Bourgeau Lake From Mount Bourgeau Summit-20120801.jpg
Bourgeau Lake is a popular day hike near Banff. It's a rather long 7.5 km walk on a wide trail through the forest to get to the lake and both times I've come this way I was rather surprised by the unimpressive the view at the lake. It's quite a closed in place with high crumbly cliffs surrounding half the lake. If you stop here and turn back I'd say you've missed the true delights of the area that lie just another 2-3 kilometers above Bourgeau Lake. Alpine meadows dotted with larch and tarns on the way to Harvey Pass make for a wonderful place to spend some quiet time. If you're feeling more energetic you can follow an easy path all the way to the summit of Mount Bourgeau for spectacular views in all directions -- including this much better view of Bourgeau Lake far below. Total return distance is about 23km with an elevation gain of about 1450m.