This moderately-easy trail ascends the scenic Nigel Creek valley to Nigel Pass (7,200-ft.) and a panoramic ridge with awesome views of Nigel Peak, the Brazeau River Valley and the high peaks rising beyond Parker Ridge at the northern end of Banff National Park.
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Why Hike Nigel Pass
This relatively easy hike ascends above the east side of Nigel Creek Valley, traveling through spruce-fir forest and then pretty meadows to Nigel Pass (7,200-ft.). Along the way enjoy fine views of Nigel Peak (10,535-ft.), Nigel SE3 (9,925-ft.) and Peak 9,951 towering above the west side of the valley. Below the trail Nigel Creek meanders down the valley floor. A short side trip to the ridge above the pass rewards hikers with fine vistas of the high peaks along the Brazeau River Valley, Nigel Peak (10,535-ft.) and the Cataract Pass Area. To the south, Mount Saskatchewan (10,964-ft.) and a sea of summits rise beyond Parker Ridge.
This hike is the first segment of the popular 4-5 day Brazeau Loop backpack. Beyond the pass the trail crosses the Brazeau River and then heads down the Brazeau River Valley, connecting with the Jonas Pass and Poboktan Pass trails.
The trail to Cataract Pass and beyond offers another option for an overnight trip. A short distance below the pass a boot beaten path turns right and ascends to the headwaters of the Brazeau River and Cataract Pass (6.5 mile round-trip hike). This extension makes for a very long day and is better done as part of an overnight trip. Beyond the pass a route leads to Cline Pass This backpack is only recommended for experiences parties.
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Alberta / British Columbia