After 4 nights backpacking and a lousy night of sleep at McBride’s Campground (BR14) we were ready for an earlyish start. We ate a quick oatmeal breakfast with an extra helping of tea and hit the trail.
We were spoiled with 4 days of alpine scenery the hike back to the trailhead is mainly in the forest following Bryant Creek to Spray Lakes Reservoir. Not long after beginning the trek back to the car we ran across a sign warning us that we were entering grizzly bear country. I was glad that this portion of the trail was much busier and we encountered a lot more people which made us less concerned about a bear encounter.
The trail follow Bryant Creek passing a backcountry campground every few miles or so. Upon reaching Spray Lake Reservoir we were rewarded with some great views and clear skies. The skies were a brilliant blue. The lake was so inviting and our feet were beginning to get sore after 4 days of pounding we decided to dip our feet into the icy waters. It was a refreshing break to ice our feet for a few minutes before hitting the trail again.
The rest of the hike out is kind of a slog through the forest with a few uphills we cursed with our heavy packs and tired feet. Thankfully there was some tree cover for portions of the rest of the hike.
By the time we made it back to the car we were both spent from the long hike and long days. Ironically the clearest sky of the hike was a view from the parking lot. A quick stretch and we hit the gravel road back to civilization. As a reward for our long hike we stopped and had chocolate dipped cones at Dairy Queen which were AMAZING!
It was by the longest backpacking trip I’ve taken as an adult and it was a complete blast even with the wildfires obscuring the sky. We’re both ready to go back in a heartbeat and experience Mt. Assiniboine again.
Distance: 9.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 500 feet