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5 to 6 hours / 11.8K One Way

Elevation Gain



Trailhead: Owen Creek located in Banff National Park next to the David Thompson #11 highway. 2km east of the park gate. 228km west of Rocky Mountain House.


Description: Park at the Owen Creek roadside pullout located on the north side of the David Thompson Highway 2kms east of the Banff National Park toll gate. Follow Owen Creek trail past the falls and several turquoise colored stream pools. Owen Creek itself is a hidden gem and well worth a short day hike.

Continue on until you reach the confluence from Mount Wilson. Stay right along Owen creek as it ascends higher. The trail is not a dead end as some suggest. It fades in and out and you’ll often have to climb to the top of the creek gorge to avoid a few wet steep sections. After what seems like an endless creek drudge the gorge finally flattens out and you can now boulder hop towards the bottom of the col and meadows located straight ahead.

Cross the meadows and work your way up to the center of the col while keeping an eye out for Big Horn Sheep. Pass a large cairn located on the top left side of the col then descend approximately 300m to Michelle Lakes. Pick your route down to the lakes. I stayed on the ridge spine then dropped down steep rock and scree located near the waterfall at the south end of the left lake. Views above the lakes and surrounding meadows are absolutely stunning.

You’ll likely see several helicopters passing overhead offering tours of Mount Wilson Glacier or dropping fisherman off at the lakes. Owen Creek to Michelle Lakes is part of the Great Divide Trail. You are in bear country

Kootenay Plains Brochure

Items Reviewed - 1

Mark Townsend

The lakes are stunning however not easy to get to. The trail is a mix of traversing steep river canyons, boulder hoping and thick bush. Best left to late in the season when the canyon sides are dry.

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