• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    12.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    3360 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

This out-and-back hike will take you some of Banff National Park's most scenic lakes and incredible mountain views. 

The trailhead for Bourgeau Lake/Harvey Pass is on the west side of Trans-Canada Highway approximately 5 miles west of Banff.  The turn-off is approximately 0.9 miles past the Sunshine Village Ski Resort exit.  There is a small parking lot and a restroom at the trailhead.

Enter through the gate to begin.  Initially, the trail steadily climbs through the forest with long drawn out switchbacks.  You’ll have several glimpses and a crossings of Wolverine Creek.  Eventually, the trail opens with a scenic waterfall formed by the creek.  The trail significantly steepens just past the waterfall.

Continue your climb until you reach Bourgeau Lake.  The lake is approximately 4.6 miles and 2375 ft of elevation gain from the trailhead.  With its emerald water and mountain backdrop, Bourgeau Lake is a perfect lunch/snack spot.

After hanging out at Bourgeau Lake, continue on the trail toward Harvey Pass.  Just past the lake the trail narrows and steepens again.  Follow the switchbacks until you reach the boulder field.  Here the trail turns rocky and may require a bit of scrambling.  

After the rocks you’ll come across a gorgeous unnamed lake.  From here to Harvey Pass the scenery is simply epic.  You’ll pass a smaller unnamed lake on the right and soon reach Harvey Lake.  Harvey Pass is a short climb past Harvey Lake.  Here you’ll have incredible views of the surrounding Canadian Rockies.  Harvey Pass is approximately 1.5 miles with 985 ft of elevation gain from Bourgeau Lake.

Allow 6-8 hrs to complete this moderate to strenuous out-and-back hike.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Food and water
  • Trekking poles
  • Bear Spray
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

This is a hike you do when you want something with more of a challenge, less people, and great scenery. We ate lunch at Bourgeau Lake before finishing up to Harvey Pass, the area there is quite wide open and it is not hard to find a great spot to relax. My only advisement would be (and this should be any hike once you are in the mountains) bring extra layers! On the same hike we had rain, hail, snow, and warm sunshine.

9 months ago
9 months ago

Jon King Explorer

Based in Kansas City. Instagram: @joneking

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

6 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves