Since we are planning on a monumental backpacking trip as a right of passage for Blaise in the coming summers, we had to get started with some short trips this summer – both to test equipment and our legs.
I decided on a three night in-and-out with a couple day hikes between the heavy lifting days. We parked at the Sunshine parking lot just west of the town of Banff and hiked through the Healy Pass to the Egypt Lake camp ground.
It was wet, but not rainy, all 12 km in. This was fine since we didn’t get over heated on the 700 m elevation gain.
The campground is rustic. Wires and massive picnic tables a good hike from the tent sites to store and prepare food. Square plots covered in wood chips to pitch tents. Pharaoh Creek is the source for water at the base of the valley.
On Day 2, Blaise and I hiked a light 8 km to the three lakes north of camp: Pharaoh, Black Rock and Sphinx Lakes. Hiking a little way up one of the south ridge of tiny Sphinx Lake produced a stunning view of the mountains to the north.
We relaxed by Pharaoh Creek and read under the sun.
We explored the three lakes to the south on the third day: Egypt, Scarab and Mummy Lakes. All three of them were far more impressive than the day before. Egypt is fed by a waterfall from Scarab which is fed by Mummy above it.
This is a pika. He bit my shoe.
After the three lakes, we added 3 km to our little tour and walked up a beautiful meadow to Whistling Pass for some spectacular views of the mountains to the north and south.
We packed up and hiked back to the car under very sunny skies (aloe vera is my friend). Looking back after a 3 km uphill climb, we could see Scarab Lake.
Healy Pass is stunning: red, yellow and white flowers carpet the meadow surrounded by peaks near and far.
Blaise and I ended up logging over 42 km. He proved to be a fantastic companion (as always) and a strong backpacker. I look forward to our next outing.