Hike to Wilcox Pass
Canada › Wilcox Campground
Added by Brenda Lin
Take in stunning views of the Columbia Icefield on this 7-mile roundtrip hike. The sweeping meadows often feature abundant wildlife.
Views of the Columbia Icefield from the Icefields Parkway pale in comparison with those achieved along this trail. Few trails anywhere are so instantly and extravagantly gratifying. That being said, be prepared to share the trail with a dozen other hikers as this premier scenery is no secret.
Beginning from the Wilcox Campground access road, the trail climbs through a stunted forest of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir. You will soon attain views of the peaky, icy, western horizon. The ascent eases as the trail skirts a ravine. From here the trail enter a fragile environment of alpine meadows. Be on the lookout for herds of bighorn sheep as they are a common sight seen nibbling at the tundra. Reach the Wilcox Pass monument cairn at an elevation of 7790’. Continue on as the trail maintains an effortless grade through the pass. Tread lightly on this fragile land and step on rock wherever possible. The whole icy vastness of the Columbia Icefield now looms ahead of you on the horizon. The view is comprised of the Athabasca and Dome Glaciers between two prodigious peaks: Mt. Athabasca and Snow Dome. If time permits, spend some time exploring the surrounding meadows and small lakes. The scenery here is quite immense. After marveling at the astounding vistas, return along the same trail.
- Plenty of water or water filter
- Sturdy Hiking Boots
- Trekking Poles
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
Spring, Summer, Autumn
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A whole new perspective on Athabasca Glacier
This hike was recommended to us by our campground host near Lake Louise (little place called Mosquito Campground 30 mins away from the lake that I highly recommend). It was definitely one of our favorite hikes in the Icefield Parkway area because it gave us a birds eye view of Athabasca Glacier. We had the entire view to ourselves and it was absolutely breathtaking.
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