Bourgeau Lake Trail

HARD 198 reviews
#25 of 192 trails in

Bourgeau Lake Trail is a 17.5 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 17.5 km Elevation Gain: 1,269 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

It's about 2.5km past the Sunshine Village exit heading west on the TransCanada Highway. It can be accessed going both east and west. There is marked signage both directions.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful hike. Bourgeau Lake is beautiful and continuing up to Harvey Pass is well worth it if you have the time. The trail follows moderate switch backs at first and then steepens a bit toward Bourgeau Lake. There is a signed trail at Bourgeau Lake to continue to Harvey Lake and Harvey Pass. You’ll continue to gain steady elevation on the way to Harvey Pass and will pass by two more lakes before you reach Harvey Lake and Harvey Pass. Amazing hike all around! Keep an eye out for the sign for Bourgeau Lake on the highway, you’ll have to make a left turn after this to get to the parking lot.

hiking
1 day ago

boring start, fantastic finish. if you get to the first lake the rest is magnificent.

hiking
3 days ago

Agree with Alex - this hike was awesome and one of our top favs during our trip! Incredible workout, yes some steeper spots to climb - but all absolutely worth it and the views! We even saw a pack of wolves about 5min into the trail around one of the first curves - it was crazy!

hiking
muddy
rocky
8 days ago

Don’t listen to the haters and the losers (of which there are many), this is a fantastic trail. We got there around 7am and didn’t see anyone on the trail until we were on the way back. The forest on the way up is beautiful and full of amazing details. It rained while we were hiking through and everything was bright green. The lake itself is gorgeous.

hiking
9 days ago

Gorgeous. Only saw two people on this run on the way up. We started around 10am and went up to Harvey pass (HIGHLY recommend going to Harvey Pass). I do think we lucked out a little with lack of crowd since it was rainy at the start, so you may want to start earlier on a clear day to avoid crowds.

hiking
12 days ago

Arrived at trailhead at 8:30am and only one other vehicle there. When I returned back 4.5 hours later, lot was packed. Pretty moderate hike at best. It was reasonably long but not that strenuous. Nice viewing of a waterfall half way up

hiking
14 days ago

Did the hike on 31 August. Rained all the way back and forth but the hike was awesome. Enjoyed the waterfall and the lake. Couldn’t go to Harvey pass. I recommend this hike to everyone

hiking
15 days ago

Excellent, especially if continuing to Healy pass or Mount Bourgeau.

hiking
16 days ago

Long trail in the forest till the last 2 km before Lake Bourgeau. The final 2/3 kms to the lake are a quite steep but the lake offers a nice fresh rest. The push up to Harvey's pass is around 3 km after Lake Bourgeau and is worth it while being steep. A portion through rocks (300 meters) isn't that enjoyable but again, worth it. We stop at Harvey's pass but saw some people pushing to the summit. Seemed like another 1.5h (estimation since we haven't done it). Total walk was 21.8km (10.8km up) which we did in 6 hours. Total elevation : 1056m. To the lake and back should be 15km and 850m elevation.

hiking
muddy
20 days ago

I loved this hike. Challenging at times but worth it!

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful but crazy steep rocky terrain after Lake Bourgeau. Totally worth it though as you walk by many small lakes at the top.

hiking
washed out
28 days ago

hiking
30 days ago

really nice trail! bit of a tough push to the lake but we were really motoring. finished in 4 hours. its actually 15 km return to the lake and a bit longer if you continue on through harvey pass. all in all a great day hike!

hiking
1 month ago

This was a nice hike on a moderately trafficked trail. Wouldn’t consider it a difficult hike other than the length. It took us about 8 hours return, though that includes a good hour and a bit of hanging around. We also went pretty far past the end of the pass trail to the left. So we did more like 21kms and would definitely recommend going the extra few as the views really get a lot better. Parking lot for sure fills up fast, so getting there early (before 9:30am) is a good idea.

running
1 month ago

To the lake was 4.6 miles and 2300 feet of elevation gain one way. Other than a series of switchbacks up to the lake the grade is fairly gentle. The last mile is very steep and worth the climb to the lake. Medium trafficked trail on a Saturday morning. Trail in excellent shape even after a night of heavy rain. One river crossing very easy. No wildlife spotted.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
1 month ago

Very nice hike we saw mountain goats.

hiking
bugs
scramble
1 month ago

Amazing hike,one of the best I’ve done.Firstly beautiful forests ,leading to epic waterfalls.Ascend to the beautiful Boudreaux but continue to many more lakes ,insane views that are incomparable.Its Definately a whole day but should be on your top 5 lists

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike with great lakes. The first 6 km in the forest are pretty dull but that's the price you have to pay to get up to nice subalpine lakes. Make sure to go all the way to Harvey Pass. The path is well trodden so there are no technical bits and no route finding issues. The small parking lot started to fill up when we hit the trail at 9:30.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

Highly recommend this trail.Once you pass the 1st lake you will see a gravel pass which is the most difficult part, but the scenery is breathtaking ,also you will see many mountain goats. It took 8.5 hrs total. Parking lots are limited.

hiking
1 month ago

Of the best routes in the area. The first kilometers are somewhat boring in the forest with the occasional clearing with beautiful views. The lake is very good, but what makes the route so worthwhile is the climb to the Harvey pass, the last kilometers are the hardest, with a somewhat slippery ramp both up and down. Canes are recommended.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Great hike, nice lake to reward you at the end. All of the trail is in the forest so no views along the way, no scary drop offs either though. The incline near the end, after the river rock crossing, challenged me (pregnant) and I was huffing and puffing, but otherwise a very doable hike. Done this hike a couple of times in the past and just didn’t remember it - logging it now!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Absolutely fantastic hike - best we’ve done! A fairly long hike at 21kms out and back but we did go to the top of Harvey’s Pass. Even though the hike is just over 1000 metres high, due to the length the ascent is comfortably moderate, although it is much steeper towards the end. There were 4 lakes in total and the views were simply breathtaking. It does get quite loose under foot as you pass Bourgeau Lake and is more difficult coming back down - if you’re unsteady on your feet then poles will be very worthwhile. Lots of Marmot and ground squirrel at the top and occasional wildlife during the hike. Spaces in the car park are limited to approx 20 cars so you may want to consider getting there early. The trail is moderately trafficked and we spent 6 hours out and back but this was with 1 hour for lunch and photos. Highly recommend this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

great hike beautiful views. steady incline for most of the way up

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike. Overall hiking time was 3hr 45min. We spent some time at the top on the lake where we saw some wildlife and even witnessed a small rockslide. We only ran into a few other groups on the trail. Bugs were bad for a mountainous area so you may want bug spray. There are not a lot of great rest areas on the way up so take advantage of a large rock when you see one. As others have mentioned, once you pass the waterfall for the second time the terrain is much steeper. But don’t worry, you’re almost there at that point. Would definitely do it again and hit Harvey pass next time as well.

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