It’s Day 2 of our 6-day trek in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park and we’re excited to get on the trail again after our first night of camping. The day’s hike is a very manageable 9 kilometers through two craggy valleys with a gradually ascending elevation. From Porcupine camp through Golden Valley and the Valley of the Rocks, this section is some of the most rugged we would cover during the trip.
Here is the outline of our hike through Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.
After a hearty breakfast, we packed our equipment and set out from Porcupine campground. Taking our time, we were the last ones to leave the site – all the other hikers had already hit the trail. The first few kilometers of trail were through some dense bush and forest before opening up to Golden Valley. This was a nice change from the heavy woods, offering better views of the surrounding mountains and the occasional emerald-green lake.
We continue the climb and about half way to our destination the terrain starts to change as we enter the aptly named Valley of the Rocks. Strewn along the trail are boulders of all sizes, and the path becomes very rocky as the forest gives way to a barren and alien landscape. It looked like a scene straight out of Middle Earth!
The seemingly endless trail through the Valley of the Rocks finally crests on a hill that reveals an incredible view of another valley, with majestic Mount Assiniboine in the distance. On the valley floor we could clearly see Og Lake, our destination for the day. This was our the first clear view of the peak since we started out from Sunshine two days ago, and it was encouraging to see that we were so much closer.
Camping at Og Lake is by reservation only (and the reason we had to book months in advance) so anyone staying here for the night is assured a tent pad. Under wide open skies and with no trees to block our views, this turned out to be the most scenic campsite of the entire trip. A perfect place to stargaze the Milky Way.
The most popular route to Assiniboine is through Bryant Creek and over Assiniboine Pass. It is a well-marked trail. The helicopter flight path to Assiniboine follows this hiking route and expect to hear helicopter noise on flight days. Most of the hike follows a creek bottom, so the scenery doesn’t start opening up until the Bryant Creek Warden’s Cabin.