Marvel Lake Loop
High Point: 7850'
DirectionsThis trail leaves from Mt. Assiniboine Lodge (See Citadel Pass/Lake Magog trail description)
This loop trail begins and ends at Lake Magog and offers spectacular views, beautiful valleys, and amazing lakes.
From Mt. Assiniboine Lodge, pick up the trail running south past the Naiset Cabins and the Ranger Station. The trail slowly climbs through the beautiful meadows along a boardwalk, eventually climbing to meet the marshy Gog Lake. The path then switchbacks up the low ridge, alternating between open meadows and small stands of Larch. Look for a deep canyon and waterfall viewpoint past the lake. The trail soon climbs above the trees, offering sweeping views of the valley below reaching all the way north to Citadel Mountain and the Sunshine Village Ski area.
From the pass the trail begins a fairly mellow descent before reaching a viewpoint, where the land suddenly drops away revealing a deep valley containing Marvel Lake. Beyond the viewpoint, the trail enters the wooded slopes as it works its way down (occasionally steeply) towards Marvel Lake. Perhaps the highlight of this trip is gained within this section, as the absurdly green waters of Lake Gloria and Lake Terrapin float beneath the massive Glaciers of Eon Mountain and Mount Gloria.
The trail meets a junction 3.1 kilometers from the pass. Continue to the left as the trail stays high above the clear waters of Marvel Lake, intermittently passing through stands of trees and open slopes. At the eastern edge of the lake (4.5 km from the trail junction), a side trail leads 500 meters to the lake.
Continuing from Marvel Lake, the trail transitions into a wide path--obviously an old road grade and makes it’s way into the beautiful Bryant Creek Valley. Dominated by an enormous meadow filling the entire valley floor and a meandering Bryant Creek, this valley is quite spectacular. The trail crosses the creek and makes its way to the Bryant Creek Trail (after crossing the creek, we encountered a fork. We continued straight, along a path that seemed to disintegrate before reaching the Bryant Creek Trail. We made it, but perhaps the trail to the left is a more direct and easy to follow route?)
Beyond the Warden Cabin (closed during our visit) the old roadbed, wide and flat, makes it easy to knock off the miles. Three-and-a-half miles from the Warden station, the trail passes by Allenby Junction Campground to the left, and reaches a junction. The trail to the left is designated as the horse trail, but since we noticed that it was 1.3 km shorter than the hiker route, so we opted to skip across the creek (no bridge, but the water was only ankle deep) and continue along the horse route. We only encountered one other difficult portion of the horse trail, where the path seemed to turn into a marsh. We were able to detour around the swamp without getting wet.
The trail gradually begins to climb, working its way into some pretty steep sections as it makes its way over Assiniboine Pass and returning to Assiniboine Park. The trail then drops down into some beautiful meadows before making its return to Assiniboine Lodge.
Traveling the loop trail in counter-clockwise direction described above breaks up the climbing, avoiding a difficult ascent of Wonder Pass.