“A trail with seemingly endless switchbacks with outstanding alpine views in the last quarter.”
— Ang Lopez
Features: Lake — Swimming — Views — Wildflowers
Trail is very steep and narrow in sections with significant exposure, particularly near the top. Lots of rocks and roots with high consequence makes for active hiking and high-risk trail running.
The first part of the trail is a 1km crossing of Buttle Lake from the Augerpoint Trailhead parking lot. Try and time your crossing either before noon or after 5PM to avoid the high afternoon winds.
The trail starts at the Philips Ridge Marine Campsite and ascends gently at the start through a gorgeous mixed deciduous and coniferous forest. It is well graded and very easy to follow and is characterized by an enormous number of switchbacks in order to make the 1270m elevation gain more palatable. There are some large Douglas-Firs and Hemlocks at the lower elevations with Yellow Cedars frequenting the higher elevations.
Trail is a mix of gravel, loam, dirt, loose rock and bluffy rocks with some mild exposure near the top.
The end of the trail crests the ridge and opens up into a wonderful hillocky meadow with many tarns and different sized lakes.The last quarter of the trail is in the open alpine zone with stunning views back down to the lake and the eastern Strathcona peaks across the valley.
Fast travelers have completed the trail in 3-4 hours while mere humans usually take 5-6 hrs.
The Marble Meadows trail extracts a heavy toll in the many switchbacks to get to the alpine zone, but the rewards are stunning including alpine peaks, geological interest, and fossil deposits.
If you're looking to head deeper into the backcountry, this trail continues further west, contouring around the multiple alpine lakes in this lofty area.
Flora & Fauna
Lots of wildflowers in July. Potential for bear sightings.