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Hiking The Nublet In Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

Hiking the Nublet in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

If you’re looking for the classic Mount Assiniboine view then you must hike the Nublet. It’s an easy day hike from either the Lake Magog Campground or from Mount Assiniboine Lodge. Strong hikers can continue on to Nub Peak for the ultimate view in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.

"Our hike starts in front of Mt. Assiniboine Lodge"

Our hike starts in front of Mt. Assiniboine Lodge

We did the hike to the Nublet in the second week of September after a big early season snowstorm came through leaving the area looking very wintry. Although it wasn’t much fun getting into the park the day before – due to horrendous driving out of Calgary, the payoff – incredible beauty of the snow covered peaks along with deep blue skies. 

Start the hike to the Nublet in front of Mount Assiniboine Lodge

We started our hike right in front of Mount Assiniboine Lodge. If you’re camping at Lake Magog, it’s very easy to find the signed trail to Nub Peak. The distance between the lodge and the campsite is 1.6 kilometres.

Within minutes of starting out on the trail, we ran into the bird pictured below. It seemed totally unafraid of us – and was probably far more interested in just trying to stay warm. The temperature first thing in the morning was -16°C – in September.

a bird not enjoying the snow

This poor bird was all fluffed up because of the cold

From this intersection, it was a steady climb to the ridge below the Nublet. The views as you’ll see in the photos left me with my mouth open in awe.

On the trail to Nub Peak

We are heading in the direction of Nub Peak

Mount Robson Provincial Park

Beautiful everywhere you look

Looking back in the direction of Mount Assiniboine Lodge

Looking back in the direction of Mount Assiniboine Lodge

View over Cerulean Lake on the way to Nub Peak

View over Cerulean Lake

"The view from part way up the Nublet"

The view from part way up the Nublet

Easy route-finding up the Nublet

Once we got to the ridge, we had to break trail with snow knee-deep in places. But even with the trail snow covered, it was easy to find a route up to the top of the Nublet.

The last steep pitch to the Nublet, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

The last steep pitch to the summit of the Nublet

"Looking out to Elizabeth Lake enroute to Nub Peak"

Looking out to Elizabeth Lake from the Nublet

Our original plan had been to climb to the summit of Nub Peak. To get there, you must traverse an airy ridge from the Nublet which is really more of a scramble, but under snowy conditions I wasn’t feeling “it”.

Chances of falling were slim but still it wasn’t in me to continue. Plus I wasn’t in the mood that day to hike for another three hours so after climbing about a third of the way along the ridge, I talked John into turning around. I don’t do that often, but after a wildly busy summer, I think I was just a little burnt out.

"John heading towards Nub Peak"

John heading towards Nub Peak

The return hike was a snap. I think we were back at the signed intersection in less than an hour – and in the two-three hours since we’d started hiking, the temperature had climbed enough that the snow started to melt.

Looking at the Nublet from the ridge to Nub Peak

Looking at the Nublet from the ridge to Nub Peak

Looking at the Nublet from the ridge to Nub Peak

A heavily snow and wind blown tree

"Mount Assiniboine dominates the landscape on this hike"

Mount Assiniboine dominates the landscape on the Nublet hike

"Mt Assiniboine view"

By afternoon much of the snow is gone

I feel like I have unfinished business in this park. I would like to return and explore the area in more depth – and summit Nub Peak.

Getting to the Lake Magog Campsite & Mount Assiniboine Lodge

You have three options for getting to the Lake Magog Campsite – and Mount Assiniboine Lodge. Two are difficult and one is easy but expensive.

Easy but expensive

Fly in via helicopter for $155 + each way. It’s about a 10 minute flight from the Mount Shark Trailhead. From what I was told, you have to be staying at either the Naiset Huts or Mount Assiniboine Lodge to get on a flight. It hasn’t always been this way, so I don’t know if I just got bad information.

Hike via Citadel Pass

Hike in starting at the Sunshine Trailhead. It’s accessed via a 9 kilometre shuttle bus ride from the Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort, located 18 kilometres west of Banff. From the resort it’s a 29 kilometre one way hike – that many people split up by spending a night at Og Lake.

Hike in from the Mount Shark Trailhead

Hike in from the Mount Shark Trailhead, located 38 kilometres south of Canmore via the Smith-Dorrien Trail. Much of the hiking is tedious but it’s a shorter route – around 25 kilometres one way. It too can be broken up by staying at the Bryant Creek Shelter. Once you get to Marvel Lake it gets more interesting.

In my opinion, the ultimate trip would involve hiking in from Sunshine Village, spending a few nights at the Lake Magog Campsite and then hiking out over Wonder Pass to the Mount Shark Trailhead. But you’d need to arrange a car shuttle or pick-up to do that.

Further reading on things to do in the Mount Assinoboine area

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest page.

Hiking the Nublet in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, BC




Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 25 Comments
  1. I have unfinished business in Mt. Assiniboine as well, your photos have me just itching to go back. About 20 years ago, we hiked in via the Shark trailhead on a pretty good day; however, the next day it poured rain all day and we spent most of the day in the tent. The weather remained abysmal so we got fed up and hiked out in one long day back to the Shark trailhead, I was never so happy to reach the car in the parking lot. What a gorgeous area, love your photos.

  2. While it started out freezing seeing you hiking in shirtsleeves by the end of the day with Mount Assiniboine towering over you was extraordinary. Thanks for sharing this unique and breathtaking place.

  3. Oh Leigh you are such an intrepid adventurer and I love your hikes. Here particularly like the view over the Cerulean Lake and across the Nublet – wow, the pristine nature and clarity of these views are just incredible. And so much snow – in September.

  4. I was reading this and literally said out loud, “Gawd, they have the most beautiful mountain lakes in the world.” Amazing. Also, and I can only “judge” this from pictures but Mount Assiniboine looks a lot like the Matterhorn don’t ya think, Leigh?

  5. Whoa, -16 C in September?! We’re so spoiled here in SoCal – my neighbor and I were just griping about the fact that it’s in the 80s this week when we were hoping for more autumn-like weather. Poor us! That poor bird! What a beautiful, wintry hike! Did the lake freeze over? It’s such incredible shades of blue.

  6. Absolutely breathtaking views! A pretty chilly start to the day, just seeing the temperature made me shiver.

    We will have to remember this hike if we are in that area but hopefully it will be in warmer weather.


  7. As you captioned one of your photos — “Beautiful everywhere you look”. Fab photos of your hike. It really does look like a steep pitch as you get close to the top of the Nublet. I think you were wise to turn around before going on o the summit of Nub Peak — if you’re not feeling it, why take a chance?

  8. Hi,
    I just finished reading the blog on the MT Assiniboine Nub hike since I’ll be going in June. I am also taking a Hell ride in ($175.00) and will NOT be staying at the huts or lodge, only the campground, so it’s OK to just fly in.
    For me, its a two day time saver, which I can use @ YOHO earlier in the week!!(Hopefully Abotts Pass…..).

    Love your BRIGHT website …..great simple writing, info and wonderful photos.

    1. @Steven That’s definitely the best way to utilize your time. Do hike out via Wonder Lake as that’s a nice way to end the experience. Thanks for your lovely comment.

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