I eagerly awoke early from our cold, uncomfortable slumber at Og Lake and poked my head out to see that the cloudy conditions of the evening before hadn’t changed. I ventured down to the lakeshore and snapped off a few images of Magog Mountain reflecting in the water, but much like the night before Mount Assiniboine remained elusive. Given the cloudy condition, I decided to climb back into the tent and went back to sleep. The early morning was a much warmer time to catch a few z’s than the previous night’s sub-zero temperatures. Today’s journey to the Magog Lake Campground was a short one and I was hoping clearer skies would greet me later in the morning.
Backpacking Mount Assiniboine to Magog Lake Campground
This post is all about our second day’s journey to Magog Lake Campground and what can be expected when backpacking Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park in Canada. If you missed our eventful first day’s journey, check that out before continuing. You can also check out our Mount Assiniboine Guide to start planning your own adventure.
Day 2 – Backpacking to Magog Lake Campground
- Route: Og Lake to Magog Lake via the Assiniboine Lodge
- Distance: 4.5-miles
- Total Elevation Gain: 490′
- Og Lake Campground Elevation: 6,790’
- Assiniboine Lodge Elevation: 7,200′
- Magog Campground Elevation: 7,165′
We awoke for the second time still under overcast skies. So we slowly prepared and ate breakfast before packing up, and headed for the Assiniboine Lodge just before noon. We had reservations for the Magog Campground but thought that the lodge would be a good place to stop and have lunch.
Leaving Og Lake
The journey to Assiniboine Lodge from Og is fairly easy. First, the trail climbs about 100’ over the first 3/4 of a mile where the path finally leaves the bouldery landscape that had been our ever-present surrounding for the last 5 miles of the previous day. It then ventures through a large, mostly flat meadow for over a mile. Unfortunately for us, this is where the cold rain started up again. Thankfully, the hail, snow, and lightning did not accompany it.
Assiniboine Intersections and Signs
At 2.25-miles from Og Lake, the trail enters into a ravine where the water flows down a rocky creek. The trail will ascend 200’ over the next half mile and cross through an intersection leading to the Assiniboine Pass. We stayed straight and finished the climb up the ravine. At the top of the ravine, the trail passes by two other intersections on the short quarter-mile path to the Assiniboine Lodge. Every intersection in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is well signed and it would be nearly impossible to get lost so long as you know where you are headed.
The Assiniboine Lodge
After only 3.25-miles on the day, we arrived at the Assiniboine Lodge. The rain was still drizzling. It was around 1:30 PM and the covered porch on the lodge made for a great lunch spot. The mercury throughout the day was once again falling and our lunch was a cold one but at least we were out of the drizzling rain.
After lunch, we contemplated making the mile-long hike to the Magog Campground. But fellow backpackers were taking refuge on the porch and after being mostly alone in the woods for a day and a half the conversation was nice. We had also decided to take advantage of the daily tea time at 4:00 PM that would allow us to take refuge in the warm lodge for an hour. The lodge being off-limits to campers for the remainder of the day. We sat with our fellow backpackers and swapped stories of the previous day’s escapades as well as other outdoor adventures.
Assiniboine Tea Time
Finally, after nearly two hours, the door was swung open allowing the fifteen or so people who had gathered into the warmth of the Assiniboine Lodge. At that time we all huddled in, removed our shoes, paid our money, and went and sat in the warm room filled with tables. More campers emerged from the woods and the room was soon comfortably full. The hot tea was unlimited for $4 Canadian dollars and for $6 we got a plate of cream cake slices. This seemed like a screaming good deal given the nature of our frigid circumstances. We sat in that warm room until the very last second of that glorious hour enjoying the fireplace and drinking copious amounts of hot tea.
Return to the Cold
Once our hour of warmth had come to an end we continued our journey to the Magog Campground. Outside the lodge, the sky was still gloomy and the drizzle continued unabated. The Assiniboine Lodge sits perched on a hillside above Magog Lake with several smaller lodge huts for rent. Unfortunately, these cabins rent out months in advance otherwise we might have paid whatever price they were asking for the chance at staying in such a warm place.
On to Magog Campground
Further up the hillside on the eastern ridge is another set of rental cabins, the Naiset Huts. While they don’t have a view of the lake they are much more affordable. They too rent out months in advance. So we headed towards the Magog Campground located on the western side of the lake. The journey there is a mostly flat 1.25-mile-long trail with only slight undulations, but the muddy conditions made it a bit more difficult.
The Magog Campground
Upon arrival, we headed towards the 30s section of the campground as we had been informed by a fellow camper that these campsites were closer to the only covered cooking area in the campground and we wanted the shortest commute possible given the rainy conditions. We found our site, site number 32, located about 20 yards from the covered cooking area. We quickly set up the tent as the drizzle had slowed on the final walk-in. After setting up our site, we headed for the cooking area where we made dinner. It was cold but at least we weren’t sitting in the rain.
Magog Camping Amenities
The campground has several cooking areas but there is only one that is covered. The covered area has 8 picnic tables. It also has two other open-air eating areas with tables and benches adjacent to the covered area for nicer days. Near the covered area, there is a water spigot that should still be filtered but at least you don’t have to walk to a creek or the lake. It also has a grey water dump site for disposing of the used cooking water. The other cooking sites in the Magog Campground also have water spigots and greywater deposal sites. Relatively close to each cooking area are pit toilets along with several other toilets dispersed throughout the campground. All toilets are supplied with toilet paper which is highly unusual in backcountry sites. You should still pack your own as a backup.