Backcountry campgrounds are provided at Boulder Camp below the Conrad Kain Hut and on the bare rock slabs of Applebee Dome, one kilometre above the Conrad Kain Hut.
To stay at the backcountry campgrounds, you must register for a backcountry permit. For more information, see the backcountry permit registration page.
You can purchase your permit in advance through the BC Parks reservation service. This does not reserve a campsite, but it does allow you to pre-pay for your permit, so that you do not have to carry cash on your trip. If possible, please register in advance.
In case you are unable to register in advance, a self-registration station is located inside the Conrad Kain Hut. Backcountry permit fee collection is provided by the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC).
Keep the permit with you throughout your visit. You may be asked to present it to an ACC custodian during a routine campground check.
|Adult (16+)||$10 per person per night|
|Youth (6-15)||$5 per person per night|
To prevent contamination of the water supply and damage to the sensitive alpine environment, camping in the park is not permitted elsewhere in the vicinity of the main spires (Bugaboo, Snowpatch, Crescent, Pigeon, and Howsers) or the Cobalt Lake area. Bivouacking is not permitted unless circumstances dictate its necessity.
Wilderness camping is allowed in other, more remote areas of the park, such as the Vowell Group. For more information, see the ‘wilderness camping’ section, below.
The Conrad Kain Hut is available for overnight bookings through the Alpine Club of Canada (403-678-3200) during the operational season (end of June to end of September), when hut systems are operational, and a custodian is present. Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) advanced booking policies do not apply to the Conrad Kain Hut. All visitors can make bookings for this facility up to one year in advance.
Any unreserved spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis. During the peak climbing months of July and August, the hut is often full, so reservations are highly recommended.
The Conrad Kain Hut is available for overnight accommodation for a maximum of 35 people.
A nightly, per-person fee is levied during the period from June 1 to September 30. Occupancy is limited to seven consecutive days. Fees are payable to the ACC.
The ACC charges the following fees for use of the cabin:
From November 16 to April 30, the hut is closed to all overnight use due to avalanche hazard.
During the shoulder season (May 1 to end of June, end of September to November 15), a custodian is not present, all bottom floor windows are covered with protective winterizing shutters, and all hut systems (water, propane, hydro, grey water) are winterized and non-functional.
While use of the hut is possible during this time of the year, it is not recommended.
If you do choose to visit the Conrad Kain Hut in the shoulder seasons, please be prepared for the following:
These special regulations are in effect for the Conrad Kain Hut, so that every visitor may enjoy their stay, and to minimize fire hazards:
Wilderness camping is allowed in remote areas of Bugaboo Park, such as the Vowell Group. Leave No Trace wilderness ethics should be followed.
To prevent contamination of the water supply and damage to the sensitive alpine environment, camping in the park is not allowed elsewhere in the vicinity of the main spires (Bugaboo, Snowpatch, Crescent, Pigeon, and Howsers) or the Cobalt Lake area. Bivouacking is not permitted unless circumstances dictate its necessity.
See the ‘backcountry camping’ section, above, for information on camping at Boulder Camp below the Conrad Kain Hut and on the bare rock slabs of Applebee Dome.
There are hot and cold taps in the Kain Hut. To ensure drinking water is safe, it must be boiled for at least five minutes.
Bugaboo Park has a day-use and picnicking area at the Conrad Kain Hut.
There is a pit toilet in the parking lot at the Bugaboo Park trailhead.
The toilet facilities provided in alpine areas are all barrel system toilets. A urine-only toilet is located at the Conrad Kain Hut. Two barrel toilets are near the Conrad Kain Hut, one is at the Boulder Campground, and two are at the Applebee Dome Campground. Barrel toilets are also provided for mountaineers at the Snowpatch col, the base of Pigeon Spires west ridge, and the East Creek camp.
A RESTOP bag system is also provided to reduce human waste impacts within the Spires climbing area. Please use these bags everywhere in Bugaboo Park that a conventional toilet cannot be accessed. A $2 donation is encouraged to help with future RESTOP purchases.
Where there is adequate soil (at least six inches) but no toilets, bury human waste and burn toilet paper. Otherwise collect and deposit human waste in toilets.
Some trails in the park do not require technical mountaineering skills. Others, like the trails to Conrad Kain Hut and Cobalt Lake, offer superb scenic adventures to experienced, physically fit, and well-equipped hikers.
For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Taking shortcuts destroys plant life and soil structure.
For detailed trail information, download the trail conditions report [PDF]. This document is updated regularly between May and August, as the snow melts. The most recent report is from June 21, 2023.
This trail, which begins in the parking lot, follows the northern lateral moraine of Bugaboo Glacier. The trail is very steep and strenuous, with exposure to steep drop-offs as it climbs through granite bluffs. Extreme caution should be exercised along its route. Strong, reliable footwear is essential.
This trail, which begins along the park access road across from the CMH Lodge, begins by climbing a series of steep switchbacks up an old skid road, followed by a trail through a forest of alpine larch trees. It eventually leads to an open alpine ridge with good views to Cobalt Lake and the Bugaboo Spires.
To reach the lake, descend off the ridge to an alpine pass and contour under Northpost Spire to below the waterfalls draining Cobalt Lake. Bypass the waterfalls on the left to reach the meadows surrounding the lake. Note that the last two kilometres of trail to the lake requires route-finding skills as it is infrequently marked.
The un-marked alpine traverse route between Cobalt Lake and the Conrad Kain Hut crosses talus slopes, snowfields, and a small-but-crevassed glacier. It should only be attempted by those with appropriate skills and experience.
This demanding mountaineering excursion begins at the Conrad Kain Hut (which is the starting point for many routes that lead to climbing destinations) and terminates at the Malloy Igloo, a small shelter with no amenities located near Osprey Peak. Only roped parties should attempt this route because several glaciers have to be crossed.
Alternatively, access to the Malloy Igloo via Malloy Creek is possible. For groups of mixed experience, it poses several obstacles. It is recommended that you stay on the east side of the creek due to two formidable stream crossings, and gain access via a small, steep gully from which the crest of the moraine can be reached. The final headwall is easier in early summer (there is lots of snow), but may require roped climbing later in the season.
Bugaboo Park is significant climbing destination. The spectacular Bugaboo Spires attract all levels of well-equipped climbers. There are a few easy to moderate routes, but most routes involve crossing the glaciers and negotiating difficult traverses. Crampons, ice-axe, and ropes are essential.
For climbing safety tips, see the safety info section, above.
Hunting is permitted in Bugaboo Park subject to the following conditions:
Bugaboo Park offers world-class backcountry skiing opportunities.
The park was the birthplace of helicopter skiing in North America. In 1965, Hans Gmoser hosted a small group of skiers at a logging camp just outside the present-day park boundary and explored the nearby mountains using a small three-seat helicopter. In 1968, one year before the establishment of the park, the Bugaboo Lodge was constructed on the site of the logging camp and since then it has earned a reputation as one of the premier helicopter skiing destinations worldwide.
The park is also renowned as a fantastic destination for self-propelled ski mountaineers. There are many classic ski tours that can be completed for parties based at the Kain Hut basin. The park is the starting point for the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass high-level ski traverse.
Anyone considering visiting the park in the winter should be aware that the terrain is predominantly high alpine and very complex, with few safe options when avalanche danger is elevated.
Because the Conrad Kain Hut can be threatened by avalanches, it is closed from November 16 to April 30 each year. Ski touring parties wishing to base camp in the vicinity of the main Bugaboo Spires (Bugaboo, Snowpatch, Pigeon and so forth) are required to stay at Applebee Dome campground.