If the hike through Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is one of the premier trails in the Canadian Rockies, then the trek to the Nublet and Nub Peak is akin the crown jewel of the entire journey. With Lake Magog as a starting point, the climb to the top can be done as a 12-km day hike offering spectacular views of Mount Assiniboine with its surrounding takes and towering peaks.
Having settled into our accommodations at the Jonesy Naiset Hut, we were happy to leave our heavy backpacks behind on this fourth day of our Assiniboine adventure. The overcast conditions from the previous day gave way to brilliant blue skies, and we started off from Assiniboine Lodge and Lake Magog on a gradual ascent surrounded by lush forest and wildflowers. As we clear the tree line, an open area provides a spectacular view of the Sunburst Peaks and surrounding lakes, and majestic Mount Assiniboine in the background. We’ve arrived at The Nublet!
The Nublet provides arguably the most scenic vistas of the hike, with great views of Sunburst and Elizabeth lakes and their surrounding peaks. We spend some time here enjoying the surroundings before pushing onwards to the next stage: through some grassy hills to The Niblet, another hump and false summit roughly half-way to the peak. Here we are substantially higher up with a better view of Elizabeth Lake below, and the Nub Peak is now within striking distance.
The final push to the peak is across rugged terrain and in places involves some light scrambling, but all very manageable. This exposed section can get quite windy but we were lucky to be hiking under perfect conditions this day. The Nub Peak is a wide and level summit that provides stunning 360-degree views of the peaks and valleys of Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. We could even make out Og Lake where we camped just a day earlier.
After revelling in our achievement, we start our descent from the peak. While most hikers return on the same path as the ascent, there is an alternate route down that makes for a more interesting loop hike. The initial trail isn’t well-marked but we locate it after some searching and follow it down the steep eastern side of the mountain towards Lake Elizabeth. It then leads us past Cerulean and Sunburst Lakes (and optionally past the Magog camp grounds) towards Lake Magog. As we descend, the landscape returns to lush green forest, including a downhill section with very aggressive mosquitoes.
Finally, the trail leads back to our starting point at Lake Magog and Assiniboine Lodge, with gorgeous views of the lake. We finish the day hike just in time for a well-deserved dinner at our cabin accommodations, thankful for a perfect day in the heart of Mount Assiniboine park. We’ve passed the midpoint of our adventure!