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Trip

Backpack - Glory Basin & Kaslo Lake

4-day backpack to explore Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park's scenic chain of lakes from Gibson to Kaslo Lakes, granite peaks. Two layover hike days to higher subalpine scenic Glory Basin near Upper and Lower Sapphire Lakes, Kokanee Glacier and Smuggler trails/routes with lakes/tarns, colorful wildflower meadows, and spectacular high views to Kokanee Glacier, towering granite formations, and creeklets weaving through mossy wildflower meadows. Expect some wildlife sightings - birds, small to larger mammals.

  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 25.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,830 ft
  • Pace: 1 - 1.5 uphill

7/26 Lv 7:00 am Springer Creek RV Park, Slocan Lake BC.  Convoy drive to meet 7:30am at junction highway 3A .8 mile E of Kokanee Creek Prov. Park (approx. 12 miles NE of Nelson, BC).  Arrive at TH by 8:15am.

All vehicles parked overnight at/near Kokanee Glacier trailhead (for Kokanee Lk-Kaslo Lk)  are strongly recommended to have chicken wire wrap (see route/place link for details).  Also recommended for most other Selkirk/Purcell backpacks.

Updated 4-14:

Members only.  Minimum 3 persons.  Leader permission required. Preference for participants registering for both backpacks – this backpack and July 22-24 Gwillim Lakes/Valhalla Prov. Park.

Submit leader permission requests beginning April 18, with complete responses to all questions (to follow soon).

Read all leader notes and route/place including links, before submitting request for leader permission. 

Leader permission request forms will include complete responses with following information:  provide examples of your recent (during last 12-24 mo) Mountaineers (at least one) and private 3+day moderate to strenuous backpacks (incl location, mileage, elev gain), planned backpacks between now and 7/20, primary interests in this particular trip (backpack, photography, other).  Current fitness activities, approx pack weight (base & total) for comparable multi-night backpack,  comfort/experience with travel over potential early summer snow fields, comfort/experience with back country travel/camping in grizzly habitat including agreeing to carry bear spray, transportation plans (drive or need ride, carpool interest), have current passport for border crossing, and commitment level to this backpack.

Relaxed pace to moderate pace, to accommodate photo opportunities near camp and occasional stops along trails/routes. 

Daily itinerary  (relaxed pace uphill/1-1.5 mph uphill; relaxed to moderate pace flats/descents/1.5-2 mph)

Day 1:  TH Gibson Lake (5,040’) via forest flowers and expansive wildflower meadows enroute to Kokanee Lake, Keen Lake, Garland Lake, and the larger Kaslo Lake (campsites at S end of lake, 6,470’).  Explore Kaslo Lake area and short hike (approx 2 mi RT, 400' gain/loss to historic Slocan Chief Cabin.  Afternoon/evening photography,  swim, relaxing. Approx 5 miles, 1500' gain to camp + optional short hike with light pack to Kokanee Glacier and Slocan Chief Cabins.   Kaslo Lake backcountry camp ($10Can/night, see Kokanee Glacier PP link to backcountry camping info) at has tent pads, cooking shelter, pit toilet and bear-proof food storage.

Day 2:  Partial to full day hike, mostly trail and some route travel.  We'll ascend Enterprise Pass, visit Lemon Pass, upper and lower Sapphire Lakes and higher country beyond up to approx 7,900.'  Explore Glory Basin's open, gentle terrain filled with tarns, creeklets, rocky slabs, mossy gardens, and wildflowers.  Approx 6-8+ miles RT, 1,500-2,000+ feet gain/loss.

Day 3:  Full day hike on Kokanee Glacier and Smugglers Ridge trails (via Slocan Chief cabin and connector between both trails), and routes up to approx 8,600.’ Explore gentle to moderate trails along lakes and tarns, mossy creeklets, wildflower meadows, ascending slopes and ridges, and talus slopes up to approx 8,600’ to spectacular glacier/alpine views.  Approx 7.5-9 miles and up to 2,170’ gain/loss

Day 4:  Return same route as Day 1 to TH mid-afternoon or earlier.  Approx 5 miles, 1500' loss. 

Backcountry camp at Kaslo Lake (approx $10Can/night, leader to verify if per person or site, payable at trailhead/campground kiosk), or ACC Kokanee Glacier Cabin ($25/night, payable to leader ASAP in advance, 50-100% non-refundable based on cancelation notice and per ACC policy). 

Trail description/photos links:  https://hikebiketravel.com/the-stunning-hike-to-the-kokanee-glacier-cabin/

Keyhole sidetrip (begins near Kokanee Lk):  https://kooteneer.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/the-keyhole/

Snowfree trails.  Conditions report:  https://nrs.objectstore.gov.bc.ca/kuwyyf/kokanee_glacier_park_trail_report_62815749ec.pdf

Grizzly safe travel and camping practices required.  Bear spray required.

Be aware of 7.5 - 8 hours approx drive time from Seattle to Slocan or Nelson BC area.  High clearance AWD-type vehicles (and at least 1 full spare tire) recommended for travel on gravel/dirt forest roads accessing trailheads in Kootenay region.

Arrive prior afternoon/evening for front country accommodations in/near Slocan:  Slocan's Springer Creek CG & RV Park or nearby motels/lodges.  The small community of Sloan has groceries, cafes, gas, etc.  Alternate front country camp:  Kokanee Creek Provincial Park (approx 12 mi NE of Nelson).  Leader will camp at Springer Creek CG/RV park in Slocan.

Consider extending your back country explorations in the Selkirk and Purcell Mountains with one or more trips preceding or following this backpack:  July 22-24 Gwillim Lakes Basin/Vallhalla Prov Park backpack, 7/31-8/1 Jumbo Pass backpack, 8/2 Monica Meadows day/photo hike.  Leader will do return backpacks/hikes to Jumbo, Monica for late September and early October larches.

Route/Place

Glory Basin & Kaslo Lake


Roster
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
  • Bear spray
  • Trekking poles recommended
Trip Reports