Molar Pass Loop is a 31.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 31.5 miles Elevation Gain: 6,397 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

running

views

over grown

rocky

snow

hiking
muddy
over grown
9 months ago

August 16 - 18, 2019, thru-hike: Completed the loop as a through hike traveling clockwise staying at Fish Lakes and Molar Creek. Wet weather and horse traffic has the trail a bit muddy in sections. Where necessary, maintained watercourse crossings are present up to Fish Lakes. After Fish Lakes, there are no constructed crossings so be prepared to take your boots off and get wet until you start climbing back out of the valley west of Molar Cr. We lost the trail after the corral at Little Pipestone Cr where the horse trail ends but found it again after some bushwhacking through the fairly open forest. It was well trafficked and worn in when we found it again so we probably just didn't look hard enough. Fires are permitted at Molar Creek but you will have to forage for wood and dry deadfall was hard to come by. All campsites have bear poles and an outhouse. Tent pads could use a little TLC. The alpine meadows were incredible with the most wildflowers I have ever seen in one area. The pass heading back toward Mosquito Cr. from Molar campsite is amazing. If you bring gaiters, sandals and a map you cant go wrong.

hiking
bugs
off trail
over grown
9 months ago

Did three nights on the loop, starting at mosquito creek and heading clockwise. North side of the loop is in good shape, no problems following the trail. After the second crossing of pipestone creek I lost the trail for about 1km. Lost it again turning on to the molar creek. Used the all trails app to bushwhack back to the trail. Finding Molar creek camp was tricky too, I changed into my Tevas at the first little crossing and kept them on until I saw some flagging on a tree on the wet side of the river and crossed there to find a path to the camp. Overall gorgeous hike, just gotta be prepared to wander a bit

lots of path finding in the molar creek but relatively easy to navigate. pipestone river is dense bush. lots of river crossing

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
10 months ago

Just finished this loop. The changing scenery and views on both passes are amazing. Just be prepared for lots of mud, many deep river crossings (wet boots for us), and poorly marked if nonexistent trails. There is no trail to the molar Creek campground so highly recommend a GPS. Pink tape on trees mark the campsite on the south side of the river but you practically need to be in the campsite to see them. Be comfortable with bushwhacking and good with a topo map! An adventure for sure but one we enjoyed with no other groups past fish lakes.

hiking
bugs
muddy
10 months ago

Amazing but challenging trail which I completed with my 10 year old son between July 29, 2019 and August 1, 2019. Alpine meadows were full of wildflowers and fortunately for us the weather was clear with no rain. As mentioned by others, we experienced the wet horse tracked trail particularly between trail head and fish lakes. After Fish Lakes this was less of an issue, but route finding was a challenge from the Pipestone River up to Molar Creek CG (thankfull for AllTrails and GPS). On our third day, we were able to follow the trail quite well from Molar Creek over Molar Pass albeit a few stream crossings in our sandals. Mosquito and black flies were bad particularly at sunrise/sunset at all campgrounds so go prepared. Otherwise this was a spectacular trail that rewards on many levels.

hiking
bridge out
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
washed out
10 months ago

amazing hike. did it in 3 days. we went in mosquito creek trail, then camped at fish lakes and then molar creek campground. it was muddy and washed out in the back section. lost the trail a few times but by using this app, kept our bearing and made it over the south pass. over all it was a great trail and would reccomend it, just be prepared for wet feet

hiking
over grown
washed out
10 months ago

Some pretty nice scenery on this loop but camp and trail conditions really spoiled it resulting in unnecessarily long days and poor sleep. We didn't have any issues with snow, there were a few patches but nothing crazy. A few other things to make note of before setting off: 1) while fish lakes is gorgeous, the campsites are sloped and rutted pieces of dirt. Worst campsite I've ever stayed at in the backcountry but Parks Canada mandates you stay 'in' the campsite so you have no choice but to deal with it. 2) the trail along pipestone river is severely overgrown and often disappears altogether. The trail on alltrails doesn't cross the river many times but trying to follow the trail resulted in 3 boots-off river crossings. 3) we couldn't find the trail from pipestone up molar Creek and ended up going without. We eventually came across it about 100m away from where it's marked on alltrails. once you get to molar creek the trail disappears a lot and you're left scrambling through thick scrub or you can do as we did, just walk up the river and get wet boots (ours were already wet because of the overgrown trail!) We walked out via molar pass which was challenging but worth the extra effort. I thought it may have been quicker than going all the way back.to mosquito creek and out the way we came in but it's some tough scrambling and probably took the same length of time and was probably a lot more tiring.

hiking
10 months ago

Update July 14. Just stayed at fish lakes over the weekend and the pass to get there is completely fine. There still is snow just below the saddle at molar pass on both sides but its completely doable. A few came through our campground from the other direction ( south molar ) and said conditions were great. They have had a ton of moisture lately so expect some muddy conditions. Flowers are blooming and it’s very very green. Enjoy !

hiking
11 months ago

Tried to Hike into Fish Lakes on June 30. Still a bunch of snow on the way up to the saddle before heading down into Fish Lakes. One could make it, but it would be a pretty soggy sleep down at Fish Lakes. Best to wait a couple weeks for things to melt and dry up. Pretty muddy, but a pretty amazing hike though the alpine meadow past Mosquito Campground. Keep your eye out for the Wolverine just before the Saddle on the North Molar Pass.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked the loop on the long weekend June 29-Juy 1. Beautiful trip with very few people beyond the passes. The trail was very muddy between Mosquito Creek and both passes. North Molar Pass still had knee deep snow, but a path was broken. The trail along the Pipestone river is overgrown in many sections but easy to follow. Once you turn into Molar Creek valley, you start to lose the trail in the creeks and boggy areas. The trail is generally in the middle of the valley and you have to cross the creek many times. Molar Creek campground is on the left going up Molar Creek. A pink ribbon tied to a tree across the river signals the location. GPS coordinates can help: Lat 51.588653 - Lon -116.202778. South Molar Pass had only a few patches of snow on the North side.

hiking
Tue Jul 24 2018

Completed this trail this weekend. Garmin measured it at just over 62km. trail head to south pass is well travelled but there is a split after the pass that doesn't follow this map. I took the trail to the right and it cuts off into the forest where the trail disappears. About 6-8 km have either been washed out or cut off by dead fall and over grown towards Molar Campground.Ran into 2 grizzlies just past the South pass in the woods. Only way to reach the campsite is across the river which was about knee high this weekend, but if you walk a bit down its lower. Towards Fish lakes the first 2-3 km are washed out or in marsh type areas so bring your gaiters

backpacking
Mon Jul 23 2018

First things first - did it solo in 3 days, clockwise, with a total distance closer to 54km. Stayed at Fish Lakes night one, Molar Creek night 2. Day 1 and 3 were utterly beautiful - I’d have to say that the hike to Fish Lakes is one of my favourite single day outings in the parks. The setting of the campsite at the lake itself is gorgeous. Day 2 is dull, and has some pretty tedious portions. The Pipestone river valley, while pretty, has some sections (~4km) that are so overgrown with brush that you just have to bobsled down the deep tracks in the trail. Once to turn west into the Molar Creek valley, prepare to lose the trail in the creek bed. There’s a lot of water and streams crisscrossing the valley floor, and the entire area is swampy and wet until you reach the Molar Creek campsite. The campsite itself is tucked away on the west side of the creek, requiring you to cross. Line up the pink flagging tape and you’ll be able to spot the campsite sign amongst the trees. Day 3 has some areas where the trail is submerged, but it’s pretty easily navigable. Once you start your climb, the trip over the pass is gorgeous all the way back to your car. All in all, pretty solid loop. Lots of solitude along the Pipestone/Molar Creek area, and the trail loses a star for some really boggy and swampy areas that are hard to navigate. Otherwise a beautiful area in the parks with some incredible alpine lakes, meadows, and valleys.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

recorded Molar Pass Loop

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

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