OverviewPaget Peak holds down the southern end of the Mount Daly Range in Yoho National Park, one of four connecting national parks making up the central Canadian Rockies. It is on the north side of the TransCanada along side Mount Bosworth and is 2kms north of Wapta Lake and just south of the Continental Divide in British Columbia. Due to its proximity to the road, it is a fairly common scramble for the area in the summer months, thus why I made it a ski ascent.
Paget Peak was named after the first ascender, a welcome method but an exception in the Canadian Rockies. Dean Paget made the first recorded ascent and was a founding member of the Alpine Club of Canada. On another historical note, the southern slopes of Paget Peak served as the site of one of the first fire lookouts in the parks. The current structure is still in good condition and is maintained, but has not been used as a fire lookout since the 1970’s. Overlooking Sherbrooke and Wapta lakes, this lookout is easily reached via a popular hiking trail. The trail ends at the lookout and the scramble is straight forward from there.
The only published route on Paget Peak is the scramble. However, I did make my own alpine ski ascent of the mountain. Backcountry skiing is inherently dangerous. Paget Peak is no exception.
Getting ThereThe Trans-Canada Highway runs from Calgary through Banff and Yoho National Parks on its way to Vancouver. Pass through Lake Louise heading westbound and continue on the Trans-Canada entering British Columbia. Pull off right into the West Louise Lodge across from Wapta Lake. There you will find the Sherbrooke Lake Trailhead. 1.4kms on this trail takes you to the Paget Lookout Trail on your right. The visitor center for Yoho National Park is located in Field several more kilometers west on the TransCanada.
Red TapeYou will be required to purchase a national park pass as you enter Banff National Park coming from the east on the Trans-Canada. This pass is good for all four national parks. If you plan many visits to Canadian National Parks within one year, you should purchase an annual pass. There are no permit requirements to climb in Yoho National Park, but all camping is regulated. There is also a backcountry permit required if you plan on spending a night in the backcountry versus the town campsites. This can be obtained via the parks website which is included in the camping section below. Yoho National Park headquarters are located in Field, BC and you will drive through the manned national park kiosks as you enter Banff National Park on the Trans-Canada.
This is active grizzly country, therefore, you should always have bear spray on your person. I advise checking with Parks Canada for any area and/or trail closures.
When To ClimbAs with most scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, the driest time is from June through September. I skied Paget Peak in March. Skiing to the summit is feasible, skiing down requires a certain amount of caution and experience.
CampingThe closest camp site would be the Kicking Horse and/or Monarch campground(s) west on the TransCanada at the turnoff for Yoho Valley Road. You can go on line at Yoho National Park to pick a camp site and obtain your camping permit. You will also be required to obtain your backcountry permit which is separate, but can be obtained simultaneously if you plan on camping at a backcountry site. You cannot camp outside of the marked specific camping areas.
Field has one inn and several B&B’s. Of course you could stay where you parked at the West Louise Lodge, a hotel type of accommodation, but nothing fancy.