Top of the World Provincial Park: Hiking
Trails provide the only access to Top of the World Park. Despite the alpine terrain, the hiking in this lovely park is not particularly arduous and is, in most cases, appropriate for the whole family. In the trail descriptions below, trail lengths are one-way.
Trail Report [PDF]
(July 23, 2020)
Please note: Trail reports updated regularly May-August as trails melt out.
Fish Lake (via the parking area): Length, 6.7 km. Suggested hiking time, 1.5-2 hours. Elevation change: 212 metres. This is a very easy hiking trail, and is especially suited for families with small children. There is a good walking surface, with occasional wet spots. The trail passes through cool, dense forest, along a riverside, and past slide areas to Sayles meadow. By crossing the creek at this point, one can return to the parking lot via the horse trail. All along this hike there are flowers blooming at different times in summer and a variety of fungi and mushrooms. Another feature of interest that is found along the horse/ski trail is Crazy River and Crazy Creek, both of which bubble out of the ground. They result from the subterranean drainage of a portion of the karst plateau which comprises most of the park.
Fish Lake to Coyote Creek Campsite and the Sugarloaf: Length, 7 km. Suggested hiking time, 1.5-3 hours. Elevation change: 368 metres. This is a fairly strenuous hike. It starts approximately 100 metres north of Fish Lake and is clearly signed. The trail branches left to Sugarloaf at km 5.6. The main trail continues to Coyote Creek Campsite.
Lakeshore Trail: Length, 2 km. Suggested hiking time, 30 minutes to one hour. This is a pleasant stroll around Fish Lake, offering many different views of the lake and the surrounding peaks.
Fish Laketo Summer Pass: Length, 4 km. Suggested hiking time, 2-4 hours. Elevation change: 430 metres. The trail begins at the north end of Fish Lake via Lakeshore Trail, continuing through alpine meadows to Summer Pass.
Fish Lake to Wildhorse Ridge: Length, 3.2 km. Suggested hiking time, 2-4 hours. Elevation change: 640 metres. The trail begins at the bottom of the slide to the west of Fish Lake. On the north side of the creek the trail switchbacks steeply for about 20 minutes, then levels out to follow the creek. The trail then encounters a small ravine and rock slide. Past the ravine, the trail switchbacks up the south-facing slope. The ridge offers a fine view of Mount Doolan and Dolomite Lake. It's uphill all the way, but the scenery and alpine flowers make it worthwhile.
Fish Lake to Sparkle Lake: Length, 2.8 km. Suggested hiking time, 1-2 hours. Elevation change: 350 metres. The trail follows the first section of the trail to Wildhorse Ridge. At the top of the first steep pitch, it branches and crosses the creek. Follow the trail through the trees to a rock slide. Traverse the western edge and slowly gain elevation until the top southern edge is reached. Proceed through a small band of trees to a large slide path. The trail stops here. Sparkle Lake is directly ahead at this point. Please walk on the rocks to prevent damage to moss and meadows. From the lake, two ridges give spectacular viewpoints. Overnight camping is not permitted at Sparkle Lake.
Fish Lake to Alpine Viewpoint: Length, 3.2 km. Suggested hiking time, 2-3 hours. Elevation change: 600 metres. The trail starts approximately 100 metres north of Fish Lake and then is blocked by a large slide path; the rest of the journey involves picking your way through scree until attaining the ridge. Caution must be exercised while ascending and descending the scree slope so that dislodged rocks will not strike anyone climbing below. It is best to travel abreast of or directly behind one another. This hike culminates with panoramic views from the ridge of Fish Lake, Lussier Valley, the alpine meadows and Mount Morro. Access to the meadows is easy. No camping is permitted at the viewpoint.
Coyote Creek Campsite to Sugarloaf: Suggested hiking time, 30 minutes. Elevation change: 300 metres. The trail is marked near the campsite. Hikers are rewarded with a panoramic view from the summit.