The New and Fabulous Guinn’s Pass Trail

The southern half of Guinn’s Pass trail was rebuilt this summer after the 2013 flood damaged the original route up that dreadful avalanche gully.

Guinns Pass

View from Lillian Lake showing the hillside crossed by the trail almost at treeline.

The new trail starts from Lillian Lake and for the first 1.1 km follows the Galatea Lakes trail. At a signed T-junction overlooking lower Galatea Lake, the new trail backtracks right across a boulder field, then takes a rising line across the steep southeast slopes of Peak 217373, crossing open hillsides of scree and grass.

Guinns Pass

The T-junction on Galatea Lakes trail.

So while the pass is now a farther away objective for day hikers, it is perfect for campers at Lillian Lake who can visit the pass, peak 237374 and Galatea Lakes all in one day without too much effort. Incidentally, the refurbished campground features 9 new wooden camping platforms equipped with sliding cables and hooks with which to attach your tent and fly. This is a a  huge improvement over gravel pads and hopefully we will see more of them in other campgrounds.

Guinns Pass

Crossing the boulder field is easy.

Guinns Pass

After the scree gullies the trail starts climbing.

The trail climbs scree and slabs on the first uphill.

Guinns Pass

Above that first uphill is a view back to Lower Galatea Lake.

Guinns Pass

At a flattening, the trail rounds the bottom of a crag.

Guinns Pass

Care is needed in one place.

Guinns Pass

Lillian Lake from the bottom of the crag.

Guinns Pass

Farther on, the trail climbs steeply in places. This is a flat area with a few welcome trees for shade.

Guinns Pass

The long traverse to the pass. Peak 237374 to right is an easy walk.

Guinns Pass

Looking back along the lovely traverse.

Guinns Pass

Guinn’s Pass.

Distance from Lillian Lake 2.5 km,  1.4 km from lower Galatea Lake, 8.9 km from Galatea parking lot.  Height gain 444 m (1456 ft.) from Lillian Lake, 1004 m (3294 ft) from Galatea parking lot.

4 comments… add one
  • Alf Skrastins Jul 22, 2018, 10:07 pm

    I finally got the opportunity to hike the new Guinns Pass Trail, as part of a hike from Buller Creek to the Galatea trailhead.
    I love the new alignment. I think this truly qualifies as a “world class” trail. Absolutely stunning!

  • dave Nov 19, 2017, 3:47 pm

    I saw that trail earlier in the year and did wonder where it went looks like one to add to my to do list for next year , love this site lots of good information

  • Tony Daffern Sep 7, 2017, 12:50 pm

    Ken, We try to give a cumulative height gain rather than the height difference between the parking lot and pass. Height gain is notoriously unreliable using a recreational GPS and elevations on Google Earth are even worse. Interpolating topo map contours is often the best way. Taking the average of 3 sets of waypoints I get an elevation difference of about 900 m, interpolating from the map it is about 870 m. I use software that gives me a cumulative height gain and loss, but that is only as accurate as the track points. To illustrate the problem I have found that the elevation in a parking lot at the start and finish of a day hike to be different by as much as 50 m. I spend hours trying to figure out realistic height gains. Height gains are really only an indication of how much effort will be required for the hike.

  • Ken Hewitt Sep 6, 2017, 10:00 pm

    1,000 meters from Galatea parking lot to Guinn Pass? Did the hike last Sunday and I measure the elevation gain as 890 meters.

    But who’s counting? 😀

Leave a Comment