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Bourgeau Lake



Trans-Canada Highway, 3 km (1.9 mi) west of the Sunshine Village interchange.

GPS Coordinates

Latitude: 51.168203802277176
Longitude: -115.73066711425781


7.5 km (4.6 mi) one way


Day hike

Ascent Time

2.5 to 3 hours one way

Round Trip Time

6 to 7 hours

Elevation Gain

725 m (2,380 ft)

Max Elevation

2160 m (7,100 ft)

Things You'll See

Of the numerous high lakes along the Bow Valley, Bourgeau is the nearest to the town of Banff and has been a favoured hiking destination for many decades. Surrounded by lush subalpine meadows and cradled between the highest and most spectacular mountains of the Massive Range, its popularity is well deserved. At the lake's rocky shore, hikers are welcomed by pikas, golden-mantled ground squirrels, chipmunks, and white-tailed ptarmigan. Through late July and August, colourful wildflowers bloom in the meadow.


The trail climbs through dense forest above the Wolverine Creek Valley. Options: Beyond the lake, a steep trail leads to Harvey Pass, 2.2 km (1.4 mi) and 310 vertical metres (1,020 feet) from Bourgeau. After skirting a shallow, rockbound lake, it emerges into an alpine bowl, where you turn south (left) and climb to a tiny lake in Harvey Pass. From here, views extend as far as Mount Assiniboine.

Filed Under: Spring, Summer, Autumn
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