2014-07-05 | Mystic Pass | 2284m | 31.1km | RG (GPS) 1242m
Couldn’t find a lot of beta on this one but Peter was inspired by a photo he saw and a perusal of the maps indicated it was a worthy trip as we pull out of shoulder season for the high country. Could be some snow, but not a lot (as we both rather despise post-holing). Some people venture into these areas as a backpacking trip – more suitable to a fast day trip than to a backpack, but it’s well graded so it would go easy enough.
Trail starts just off the Banff Parkway at Moose meadows and goes past the Ink Pots. Many tourist types go up Johnston Canyon and extend their day to the Ink Pots so there is a shared section of trail just before the Ink Pots. This was a busier section on the way down and was the only part of the day I didn’t care for. Some asshat that I passed persisted to stay huffing and puffing right on my tail – Peter laughingly suggested he was drafting. Aside from that section on the way out we hardly saw a soul.
Trail overall is very well graded and fairly new timber bridges are in place at all the critical creek crossings. Pass is quite broad and flat so lots of little areas to explore. We weren’t quite in the right position to look down on Mystic Lake but we scraped the idea of further scrambling for that possible view in favor of poking around near some lingering snow drifts. Of note, a few larch scattered across the pass would make this very scenic in late September (but not worth the haul just for that!)
Good long day and a decent choice for the time of year – otherwise similar views are to be had with much shorter approaches.
© Clayton Ditzler