Wonder Peak
2852m (9357ft.)

Located on the continental divide in the Marvel Lake Valley; eastern buttress of Wonder Pass. on the border of Banff & Assiniboine parks, Alberta/BC border. Major headwaters Bow & Kootenay rivers.
Latitude 50; 53; 25 Longitude 115; 34; 20, Topo map 82J/13


Named by Arthur O. Wheeler and Conrad Kain in 1913. The view from the summit of this mountain inspires "wonder." Official name.

Photo: Wonder Peak (right) from the shores of Lake Magog

Other Information

On September 26, 1913, Arthur O. Wheeler, Mr. Campbell, and Conrad Kain were probably the first to visit the summit of this mountain. Although Wheeler had seen Mount Assiniboine from numerous peaks, it was from Wonder Peak that the surveyors first had a close-up view of the, "Matterhorn of the Rockies."

In Volume I of the Interprovincial Boundary Survey, Wheeler wrote, "The peak and pass are so called on account of the wonderful view that meets the eye from their summits: Marvel Lake, Lake Gloria, and a huge amphitheatre of glaciers, with a setting of green forest, suddenly appearing."

While resting on the summit Conrad Kain wrote in his journal, "I am lying here on the summit of Mount Wonder, Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Campbell working with (surveying) instruments several yards from me. The peak was unnamed, and rightly did we christen it. It is on the Great Divide: the water on the eastern slope has a long journey to the Atlantic, while that of the southwestern side goes to the Pacific. Far below in the eastern valley are two lakes. We call the longer one Marvel Lake, the other Wonder Lake. The latter has an indescribable blue-green colour. Marvel Lake is deep blue and has some islands, about which the water is not deep and so takes on other colours. Both lakes are surrounded by pine and fir forest. 200 yards below the summit three wild goats lie in the grass and enjoy a sun-bath. As far as the eye can reach nothing but high mountains. On the Pacific side: meadows, below which I can count seven lakes, green forest, and Mount Assiniboine, which so resembles the Matterhorn in outline. To the west and south I see peaks covered with snow. At the foot of Mt. Assiniboine is a lake, possibly a mile and a half in length, with glacier ending directly in it. Some little icebergs float about, without destination. Our camp is on the shore of this lake in a grove of larch, the trees all in bright autmumn colouring. I think myself fortunate amidst the peace and quiet of nature."

[From "Where the Clouds can Go by Conrad Kain]

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