Boulder Pass (Carlyle Lodge)

A scenic trek around the Mount Carlyle bowl! The route to Boulder Pass is a great option if you’re staying at Carlyle Lode or want to extend your day hike into Carpenter Pass. The route leads to the southern ridge of Mount Carlyle with views over the edge towards the Purcell Mountains.

Trailhead: Carlyle Lodge
Distance, round trip: 3.2km
Elevation: +206m
Season: mid-July to late September
Difficulty: Easy
Download file: boulder-pass.gpx


This is an off-trail route. The bowl beneath Mount Carlyle is full of trickling waterfalls, rock slabs, and alpine flowers. It’s a wonderful place to explore with a camera.

Starting from Carlyle Lodge, hike up the trail towards Carpenter Pass until you pass the triangle-shaped water hut. Cross the creek above the hut. Start contouring, picking you way along the slope as you weave between ribs of rock.

Golden larches in the Carlyle Bowl

Across the Mount Carlyle Bowl

Across the slope

As Mount Carlyle comes into view, look East across the bowl for Boulder Pass – one of the ridges descending from Carlyle’s summit. You’ll see a distinctive boulder perched high on the ridge named ‘Tabletop Rock’. Aim for the ridge, steering for the trees to the left of Tabletop Rock.

Beautiful larches below Boulder Pass

Start ascending as you get closer to the ridges, still aiming to the left of those trees. You’ll see that the ridges turn into a boulder pile and the shorted route across is marked in cairns. As you hike higher, look back to see the Valhallas in the far distance.

Looking back near the top of Boulder Pass

Boulder Pass

If you’ve aimed right, it’s just a quick jaunt across the rock pile to the top of the pass! On the other side, look for Mount Loki in the distance. You’ll gaze down at a couple of small lakes cradled in the basin below.

Looking over the far side

If you’re really up for a boulder scramble, you can summit Mount Carlyle from this ridge. It’s about +200m higher in elevation, but the route is entirely over big blocky boulders.

Otherwise, you can wander along the ridge line to enjoy the views. The peaks further south on the ridge are called the Pyramids and also offer scrambling opportunities for boulder-hoppers.

Hiking along the ridge on Boulder Pass
Boulder hopping
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