Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Hiking British Columbia

 

Abbott Ridge provides spectacular views of Glacier National Park glaciated mountains.

 

 

Canada's Glacier National Park is located at Rogers Pass between Golden and Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada.  The four-hour drive west along the TransCanada Highway from Calgary, Alberta to Rogers Pass ends at accommodation in Glacier Park Lodge tucked beneath the base of massive 2,804 m (9,200 ft) Mount Tupper.  

Update: October 2012 - Glacier Park Lodge has been permanently closed.

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Mount Tupper at Rogers Pass - Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

The late afternoon drive under clear skies arrives at Rogers Pass in time to collect information from the well-appointed Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada 

Glacier view from Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park, BC, Canada

 

The long, sharp ridge, infiltrating the west side of major glacial fields, was named for railway man, Henry Abbott, who negotiated challenging terrain to establish Canadian Pacific Railroad routes in the valleys more than a century prior.  This entire area boasts a fascinating railroad history. 

During winter, avalanche threat here is a real and constant danger.  Parks Canada operates the world’s largest avalanche control program using mobile, military cannons and helicopter based bombing to manage dangerous snow build-up.  Sections of highway and rail are covered with strong bridging shelters to reduce interruption to transportation by avalanches. 

The hike for this day will be the Abbott Ridge Trail.

  • Base elevation:  4,000 ft (1,220 m)
  • Summit elevation:  7,644 ft (2,330 m)
  • Gross elevation:  3,680 ft (1,122 m)
  • Distance:  5.5 KM (3½ miles) up and 7.8 KM (4⅞ miles) down. Total: 13.3 KM (8¼ miles).

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada Lower forest hosts dense carpets of moss and plant life under tree mantles.

 

Half way up Abbott Ridge a side trail to Marion Lake reveals amazing views of the valley below towards Rogers Pass and surrounding mountains.

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada View from Abbott Ridge back towards Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada View from the lookout beyond Marion Lake on Abbott Ridge - Glacier National Park, British Columbia

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada Marion Lake on Abbott Ridge in Glacier National Park, BC, Canada

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada The mirror surface of Marion Lake on Abbott Ridge in Glacier National Park

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada Rising above the tree line on Abbott Ridge for mountains views to the west in Glacier National Park

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada View from high on Abbott Ridge to Mount Tupper past Rogers Pass

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada Abbott Ridge view to Illecillewaet Névé in Glacier National Park

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada Bear Grass on the plateau above tree line and below the top of Abbott Ridge in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada Abbott Ridge pond on the plateau before final ascent to top of ridge - Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

After breaking the tree-line, the hike proceeds across an amazing alpine meadow before Abbott Ridge is achieved on switchbacks over another 213 m (700 ft) of elevation.  Talus and scree trail along the top of the ridge provides spectacular, breathtaking views of surrounding mountains and glaciers.

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada Ascending to Abbott Ridge top above pond on the plateau - Glacier National Park, British Columbia

 

 

 

The Bonney Glacier, across a narrow valley, is absolutely spectacular.  Scenery is so expansive that still pictures cannot do justice to the experience.  The hike continues past the end of the trail along the ridge for another kilometer but not as far as the summit of Mount Abbott.  Continuation within the risk profile of more experienced hikers is recommended for the continually expanding views and detail of spectacular surrounding terrain.

Lunch is special in a fresh breeze with legs dangling into a thousand vertical feet of fresh mountain air and spectacular surrounding mountain and glacier scenery. 

The return hike off the ridge is via the same route of ascent until trail near the pond offers an alternative trail branch which has been closed to hikers due to rock fall.  Investigation reveals the alternative trail provides a more moderate scenic descent.

There are two provisos.  The rock fall is navigable with a short, easy, common sense scramble and extra care about where feet are landing.  There is also a permanent snow patch which is essentially a massive block of ice.  Crossing it requires the use of crampons or alternatively a scramble route on scree above and around the less safe obstacle may provide a safer alternative.

The alternate and longer trail descent from Abbott Ridge offers amazing views of surrounding valleys, rivers and glaciers.

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada Hiking back on the closed alternative with spectacular views of the Illecillewaet Névé - Glacier National Park

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada View from the alternate trail across the boulder bowl to Perley Rock above Illecillewaet Glacier

 

Abbott Ridge is a fabulous, unique and incredibly scenic hike bound to create indelible memories.  The glaciers are spectacular at very close range.

This is an impressive trail in Glacier National Park near Rogers Pass in British Columbia, Canada.

 

Abbott Ridge – Rogers Pass – Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada Final view of Illecillewaet Névé before re-entering the forest on the return hike to Rogers Pass

 

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