Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park (est 1922, 386 km2
) is an area of mountain peaks, alpine meadows and lakes dominated by Mount ASSINIBOINE
(about 35 km south of BANFF
, Alberta). The park, which is mainly above 1500 m, has a score of peaks exceeding 2700 m, numerous small lakes (notably Lake Magog), and some underground streams in KARST
areas. Mammals include wapiti, moose, mule deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, bear, wolf, ground squirrel, coyote, porcupine; 66 bird species have been observed (eg, Canada jay, ptarmigan, waterfowl, golden eagles). The area was explored in the early 1800s and brought to public attention in the 1880s by G.M. DAWSON
, who named Mount Assiniboine after the Indians who had hunted the area for generations. The Alpine Club of Canada promoted recreation in the area and was instrumental in establishing the park, which was expanded in 1973. Today the park is used mainly for hiking, climbing, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. There are few facilities other than a lodge and cabins at Lake Magog, primitive campsites and trails. Access is mainly on foot or horseback from the Sunshine Village ski area, Spray Reservoir or Highway 93.
Alberta's Mount Assiniboine is often called "the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies" for its resemblance to that famous peak in Switzerland (Corel Professional Photos).
JOHN S. MARSH
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