot. DO NOT LEAVE MONEY OR CREDIT CARDS IN YOUR CAR. You will need to carry your bags 200 metres down the road to the Helicopter Landing Pad (north of the parking lot). See Maps.
THE PROCEDURE AT THE MOUNT SHARK HELIPORT
12:30 PM CHECK IN AT MOUNT SHARK- ARRIVE EARLY- THE HELICOPTER WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU AND YOUR FLIGHT TIME MIGHT BE DELAYED OR YOUR FLIGHT CANCELLED IF YOU ARE LATE.
Register with our staff at the Helipad and tell him that you are a camper going to the Naiset Huts, the Hind Hut or the Campground (he will check your name off a list ). This person will tell you which flight you are on and will give you a helicopter safety orientation talk. You gear will be loaded and unloaded by our staff. You can pick up your gear after the helicopter has left the pad. NEVER APPROACH THE HELICOPTER FROM THE REAR AND NEVER APPROACH THE HELICOPTER WITH YOUR SKIS IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION. Carry your light items (hats, light coats, handbags) with you and be sure to hang onto these items when the helicopter lands. We make every effort to fly you with your bags. If your gear does not arrive with you on your flight you can expect it on one of the next consecutive flights.
THE HELICOPTER PROCEDURE AT ASSINIBOINE PROVINCIAL PARK
You will be unloaded by Assiniboine Lodge staff. Proceed away from the helicopter as directed by the staff. Wait until the helicopter leaves before picking up your bags. Winter flights will land at the Helipad beside Mount Assiniboine Lodge. Campers must be prepared to carry their gear over to their accommodation. Summer flights land at the communal pad between Assiniboine Lodge and the Naiset Huts. Be prepared to carry your gear to the Naiset Huts (5 minutes), the Campground (30 minutes), or the Hind Hut (4-6 hours).
Hiking and Skiing Access Routes
OPTIONS TO FLY IN GEAR IF YOU ARE SKIING OR HIKING TO ASSINIBOINE
BRYANT CREEK-ASSINIBOINE PASS
THE FASTEST (and most direct) SUMMER ACCESS IF YOU ARE HIKING IN
WINTER ACCESS IF YOU ARE SKIING IN
Spray Lakes-Mount Shark Day Use Parking-Bryant Creek-Assiniboine Pass route
Distance (28 km- 17 miles)
Elevation Gain: 520 meter gain (1,700 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 2,180 meters (7,200 feet)
Topographical Maps Mount Assiniboine 82 J/13 and Banff 82 O/4).
Point of Departure: The Mount Shark Day Use Area (3 km beyond the Mount Shark Heliport)
The Assiniboine Pass route can be skied or hiked in one day with a light pack (6-8 hours). Many people who are carrying 35 lb (16 kg) or more often take two days to hike to the park. If you are skiing in, phone us the day before your trip and we will let you know if anyone has skied through and set a track. We will tell you what trail conditions are like. If the ski track is not set in Bryant Creek, you must add extra time in order to break trail. Bryant Creek/Assiniboine Pass via the horse trail is the most traveled and is the safest, shortest and best winter route to Assiniboine. Carry adequate clothing, food, and first-aid equipment. Mountain weather can change dramatically over short periods of time- be prepared for any kind of weather- it can also snow in the summer!
The Bryant Creek Shelter is located at the halfway point on the Bryant Creek Trail. Contact Banff Park (403 762-1550, fax 403 762-2380, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ) for information about overnight hut fees, camping in Banff National Park and trail use fees. Wilderness Passes for Banff National Park are available at the Banff Information Centre. Overnight Backcountry Wilderness Pass -$9.80 (children 16 years and under are free), Annual Wilderness Pass- $68.70 , Fee for the Bryant Creek Shelter and backcountry camping in Banff National Park- $6.80 per person per night for the shelter + daily Wilderness Pass plus Reservation Fee. You will also need a special permit to fish in Banff National Park. You must purchase these permits in Banff before starting your trip if you are camping overnight in the National Park.
GETTING TO THE MOUNT SHARK DAY USE AREA
Located 41.3 km West of Canmore, Alberta. This is a 1 hour drive from Canmore, a 1.5 hour drive from Banff, a 2.5-3 hour drive from Calgary. Drive to Canmore. Drive West through town following the Spray Lakes signs and Canmore Nordic Center signs. Drive past the Canmore Nordic Centre, up the steep hill on the Smith-Dorrien Road through Kananaskis Country. This is a good gravel road. You will be on the left side of the Spray Lakes. At 34.4 km you will see the Buller Mountain sign. Down the road is Mount Shark/Mount Engadine Lodge (you will see a bridge on your right before the turn-off.) Turn right at the Engadine Lodge sign. After 5 km you will see the Mount Shark Heliport sign (on your left). This is the heliport used for access to Assiniboine on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Drive to the end of road (2 km past the heliport) and park your car in the Mount Shark Day Use Area. You can also park overnight as well as a number of days in this parking lot. DO NOT LEAVE MONEY OR CREDIT CARDS IN YOUR CAR! See Maps.
The Assiniboine trailhead starts from the Mount Shark Day Use Area. It is a well-marked trail through Kananaskis Country. You will initially travel along an old logging road and then enter the woods near Watridge Lake/Karst Trail (3.7 km) The trail then drops down and crosses the Upper Spray River (5.9 km). The trail to Palliser Pass (6 km) will be on your left. After the second bridge over Bryant Creek (6.6 km) you will go up a hill. The road to Trail Centre (6.7 km- a Banff National Park Warden's Cabin) intersects the trail at the top of the hill after t he bridge (to the left). The old road to the right at this junction leads back to the Spray Lakes Reservoir via Canyon Dam (not a recommended route for cars). Keep following the main trail main trail straight ahead past a number of trailheads for Banff National Park Campgrounds (BR9-Big Springs Campground (9.6 km), the Owl Lake Junction at 12 km, BR13-Campground at 13 km and the shortcut to Marvel Lake, The Bryant Creek Hiker's Shelter at 13.6 km, The Bryant Creek Warden Cabin at 14.3 km)
The trail to Wonder Pass branches off to the left at the Bryant Creek Warden Cabin (at 14.3 km). Keep following Bryant Creek past the Bryant Creek Warden's Cabin. After passing beside swampy meadow land, you will cross a stream near the BR17 campground (17.5 km). The Assiniboine Pass Trail splits at this point into a Hiker's Trail (to the right) and a Horse Trail (to the left-the Horse Trail is the winter route). The Hiker's Trail on the North side of the pass is more gradual than the Horse Trail, but it adds 1.5 km onto your trip. If you take the hiking trail, you will pass the Brewster Creek/Og Pass/Allenby Pass Junction at 18 km. The Hiking Trail and the Horse Trail join below the summit of Assiniboine Pass (at 22.4 km). Please note that from August 8th to October 31, 2007 the Hiking trail access on Assiniboine Pass will be restricted to groups of 4 or more and you must get a special permit in Banff to use this route during those times. This closure is part of the Allenby Pass restricted access poilicy to reduce exposure by hikers to grizzly bears feeding on buffalo berries at this time. You do not need a special permit to hike on the Horse Trail to Assiniboine Pass.
The Horse Trail is steep. Keep Left. At 22.4 km the Hiking Trail will join the Horse Trail. Further up on a flat section there is a horse trail branching off to the right. GO STRAIGHT AHEAD ON THE HIKING TRAIL (West) up the final hill to Assiniboine Pass (23 km). Do not follow the old Horse Trail (which angles to the right of the flat section and follows the base of Cave Mountain and leads to Og Meadows). At Assiniboine Pass there is a B.C. Parks information booth and a bench. You have now crossed the Great Divide into British Columbia. From Assiniboine Pass it is a 3 km hike or ski to Mount Assiniboine Lodge and the Naiset Huts (this section is well-signed). The Naiset Huts for campers are a five-minute walk beyond Assiniboine Lodge (500 meters). The Naiset Huts have a reservation system in the summer and winter operated by Assiniboine Lodge.($20.00 per person per night to reserve in advance). There will be a custodian on duty each day during the summer. If you have not reserved, you can check at the Lodge to see if there is any drop-in space available at the Huts.
The Magog Campground is a 20 minute walk West beyond Assiniboine Lodge along the rim of Lake Magog. The campgrounds cost $10.00 per person/per night. The Magog and Og Campground have a self-registration system.
You must register in at Assiniboine Lodge if you have a reservation for the Hind Hut (for climbers).
The Most Popular Summer Route
Out-Wonder Pass- Bryant Creek-Mount Shark Day Use Area
NOTE - This is not a winter route!
Distance: 28 km (17 miles)
Elevation Gain: 205 meters (670 feet)
Elevation Loss: 580 meters (1,900 feet)- mainly down Wonder Pass
Maximum Elevation: 2395 meters (7,850 feet)
Topographical Maps: Spray Lakes Reservoir 82N/14 and Mount Assiniboine 82J/13
Departure Point: Mount Assiniboine Lodge, the Naiset Huts, the Magog Campground
Many people hike in Assiniboine Pass and hike out over Wonder Pass. After leaving the lodge hike past the Naiset Huts and follow the trail to Wonder Pass. At Wonder Pass the trail continues into Banff National Park in subalpine terrain. After the first view of Marvel Lake the trail descends in a series of switchbacks to the bottom of the valley. The scenery on this route is spectacular. Glaciated peaks send cascades of water to the turquoise blue waters of Lake Gloria below to the right. Above Marvel Lake take the high trail to the left (the trail heading straight down to Marvel Lake crosses the west end of Marvel Lake and connects with the Marvel Pass Trail). The Wonder Pass Trail traverses across a number of large avalanche slopes on the southern flanks of Wonder Peak. It connects with the Bryant Creek/Assiniboine Pass Trail at the Bryant Creek Warden's Cabin. Turn right down Bryant Creek. You will pass The Bryant Creek Hiker's Shelter (13.6 km), BR13, the Owl Lake Junction (12 km), BR 9- Big Springs Campground (9.6 km) The trail continues to drop down through a jack pine forest. At Trail Centre (6.7 km-a Banff National Park Warden's Cabin), a road intersects the trail at the top of the hill (to the right). Keep following the trail down the hill, and across the Bryant Creek Bridge (6.6 km). The trail continues to meander up and down through the woods. The Palliser Pass (6 km) trail will be on your right. Head left across the Upper Spray River Bridge (5.9 km). The trail goes up a steep hill and becomes a road as you approach Watridge Lake/Karst (3.7 km). Follow this old logging road back to the Mount Shark Day Use Area.
Sunshine Village-Citadel Pass-Mount Assiniboine
OPTIONS TO FLY IN GEAR IF YOU ARE HIKING TO ASSINIBOINE
Distance (38.5 km- 26 miles- if you walk from the gondola parking lot)
Elevation Gain: 685 meter gain (2,055 feet)- from the gondola parking lot
Maximum Elevation: 2,360 meters (7,750 feet)
Topographical Maps Mount Assiniboine 82 J/13 and Banff 82 O/4).
Point of Departure: The Gondola Parking Lot below Sunshine Village
Sunshine Village-Rock Isle Lake- Citadel Pass-Golden Valley-Valley of The Rocks-Og Lake-Assiniboine
Getting to Sunshine Village
Drive 9 km (5.5 miles) West of Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway to the Sunshine Village interchange. Drive to the Sunshine Village parking lot at the bottom of the gondola (9 km). From the Sunshine Parking Lot you can hike the 6.5 km road to Sunshine Village or buy a seat on the White Mountain Adventures Sunshine Shuttle Bus (1 403 762-7889). The White Mountain Adventure shuttle bus begins July 1st and ends September 30th. Cost- 2010 rates: If you are hiking to Assiniboine you can purchase a one-way fare from the Sunshine Parking Lot for $15 per person. Return fare- $26 for adults to ride to Sunshine Village from the Sunshine parking lot (children 3-12- $15). From Banff- $55 for adults. Shuttles to Sunshine Village begin from the Sunshine parking lot at 8:00 am. You must pre-book to get on the 8 am bus. The 8 am bus will not be available after Aug 31st. The bus shuttles back and forth every hour, with buses heading down 15 minutes after every hour. The last bus goes down at 5:30 pm.
Follow the trail from the Sunshine Interpretive Center up to the alpine meadows of the Great Divide (2,300 meters-1.2 km). At 1.3 km turn left to go to Citadel Pass (Rock Isle Lake is to the right). After crossing a ridge underneath Quartz Hill the trail drops down to a campsite on the shores of Howard Douglas Lake (5.8 km), with a spectacular view of Mount Assiniboine (3,610 meters, 11,844 feet). If you camp at Howard Douglas Lake you will need an Overnight Wilderness Pass from the Banff National Park Information Center ($9.80+ $11.70 Reservation Fee).
Make sure you carry enough water to get through Valley of the Rocks- you might want to fill your bottles at Howard Douglas Lake. On the summit of Citadel Pass (2,360 meters-at 9.3 km) a side trail to Fatigue Pass branches uphill to the left. Continue straight ahead on the on the Og Lake/Assiniboine Trail. There is a steep descent down Citadel Pass towards the Simpson River. Campers spending the night at Porcupine, or Policeman's Meadows (16.5 km) continue down to the bottom of the valley. Policeman's Meadows is too far off the main trail to make the detour to camp there.
If you are not camping at Porcupine, follow the traverse on the steep open sidehill of Golden Valley- this is the most direct route to Valley of the Rocks. The Valley of the Rocks is a bizarre jumble of rocks from an ancient landslide. There is no water in this 6 km section- be sure to carry water! Og Lake (22.2 km), with a spectacular view of Mount Assiniboine, is the end of Valley of the Rocks. There is camping at Og Lake with a self-registration system ($10.00 per person per night).
The Og Campground is less crowded than the Magog Campground, especially during high season. You will cross Og Meadows after leaving Og Lake and reach a junction at 5.1 km near Mount Assiniboine Lodge. If you are going to the Naiset Huts turn left at this junction. You will see Assiniboine Lodge in a few minutes. The Naiset Huts for campers are a five-minute walk beyond Assiniboine Lodge (500 meters). The Naiset Huts have a reservation system summer and winter ($20.00 per person per night to make reservations in advance). There will be a custodian on duty. If you do not have a reservation, you can check with the Custodian at the Naiset Huts to see if there is any drop-in space available.
If you are going straight to the Magog Campground, continue heading West for 1.6 km on the trail above Lake Magog. The Magog Campground has a self-registration system ($10.00 per person per night). A Custodian from Mount Assiniboine Lodge will come by in the afternoon or evening to provide information for campers.