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blueBlack Poboktan Pass Trail

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24.0 mile 38.6 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 3,499' 1,066 m
Descent: -2,838' -865 m
High: 7,601' 2,317 m
Low: 5,057' 1,541 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 48% (25°)


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Trail shared by Joan Pendleton

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From fir forest, through meadows, over Poboktan Pass, back into forest, beautiful turquoise creeks and Brazeau Lake.

Joan Pendleton

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked

Camping along this trail is limited to the established trail camps. Permits and reservations are needed for the trail camps. They can be gotten online at the Parks Canada permit/reservation website: https://reservation.pc.gc.ca/

Need to Know

The Poboktan Pass Trail starts at the Poboktan Trailhead Parking Area behind the buildings, next to Poboktan Creek, at the trailhead sign.

From the Maligne Pass Trail junction at mile 3.9, to the Jonas Pass Trail #131 junction at mile 13.3, this trail is a segment of the GDT (Great Divide Trail).


Poboktan Creek (mile 0 - 13.3)
Poboktan Pass Trail runs along Poboktan Creek, through the beautiful fir forest with lush undergrowth and a backdrop of rugged mountains, for the first 8 miles as it climbs gradually. The creek is to the right of the trail, sometimes next to it and sometimes farther away. Several side creeks are crossed, with bridges over the largest ones. Poboktan Trail Camp at mile 4.6, and Waterfalls Trail Camp with a massive waterfall at mile 7.6, are passed.

Continuing to climb, the forest opens up with meadows of the Poboktan Creek valley to the right, only to return to the fir forest for another long stretch. Climbing steadily, the forest thins, a few side streams are crossed, and Jonas Pass Trail is reached on the banks of Poboktan Creek.

Poboktan Pass (mile 13.3 - 24.0)
Passing Jonas Pass Trail, Poboktan Pass Trail continues in thinning fir forest along Poboktan Creek with more creek crossings. After one last creek crossing (for now), the trail climbs steeply for a short ways, then more gradually. As the trail climbs, the forest gives way to meadows dotted with firs, and then treeless alpine meadows.

Poboktan Pass, in the alpine meadows, is reached at about mile 15.2. It is a long pass with the trail gently climbing to it and then gradually descending, for a total length of a little over 2 miles. Awesome, expansive views of mountains and meadows with valleys below, can be seen in all directions. Headwaters of John-John Creek appear at the east end of the pass in the valley to the right. All very awe inspiring.

At mile 16.7, the trail drops steeply back down into fir forest. After about 0.6 miles, the descent becomes more gradual. Now in fir forest, the trail runs along John-John Creek, sometimes close enough to hear the roar of the creek as the creek grows larger, and sometimes farther from the creek. John-John Trail Camp is passed at mile 17.7. For the next 3 miles the trail runs along John-John Creek in a narrow valley between two high rock ridges.

At mile 20.5, Poboktan Pass Trail crosses John-John Creek on a bridge, and then climbs for a short ways, as the first views of turquoise Brazeau Lake are seen through the trees. After another 0.6 miles descending in the fir forest, the trail crosses the Brazeau Lake outlet river on a bridge, passes Brazeau Lake Camp Spur that leads to the Brazeau Lake Trail Camp, and veers right to run along the Brazeau Lake outlet river for 1.3 miles to the trail's end at the South Boundary Trail.


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Jul 26, 2018
Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


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in Alberta


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