Earlier in June, we took to the mountains in Alberta to do some hiking. This particular hike through the Sunshine meadows promised great scenery with mountainscapes (is that even a word?) and valleys for as far as the eye can see. I was hooked as soon as I read great scenery. So doing a little more research, I noticed that the hike actually started in Alberta, but eventually made its way into the neighbouring province of British Columbia.
The hike starts at the foot of the Sunshine Village Ski Resort, but eventually crosses over the continental divide, entering British Columbia. That was exciting in its own right. But what I later found out was that we had to actually get to the village somehow to even start our hike into the meadow.
Normally during hiking season there is a bus that goes up this 5km gravel road, all the way to the village (see schedule and fees here). We had unfortunately gone one week too early so the bus was not operating. We had no choice but to hike our way up the road if we wanted to go to the other hikes. This view of the ski lifts was a constant reminder of how we could have saved ourselves the initial arduous hike up the gravel road!
This picture above was taken at an elevation of approximately 2220m in Sunshine Meadows, just before reaching the beautiful Rock Isle Lake in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. The wild flowers were just starting to bloom haphazardly throughout the meadow, and made for a great photo. You can still see the snow in the surrounding areas as temperatures were just starting to warm up when I went. There were still sections of the hike where we had to go through about a foot of snow!
If you can imagine the wild flowers growing all over the meadow with no snow on the ground, it would definitely make for a spectacular view and warrant people’s remarks when they say this hike offers the most stunning alpine scenery in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Because we had to hike the initial 5km up the gravel road, our hike ended at Rock Isle Lake, pictured below. If we had taken the bus up, we would have continued on this trail for another 2km and another 200m elevation gain for even more spectacular views of the meadows. Perhaps this is just a sign that we are meant to come back to experience the park once again.
Because it was pre-season, we were pretty much the only ones doing this hike that day. We saw nobody else on the trails and we had this entire vista to ourselves. We loved it. We sat on the bench by the lookout, and ate our lunch here, admiring the pure beauty that surrounded us.
The Sunshine Meadows hike is a definite must if you’re in the area. The summertime will have you seeing wild flowers all over the meadow, and in the fall, you’ll see the golden hues of the larches light up the meadows. Whenever you go—even in the Spring or Winter—you can’t lose with this spectacular scenery that surrounds you.