The trail starts very steeply as it climbs up out of the Saskatchewan River valley. At the top of the ridge their is junction, left will take you to Sunset Lookout, which provides an excellent view of the Saskatchewan River valley. Take the branch to the right to continue on to Sunset Pass and Pinto Lake. At approximately 4 km you will arrive at the Norman Campground (Parks Canada No 5). As you cross the meadow watch for bears feeding on the berries that cover the entire floor of the valley. The 5 km hike will slowly lift you up to the top of Sunset Pass where you can view Pinto Lake and start your decent to the Lake. The trail to Pinto Lake circles the west side of the lake, terminating on the north side of the lake at the point where the Cline river exits the Lake. A primitive, but pleasant campground welcomes you.
The trail head is 16.5 km north of Saskatchewan Crossing on Highway 93 or 28.5 km south of the Banff-Jasper boundary at Sunwapta Pass. There is a small parking area just off of the highway just west of where Highway 93 crosses Norman Creek.
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Posted By: Rykeeezy
- Wed May 18 00:38:45 UTC 2016
UpsideI did this back in 2010 or 2011, the trail from hiway 93 is very steep and seems to take forever do to it being engulfed it trees. All in all though this is a very good very easy trail given that you are of rather good physical condition. DownsideNo real views until you reach pinto. Watch for bears in the alpine meadow after the hike (last little bit of the national park). CommentIn the meadow, if you aim for the far northeast corner, you will come to an amazing cliff view point over looking pinto lake and the valley, I highly recommend doing this. Also the trail continues from pinto through the valley to another pickup point along hiway 11, this is approximately 63km from the hiway 93 trail head and requires two nights on the trail.