Jumbo Pass is a beautiful alpine ridge studded with larch and surrounded by massive peaks and glaciers. Most of the hike is done in the forest, but the destination is well worth the journey! Jumbo Pass can also be hiked from the Invermere side and has an overnight hut that can be booked.
Trailhead: Glacier Creek FSR
Distance, round trip: 10.72km
Max elevation: 2490 m
Min elevation: 1528 m
Total climbing: 958 m
Total descent: -962 m
Trailhead & Driving Directions
From the West Kootenay side, Jumbo Pass is accessed up Glacier Creek FSR and driving directions can be found on Rec Sites and Trails BC. We camped at Glacier Creek Campground in order to hike Monica Meadows, Jumbo Pass, and Macbeth Icefield all in one long weekend.
The road was in great condition for all vehicles, until the final Monica/Jumbo junction where we started to dip into wide water bars and found a section of road with a long shallow washout and running water. 4WD and high clearance were much appreciated for this!
Uphill through the forest
The downside to this hike is that the vast majority of trail is just a steady climb through the forest without much scenery along the way. It’s reminiscent of Pulpit Rock in Nelson. Glimpses of Horseshoe Glacier peak through the trees to add a bit of interest, but it’s mostly an uphill march.
After about 4km, over 700m of elevation, and about 1.5 hours, the forest finally started breaking up into patches of meadow and larches began to appear.
The scenery really starts to open up at the top of the pass! You’ll come to a cross-roads in the trail. Right heads down to the Invermere side and left (signed) leads to the cabin. The best views of the ridge and surrounding peaks are found by heading to the cabin, so follow the sign!
Up the North Ridge
Once you reach the cabin, follow the trail behind it to ascend the north ridge. This last bit of trail adds +150m climb but leads to an absolutely panoramic vista. You don’t need to go all the way up the ridge – after just 0.5km up the trail you’ll be a scenic bump which is the perfect spot for lunch.
It took us about 2.5 hours to hike from the trailhead to our ridge vista, so after a good break we started heading down. The larches were just starting to shift yellow at their tips and Jumbo Pass will be gorgeous to visit in September when they turn to gold.