Name: Summer Road
Difficulty: Easy technical trail with strenuous uphill
Lift: Elk Chair
Time: 2- 4 hours
The Summer Road Trail begins at the top of the Elk Chair. Winding through the Lizard Bowl via switchbacks, the ascent is quite easy with no steep ascents – just a constant uphill to the top of the Boomerang Chair and the Bear Chair.
The trail passes through The Fernie Shale in the lower sections. This rock is layered with a red brown colour and does contain some brachiopod and cephalopod fossils. The Lizard Range is what geologists refer to as “overturned” which means that the oldest rock is on the top of the mountain and as you ascend the mountain the rock gets older. The upper layers of rock are all limestone, an indication of an ancient seabed from 300 to 365 million years old. You will notice that the trees become very narrow as you ascend. The forest is now a sub alpine forest with mostly slim looking trees that shed snow easily.
Once you reach the top of the Bear Chair you can choose to return on the trail you came up on, or you can turn left and go south across Lizard Bowl about ½ km to a trail descending between Cascade and Dancer. This part of the trail is all limestone and contains many fossils of horn corals, tabulate corals and crinoids. This trail joins back to the trail you took on the way up, and your descent to the Elk Chair is visible all the way from where you joined the main Summer Road.
Name: POLAR PEAK
Lift: Timber Chair
Time: 3.5 – 7 hours
The Polar Peak Trail follows the Lost Boys Trail out to the Lookout. From here it turns right and follows the Lizards Range crest all the way around to Polar Peak. The trail offers spectacular views for the entire trip. At 2100 metres, Polar Peak provides a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding area. From Polar Peak, return to the saddle between Currie Headwall and Polar Peak and follow the trail back to the Hut at the Top of Whitepass Chair. Return to the Timber Chair to download or take the Timber Trek to the base.
This hike is for the adventurous and experienced hiker. The route has one short section where there is a feeling of exposure. Ropes have been installed for your security. If you are not familiar with the area or are inexperienced ask our Guest Services staff about our guided hikes. This hike takes between 3.5 and 7 hrs depending on weather and rest stops. The trail is about 5 km round trip to Timber Top with a vertical rise of 240 vertical metres. Once on the Ridge it is important to remember the only way down is back the way you came or around to the Currie Saddle. There are no routes down the front. Travel on the Lizard Ridge beyond Polar Peak is for experience hikers with good mountaineering skills.
Name: LOST BOYS LOOKOUT
Lift: Timber Chair
Time: 45mins – 1.5 hours
The Lost Boys Lookout and Lost Boys Loop Trails offer an easy walk through the alpine meadows.
The Lost Boys Pass Lookout is an easy 0.75 km walk from the top of the Timber Chair to the west with views out to the Sand Creek drainage and beyond to Lake Koocanusa. With a vertical gain of only 80m this walk is suited for youngsters as well as adults. To walk to the lookout and back takes about 45 minutes. Follow the signs from the top of Timber Chair on the Lost Boys Trail. Do Not follow the game trail downhill into the West side of the mountain or you may learn how Lost Boys got it’s name!
The Lost Boys Loop is a trail that goes out to the Lost Boys Lookout then descends through the alpine to the Mammoth Droppings to an interesting area of giant boulders below the Mammoth Peak. The Loop is 1.7 km with a vertical climb of about 100m. To walk the Loop would take about 1 1/2 hrs. The trail is an easy walk and suitable for children. Follow the Lost Boys Trail check out the Lookout and continue around on the Loop.
Name: White Pass
Lift: Timber Chair
Time: 1.5 to 3 Hours
The White Pass Trail follows the Lost Boys Lookout trail to Milky Way where you turn right and go north up the road to the top of Whitepass Chair. From this viewpoint you will be looking directly into Currie Bowl and Polar Peak is immediately in front of you.
At the top if you look up you will see a layer of jet black shale which is one layer of the Exshaw formation. This black layer of rock is from organic carbon and occurred during an extinction period 360 million years ago.
To descend, follow the main road to Heartland where you will turn left or east and follow this road back to the Timber Chair. On the right of this road as you near the Timber Chair are a few rock cuts where you can see fossils of Crinoids and some horn corals. The alpine meadows on the left at the first descent of Heartland contain many alpine wildflowers such as Glacier lilies, Mariposa lilies, Sulphur Buckwheat and many other species.
Name: Sib Ridge Lookout
Lift: Timber Chair
Time: ½ hour – 1 hour
Sib Ridge is a short ½ hour to 1 hour hike which goes straight up left of the Timber Chair. Elevation change on this hike is minimal .The views as you descend Sib Ridge are spectacular as you are looking directly down the Elk Valley. Be ready to turn right on the trail before you hit any steep descents. This right turn goes west across Morning Glory (towards Mammoth Head) and comes out on Falling Star just below a rock cut, which is filled with fossilized crinoid parts and the occasional bivalve. As you come out on Falling Star turn right again and you have a short uphill back to the Timber Chair.