When you are living within the Calgary – Banff hall chances are high that lovely excellent that you just already understand how implausible the mountaineering is alongside the Kananaskis Path (Freeway 40). However out of the town guests in large part do not know that the mountaineering here’s on par with a lot this is to be had in within reach Banff Nationwide Park. Many of the hikes at the Kananaskis Path don’t see any place close to the choice of folks you spot within the nationwide park. And neither is there a necessity for a park move.
Described are 12 Kananaskis path hikes with a view I’ve finished through the years. The drawback to maximum – however now not all of those hikes – is that they begin off steeply. On hikes like Opal Ridge South, Wasootch Ridge and King Creek Ridge, your legs will likely be screaming at you nearly from the get-go.
However all of those hikes are value it for the Rocky Mountain perspectives they ship in spades. Some are difficult and require slightly of scrambling in puts, whilst others are family-friendly. Make sure you pick out one who fits your talent. And I’d counsel checking path stories on-line for any closures, endure signals or different helpful data earlier than you head out.
The opposite necessary factor to notice is that a few of these hikes aren’t out there till June fifteenth when the street over Highwood Go opens. Some hikes like Mt Allan also are closed till June fifteenth to offer protection to the wild animals all through their birthing season. And ranging snow ranges around out the accessibility to one of the most different hikes.
I’ve had excellent early season good fortune mountaineering Wasootch Ridge (mid-Might 365 days), Opal Ridge South (2nd week of June) and King Creek Ridge (2nd week of June).
You may also like: 15 Simple Kananaskis Hikes Everybody Will Love
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Location map of the Kananaskis Path hikes
Kananaskis Path hikes – Centennial Ridge – Mt Allan
The Centennial Ridge hellooke is a protracted one however considered one of my favorite mountain hikes. We did it as a a method hike with a trip and completed after an epic day at Lifeless Guy’s Residences off the Trans-Canada Freeway. That day out is described within the hyperlink to the weblog publish beneath – as are the instructions to seek out the principle path up Centennial Ridge.
The trailhead is situated on the Higher Ribbon Creek car parking zone accessed off the street to Nakiska Ski Lodge. From there it’s slightly difficult discovering the proper path as there’s a actual warren of them – and maximum of this house is poorly signed. If you’re at the Centennial Ridge path and hiking, it’s all lovely straight-forward.
I’d rank this hike as tricky as a result of its duration and vertical acquire. It’s roughly a 7.8 km a method hike to the summit of Mount Allan by way of the Centennial Ridge – and that incorporates an elevation acquire of one,356 m (4448 toes). There could also be a tiny little bit of down-climbing (after the Mushroom Lawn) that may be difficult for some and not using a spotter.
The spotlight of the hike except for the insane perspectives on the summit, is the Mushroom Lawn – a space of conglomerate pinnacles in all way of sizes and styles.
Wasootch Ridge hike – some of the first to be snow-free
The Wasootch Path hike is normally a super selection for an early season mountain hike because the snow leaves temporarily. However that may range from yr to yr, so use some not unusual sense.
The trailhead is likely one of the closest to Calgary. It’s simply 17 km off the Trans-Canada Freeway at a trailhead this is signed Wasootch Ridge. The true path is somewhat tougher to seek out as there are not any markings however learn the publish beneath and also you’ll see it heads instantly up from in the back of a picnic desk.
Whilst it’s a steep hike to start with, that still approach you get nice perspectives briefly order. And after the preliminary steepness the hike is lumpy greater than anything. Most of the people prevent at an glaring flip round level – the place the mountaineering turns into some extent or two tougher. It’s an glaring spot that’s 5.3 km and 762 m up from the car parking zone.
The real summit generally is a problem and the general public don’t try it. Bear in mind of that truth particularly in case you’re a tad chance opposed.
Galatea Lakes hike
This can be a easy, average hike that still comprises Lillian Lake. Get started on the well-signed trailhead roughly 20 km south of Barrier Lake at the west aspect of the freeway.
Hike 5.5 km a method with an elevation acquire of 492 m to achieve Lillian Lake. You’ll pass a lot of bridges as you apply the creek throughout the timber. The most efficient perspectives of the hike don’t get started till you succeed in Lillian Lake. (Observe that there’s a backcountry campsite at Lillian Lake.)
From Lillian Lake it’s an additional 1.1 km with a 183 m elevation acquire to achieve the Galatea Lakes. Briefly order you’re out of the timber and the jaw-dropping perspectives spread. It’s grand surroundings.
There may be the method to proceed to Guinn Go from a spur path off the Galatea Lakes path.
Learn: The Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, Alberta
Guinn Go hike
Guinn Go is an overly profitable hike but it surely’s a degree of issue tougher than the Galatea Lakes hike as a result of the extra distance and elevation acquire.
Observe the path against the Galatea Lakes however head off for your proper at a signed junction to proceed to Guinn Go. There may be the method to proceed even upper up the shoulder of Mount Kidd from the move. From there, the Galatea Lakes glance tiny.
It’s 14.4 km as a round-trip hike with an elevation acquire of 1055 m. It will make a very good day hike in case you have been tenting on the Lillian Lake Campground.
Opal Ridge South hike
This 8 km round-trip hike to Opal Ridge South is a difficult one because it’s actually slightly of a scramble in puts. There’s a nasty segment of scree that may put a large number of folks off. And also you climb 1,012 m, so over the 5 – 6 hours it takes to do the hike, you get reasonably a work-out.
The hike begins on the gasoline station throughout from the turn-off to Castle Mountain. Whilst there isn’t any signage, in case you apply the course description within the hyperlink beneath, you’ll to find it to be easy.
The rewards after you get throughout the scree are implausible. There’s pretty grassy sections, giant to your face mountain perspectives after which to complete – a satisfying ridge stroll.
King Creek Ridge – a steep however extremely rewarding hike
I find irresistible to do one thing outside on my birthday and this hike used to be my selection in 2019. By means of the second one week of June it used to be snow unfastened, save for a couple of mounds of snow the canine loved rolling in to chill off. The snow unfastened date will range significantly from yr to yr.
Park at the east aspect of Freeway 40, more or less 100 m north of the iciness gate for Highwood Go. To seek out the trailhead stroll again out against Freeway 40 and glance north. You’ll’t leave out the path commencing into the grass from the street.
This isn’t a family-friendly or beginner hike. It positive factors 731 m and maximum of this is at the steep two km path as much as the ridge. Whilst you after all succeed in the ridge flip left and apply it for 1.5 km. The ridge most sensible mountaineering is classy and the perspectives exceptional. I felt like I’d been transported to Switzerland.
Don’t fail to remember the poles in this hike.
Learn: The King Creek Ridge Hike in Kananaskis Nation
Pocaterra Ridge hike
E book off an afternoon between the second one and 3rd week of September so you’ll hike Pocaterra Ridge and benefit from the larch show. It’s some of the very best I’ve skilled in Alberta.
Accumulate a couple of buddies in combination – who personal automobiles – because the 9.3 km Pocaterra Ridge hike is very best finished with a automotive trip. Depart one automotive on the Little Highwood Go car parking zone and the opposite at your get started level on Highwood Go. When you do it as a a method hike it’s average however tricky as an out and again hike. In overall there’s a 550 m elevation acquire and a 875 m elevation loss.
The preliminary path is a tad tricky to apply (take a look at the hyperlink beneath) however if you see the ridge the remainder of the hike is totally glaring.
There may be one primary ascent after which 4 minor ones alongside the ridge. The overall descent is steep now and then and the path is undoubtedly at the sketchy aspect. Thankfully a couple of of our workforce had finished the hike earlier than and led the best way. Within the perfect global you must end without delay throughout from the Little Highwood Go car parking zone.
This can be a hike the place it can pay to take your time and revel within the perspectives.
Learn: The Pocaterra Ridge Hike in Kananaskis
Grizzly Ridge hike
Get started the hike to Grizzly Col and Grizzly Ridge at Highwood Go – the similar trailhead used for Ptarmigan Cirque and Pocaterra Ridge.
It’s 4 kilometres one technique to Grizzly Col from Highwood Go. Upload any other 0.8 km to Grizzly Ridge. The elevation acquire is 518 m to achieve the col and any other 165 m to achieve the summit of Grizzly Ridge.
This hike is one for severe hikers as there are scree slopes at the approach as much as the col and an ethereal however utterly potential ultimate climb to the highest of Grizzly Ridge. I believe it’s an impressive hike – and it doesn’t get crowded.
Permit 5 to 6 hours for the go back day out so you’ll grasp across the col and/or the summit and take within the perspectives. Learn the publish to get detailed directions on discovering the path from the Pocaterra Ridge hike.
Kananaskis Path hikes – Ptarmigan Cirque
That is any other hike this is accessed from the Highwood Go car parking zone, which opens on June fifteenth annually. In contrast to the opposite two hikes, this one is family-friendly and absolute best for putting off of the town visitors who need a style of the prime alpine, with no need to paintings too laborious to get it.
The hike is a family-friendly 3.6 km loop, together with the interpretive path, with simply 210 m of elevation acquire. Experience waterfalls, a desolate having a look cirque and ample wildflowers in case you hike it in the summertime.
Learn: The Ptarmigan Cirque Hike in Kananaskis Nation
This is likely one of the less-traveled Kananaskis Path hikes. It’s simple and family-friendly however the hike isn’t on a maintained path.
The trailhead will also be discovered roughly 1.25 km south of Highwood Go at the east aspect of the freeway. There may be an unmarked however huge car parking zone and a path signal (the one one) on the north finish of the car parking zone.
This hike is roughly 4.5 km round-trip with 330 m of elevation acquire. It’s a hike that delivers perspectives the minute you succeed in the primary tarn. Proceed on, hiking a brief scree slope to experience superlative perspectives in all instructions.
The realm round Arethusa Cirque is a well known spot for fossil looking which makes it an interesting time out for children.
Pickle Jar Lakes hike
To do the Pickle Jar Lakes you’ll force over Highwood Go or get admission to the path by way of Freeway 40 out of Longview. From Highwood Go force 20.6 km south on Freeway 40 to get to the Lantern Creek car parking zone.
The hike to the Pickle Jar Lakes is roughly 9.0 km round-trip – however that’s in case you talk over with all 4 of the Pickle Jar Lakes. The elevation acquire is an overly potential 450 m. Now not all lakes are lovely. I believe the 3rd one is the most productive of the lot however in case you’ve long gone that a ways, chances are you’ll as effectively knock off the fourth one.
Some sections of the hike are on scree (now not for lengthy thankfully) and difficult packed filth the place it’s laborious to achieve any acquire. I’d counsel poles once more in this hike – and a fishing rod (and license) because the lakes are stocked.
Elbow Lake – Rae Glacier hike
You’ll knock off the go back hike to Elbow Lake in beneath an hour. It’s only one.3 km a method from the well-signed trailhead (62 km south of the Trans-Canada Freeway) with 137 m of elevation acquire. There’s nice backcountry tenting by way of the lake this is perfect for younger households.
The hike to Rae Glacier takes to the air from the path about midway round Elbow Lake as you hike it counterclockwise. The path to the glacier is marked with a work of flagging tape. The Rae Glacier hike isn’t a troublesome one because it best positive factors an additional 229 m over a distance of two.2 km.
There isn’t so much left of the Rae Glacier however you’ll get to the purpose the place you’re status on blocks of ice. Flip round when it feels prudent to take action. Alongside the path experience a smattering of wildflowers and an attractive waterfall.
I’d inspire you to hike the entire approach round Elbow Lake earlier than returning to the trailhead because the perspectives are reasonably pretty.
South Finish of Lawson hike
In June 2020 I did the South Finish of Lawson hike, simply 4.5 km off the Kananaskis Path. Whilst it’s a steep one, the perspectives are superlative in very brief order. Close to the top of the hike there’s a amusing little bit of scrambling.
Permit 4 hours to do the 8.4 km round-trip hike with 690 m of elevation acquire.
Learn: The South Finish of Lawson Hike in Kananaskis Nation
A couple of issues to take with you on those mountain hikes
It’s all the time a good suggestion to hold a paper map (GPS batteries can die) so I’d extremely counsel selecting up a replica of the Gem Trek – Kananaskis Lakes map. It makes the day out making plans that a lot more uncomplicated.
Ahead of you head out on any of those hikes learn Pointers for Staying Secure in Undergo Nation. Make sure you lift a can of endure spray that’s simple to get admission to. And all the time take the 10 mountaineering necessities.
A couple of different issues I love to tackle each hike come with light-weight mountaineering poles, a buff, an inflatable seat cushion for a extra comfy lunch and brief gaiters in the summertime to stay the small stones out.
Lodging choices close to those hikes
If you wish to keep within the house you’ve 3 excellent alternatives – Mt Engadine Hotel – a non-public favorite, Kananaskis Mountain Hotel (then you definately’re a hop, skip and a bounce from the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, and the Kananaskis Desert Hostel for a decrease price range possibility.
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