The trip to Helen Lake and Cirque Peak is an old favourite of mine and one I’ve done twice already. It was a great “relaxing’ day for us and we actually did the trip in running shoes with extremely light packs! I gotta say, having light runners instead of heavy mountaineering boots was amazing and made a huge difference to the enjoyment of the trip.
We made good time on the trail travelling really quickly over the roots and rocks in the well built trail and passed quite a few touristy types on the way. THere was one couple that went screaming past us, nearly running back down the trail toward the trail head and I couldn’t help but comment to Jamie that he guy had his bear spray out, and his finger on the trigger! The going was easy though and we didn’t really think much about it. Right about the time we reached the meadow though we saw about 20 people in a big long train coming down the trail. The first guy in the group told us that they had sighted a bear “500m from the lake and heading towards the trail” and then gave us a very serious lecture that if we didn’t have bear-bangers or spray that we should turn around! We thanked him for as advice and carried on. 15 minutes later we realized that they hadn’t said what kind of bear,Â which side of the trail it was on, or even whichway it was going! We remained vigilent though and still didn’t see hide nor hair of him.
The lake was nice, always a pretty place, but the bugs were out and we didn’t really lounge at all. We took a few pictures, a few deep breaths and then headed out.
While it wasn’t the one we had really wanted to do this day it was still a good consolation hike adn a nice easy way to end off the climbing part of the vacation. I would definitely recommend this hike to anyone, it’s clearly one of my favourites, and I was really glad to be able to share it with Jamie.
12 km (7.2 mi) round trip
426m (1400 ft) elevation gain
3 hrs round trip