Spring Hiking in Canmore Kananaskis – Trails To Add To Your Hit List
- Spring, Summer & Fall
- Karen Fennell - April 10, 2019
Adventure waits for you right outside the doorstep of your mountain basecamp, 365 days a year in Canmore Kananaskis. Seeing as it is Spring, it is only a matter of time before our trails will be ‘good to go’ for hikers, but we have a few great ones on the old hit list that are ready for your boots to go walkin’ before the busy season.
As always, it is necessary to be prepared for every scenario when heading out for a hike. So first, let’s touch on what should be in your pack. Parks Canada released a notice that the bears are awake, including the infamous ‘Boss’, so first and foremost you need to make sure you have bear spray and that it is not expired. Yes, these things have an expiration date, so better to check not just once, but twice. Moreover, be sure to check the trail report for bear closures, as some trails have bears hibernating in the area.
Next, are the obvious items, but we still find people hiking without them, so we might as well remind you: snacks, lunch, and 1L of water minimum. Everyone should also have appropriate hiking shoes, and you may want gaiters, depending on where you are going since some trails still have quite a bit of snow in spots.
Lastly, have a map of where you are going, let someone know which trail you are hiking as well as your itinerary, and be sure one person in the group has a first aid kit.
Now for the good stuff! Many people have already hiked up the ever-popular Lady MacDonald, which can take you anywhere from 3-6 hours, depending on your route. If you are heading to the helipad only, it is easy to complete this segment round-trip in 3 hours (less if you’re a trail runner). If you’re heading up to the ridge-walk and true summit, it may take you much longer so plan for a whole day. Here’s a preview of what your summit views will look like:
Next on our hit list is the easy local’s favourite – Barrier Lake/Prairie View Lookout. This trail is great for families and groups that are inexperienced with hiking. The trail is loamy and obvious, with a slight ‘scramble’ near the summit. The views of the lake and valley are beautiful, and the summit area is large enough for you all to sit down, bask in the sunlight, and eat your lunch before descending.
Across the road is a more challenging hike, but another summit that features a ridge walk. Mount Baldy is a great hike that offers up a mixed-bag to satiate everyone’s summit-appetite. With a bit of moderate scrambling, you can reach the summit and sit down for lunch before moving on along the ridge. The ridge offers great 360 views and amazing photo opportunities. As with every trail, be sure to double check the trip maps and information, as there are several ‘false’ trails that do NOT lead to the summit.
Last but not least, Kananaskis Country’s Wasootch Ridge is a must-do on this Spring hiking list. The great thing about ridge hikes is that you can choose your own adventure and carry on around the full ridge, or reach the summit and head back down to the valley bottom. Again, the views from the summit are excellent and there are areas where your crew can sit down, enjoy the view and sunshine, and have a bite to eat before descending the mountain.
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