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Backpack - Floe Lake & Numa Pass

Photo-oriented backpack to stunning scenic area on southern Rockwall trail in Kootenay NP. Timed for golden larches.

  • Tue, Sep 18, 2018 — Fri, Sep 21, 2018
  • Seattle Branch Backpacking
  • Photography, Backpacking
  • Adults
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 20.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,600 ft

8am (Mtn Time) Floe Lake trailhead.  Approx 45-60 minute drive from Lk Louise.

9/7 UPDATE:  Rockwall trails to Floe Lake and Numa Pass reopened 8/29.  Good air quality and visibility, after earlier BC wildfire smoke issues during August.  Currently minimal risk of periodic light haze.

MEMBERS ONLY, with recent 2-4 day backpack experience.   Mountaineers membership (non-guest) required, prior to requesting permission.   Leader's permission is required, and after leader approval of  experience/qualifications questionnaire.   

Serious photographers are preferred, and with recent backpack experience comparable to this trip.  

Photographers have priority registration through April 30. 

Trip is currently open for 4 persons.  

Minimum 3 participants; maximum 5-6.   Tent-sharing if group size 5-6. 

$35 backcountry trip fee.  Cancellation fee: $15 by Sep 10 (waived if replacement within 7 days before Sep 10); no refund after Sep 10.   Parks Canada annual permit required per person and front country camp/lodging (reservations recommended) are participant responsibility.   Leader is camping in Banff NP's Lake Louise campground prior to and following backpack.  Other park camping options prior to/following near Banff town, or prior to at Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay NP.

Leisurely to moderate pace with generous photo stops, with extensive photo opportunities near camp and during day hikes from base camp.   Be sure your backpack expectations are compatible with the photography emphasis and pace of this backpack, or consider another backpack that better meets your interests.  

Itinerary details:  day 1 - 6.5 miles 2350’ gain to Floe Lake camp; day 2-3 - hikes 4-6+ miles 1100’ gain to Numa Pass, Foster Peak Ridge, lower slopes of Numa Peak and beyond; day 4 - return to Floe Lake trailhead (option to return via Numa Creek trail, currently closed). Sunrise and early AM photography at Floe Lake and Numa Pass.

Copies of Floe Lake and southern Rockwall trail descriptions, and topo map will be provided to registered participants.  Recommended topo: Chrismar/The Adventure Map: The Rockwall (Kootenay NP), 1:50,000.

Bear safe travel/camping practices required, as black and grizzly bears range throughout area..   Each participant should carry 1 can of bear spray.   We will travel safely as a group from camp.

Bearproof food storage (elevated cables) at backcountry camp.  No need for canisters.  Leader secured a backcountry group permit with reservations for 4 sites at Floe Lake camp.

NOTE:  Alternative backback tenting or hut-based trip (Lk Louise, BC Purcells/Rockies)  will be offered, if Kootenay NP/Floe Lk access or air quality/smoky issues recur.

Trekking poles and micro spikes recommended for steeper trail grades, and potential light snowy/icy trails.

Kootenay NP backcountry info:

BC Drive webcams, S. Interior region (check for road / sky clarity): check Hwy 1 cams  for Golden to Lk Louise, and Hwy 95 cams Golden to Lake Louise.

Photo links:



Floe Lake & Numa Pass

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports