These are probably the best meadows in the West Kootenay, and they have the best access.
Difficulty: easy A1
Elevation gain: 550m (1804′)
Key elevations: TH 1810m (5900’);
Time: 2-3 hours one-way
Access: any vehicle till last 3.7kms require HC because of deep water bars, 4WD?
Season: early July to mid-October
Map: 82K/7 Duncan Lake
Drive: From junction with road going south to Johnson’s Landing/Argent. Zero odometer
0.0 Go straight on Duncan FSR, cross Hamill Creek in 200m and continue north along Duncan Lakes SE shore.
9.2km Go straight. Left is the Glacier Creek Recreation Site.
9.7km Go right (NE) and ascend onto Duncan-Glacier Creek FSR. (left continues north along the Duncan Lake and River. 12.9km Road is at creek level
14km Rainbow’s End Ranch. Free ranging animals. 18.1km cross side creek.
20.1km Junction. Go straight on main road. (left is to the MacBeth Icefield TH)
21.7km Cross Glacier Creek
33.7km After another bridged creek, junction. Right (east) is to Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier. Left (NW) goes up the north fork of Glacier Creek towards the Monica Meadows TH. Zero odometer.
0.0 Go NW up the north fork of Glacier Creek
1.7km Turn right (NE) uphill on Monica Road. Deep waterbars require HC, preferably 4WD. Left ends at washed out bridge on the N fork of Glacier Creek.
5.4km Park at TH 1810m (5900’). The road continues SE.
Trail/Route: Get water in the creek as there is none until the lakes in the basin. The trail slowly switchbacks up the mountain for 30-45 minutes until it levels at 2140m (7020′). The trail ends near 3kms in the alpine in a stand of large larch – this is the camping area with an outhouse. Travel is easy from here. A hiker-made trail continues passing lakes and leading to the ridge line.
A good route to explore the meadows is to head NW to a low ridge with many mature larch trees. The great views are to the MacBeth Group and icefield to the west and Horseshoe Glacier to the south. This ridge can be followed NW to gain access to Starbird Pass just north of Mt Monica in about 2 hours.
Climb the ridge extending SE from Mt Monica forming the Egyptian Peaks.
What to do?
1. Climb Mt Monica.
2. Climb any of the Egyptian Peaks. Mt Aten just SE of Monica is easily scrambled but Mt Osiris is the easiest to ascend. Climb up to the Starbird neve at 244-856, about 500m NW of Osiris.
3. Glacier Dome. A long day-hike from the meadow.