5.5 to 8 hours / 12.5K
Owen Creek located
in Banff National Park next to the
Highway (#11) 2km east of the park gate,
west of Rocky Mountain House.
3.5 hours from Calgary.
you're traveling from
the route through the National Parks
is shorter than heading through
Rocky Mountain House.
Owen Creek to Michelle Lakes is part of the Great Divide Trail.
Description: Park at the
Owen Creek roadside pullout located on the north side
of the David Thompson Highway, 2kms east of the Banff National Park
toll gate. Follow Owen Creek trail past the falls and several turquoise
colored stream pools. Owen Creek itself is a hidden gem and well worth a short day
hike. Continue on until you reach the confluence from Mount Wilson. Stay right
along Owen creek as it ascends higher. The trail is not a dead end as some
suggest. It fades in and out and you'll
often have to climb to the top of the creek gorge to avoid a few wet steep
sections. After what seems like an endless creek drudge the gorge finally flattens out
and you can now boulder hop towards the bottom of the col and meadows located
straight ahead. Cross the meadows and work your way up to the centre of the col
while keeping an eye out for Big Horn Sheep. Pass a large cairn located on the
top left side of the col then descend approximately 300m to Michelle Lakes.
Pick your route down to the lakes. I stayed on the ridge spine then dropped down
steep rock and scree located near the waterfall at the south end of the left
lake. Views above the lakes and surrounding meadows are absolutely stunning. You'll
likely see several helicopters passing overhead offering tours of Mount Wilson
Glacier or dropping fisherman off at the lakes.
Local campgrounds include
Two O'clock Creek and
Crescent Falls Campground. Trailheads to
Alexandra's Henry's Trail,
Icefalls Two O'clock Creek,
Two O'clock Ridge,
located near here.
You are in bear country.