Distance: 16 km
Elevation gain: 870 m (more possible)
After having been to Galatea Lakes several times we finally decided to take the turnoff to Guinn's Pass. When we did this hike on Friday there was a group of 48 hiking to Galatea Lakes, so the steeper Guinn's Pass provides a bit of relief from that.
The trailhead is the same as for Galatea Lakes and you follow this trail for about 6 km, gaining over 300 m elevation, mostly gradually with one steep section near the end. It's oddly slippery though as the rocks have all been polished from the traffic. The Guinn's Pass trail heads off to the right (north), and is signed and obvious.
The trail to the pass follows a huge and curving avalanche slope to the top and is filled with wildflowers, and when we went, 4 piles of bear scat as well. While there weren't many bear diggings for ground squirrels, the squirrels were very skittish so I'm wondering if the bear had just passed through.
The trail climbs steeply but never gets scrambly, and after rounding the bend in the avalanche slope you can see Guinn's Pass. No false ends to the hike here. Upon reaching the pass, however, you should ascend the peak to the right (east). It gives far improved views and will permit you to see Ribbon, Lillian, and Galatea Lakes. We went high enough to see the first two, but with wet snow showers, cold fingers, and a weird lack of energy decided to call it a day and head down.
If you've started out for Galatea and are caught in the crowds, consider exiting the main trail and heading for Guinn's. There are no lakes to swim in, but no hikers in flip flops with purses either.
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Keywords:Galatea, Guinn's Pass, Kananaskis, Ribbon Lake