Maligne Pass Trails starts at a marked trail junction on Poboktan Pass Trail
, 3.9 miles from the Poboktan Pass Trail
trailhead on the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93). Turn left/north here to run to Maligne Pass on Maligne Pass Trail.
Starting off in the beautiful fir forest, this is a fun trail—it crosses Poligne Creek six times plus a significant side creek in the first 2.9 miles to reach Avalanche trail camp. Some of these crossings are bridged, some are less "bridged", and one has no bridge. Additionally, there are minor side streams to cross along the way. Be prepared to get your feet wet.
Although, the trail starts in the forest, it climbs continually to reach Avalanche Trail camp. As it climbs, the steep valleyed Poligne Creek is always nearby, and rugged mountain views peek through breaks in the trees. Climbing steadily, the trees thin as one nears Avalanche Trail camp, and more of the surrounding mountains can be seen. After the 2.9 mile mark Poligne Creek crossing, Avalanche Trail camp is up to the left of the trail. Situated on the steep hillside above Poligne Creek, it has great views of the mountains and Poligne Creek below.
Going right after crossing Poligne Creek at the 2.9-mile mark, Maligne Pass Trail continues on to Maligne Pass. Very soon one leaves the forest behind and is in high meadows that continue all the way to the pass. As the trail continues to climb gradually, there is one last bridged crossing and several muddy minor crossings and wet spots for about the first mile past Avalanche Trail camp. The trail soon levels off in a beautiful treeless, expansive valley of high meadows. This valley is bordered by the Endless Chain mountains on the southwest, and Le Grand Brazeau mountains to the northeast. The trail runs northwest up the valley, through the meadows, and past a small lake, to reach Maligne Pass at the north end of the small lake. Maligne Pass is a relatively long, flat pass. There are many places to take a break, enjoy the views, and eat.
Although this trail description ends at Maligne Pass, the Great Divide Trail continues northwest, down into the Maligne River valley, and eventually comes out at the north end of Maligne Lake. HOWEVER, north of Maligne Pass, the "trail" is not always trail, one may need to bring a machete, and might have to enjoy "swimming" the swift, rocky Maligne River. All not recommended.
This is a segment of the GDT (Great Divide Trail)
Mixed fir forest with woodland wildflowers. Gorgeous high meadows.