Marvel Pass & Aurora Lake

Hike 9 miles round trip hike with 2,500 feet of elevation gain to a lake and pass in the beautiful Canadian Rockies. From the Aurora Lake base camp there are many options for day hikes to Owl Lake, Marvel Lake, and Wonder Pass.

getting there

Drive north on Highway 93/95 8 mi (13 km) from Invermere Radium. Turn right and proceed through the park gates. In 12.5 mi (20 km) turn right onto Settlers Road. In 8 mi (13 km) turn left onto the Kootenay-Palliser Forest Road. In 1.2 mi (2 km) turn left  at the intersection just after the entrance to Nipika Mountain Resort. At 11.2 (18 km) turn left onto Cross-Mitchel Forest Road. In 3.7 mi (6 km) turn right just before the bridge and within site of the mine. In 3.7 mi (6 km) reach the trailhead and parking area on the right (4,725 ft). It is roughly 1.5 hours from the town of Radium.

 ON THE TRAIL

Hike the trail along Aurora Creek to Aurora Lake, a small lake located just below the high point of Marvel Pass. At the pass head northeast along Owl Creek to Owl Lake or northwest and descend to the larger Marvel lake with an option to ascend to Wonder Pass.

  • Aurora Creek Trailhead to Aurora Lake and Marvel Pass: 4.5 miles (7.4 km)
  • Aurora Lake to Owl Lake: 3 miles (4.7km)
  • Marvel Pass to Marvel Lake: 3.9 miles (6.2 km)

NoteS

  • The best trip timing is mid-to late September for golden larches or mid-summer for meadows with abundant wildflowers and views of near to distant peaks of Banff National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.
  • This is grizzly country so consider bringing bear spray.
  • The road is good for most of the trip but final 2.5 mi (4 km) can be rough—a high clearance vehicle is recommended.
  • Guidebook: Hikes Around Invermere and the Columbia River Valley by Aaron Cameron and Matt Gunn (Rocky
    Mountain Books 1998).
  • Guidebook: Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, 5h ed. by Kathy and Craig Copeland (hikingcamping.com 2004).

INFORMATION for leaders

Considerations for international travel

  • Start by reviewing the latest regulations.
  • Everyone will need a passport or other valid ID such as a NEXUS card.
  • NEXUS cards can save a lot of time but only work if everyone in the car has one.
  • Make sure your vehicle insurance is valid for Canada.
  • Make sure your health insurance is valid for Canada.
  • Border crossing regulations are strict in both directions. Know what you’re allowed to take and declare everything to avoid problems.
  • You may be able to save time by checking alternate border crossings. Find apps that show updated times and other good tips.
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Length: 30.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,500 ft
  • 7,856 ft
  • Land Manager: Banff National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 6
  • Maximum Party Size: 6
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
Map
  • CNTS Mount Assiniboine 82J/13
Activities

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