Seniors Outdoor Club of Calgary out of town schedule

SENIORS’ OUTDOOR CLUB OF CALGARY, SUMMER 2017 – TUESDAY, OUT OF TOWN HIKES.... Notes - 1) "T" after a distance means "total distance" for that hike. 2) * in front of the hike destination denotes a 7:30 am DEPARTURE (make sure to check, because these hikes are NOT consecutive this year). The Whaleback trip will depart at 7:30 am from South Centre. Otherwise bus departs at 8:00 am from the Montgomery Community Centre (Home Road & 16th Avenue, NW). References: The numbers after the colon now refer to PAGE numbers in the referenced volumes. KE4-1, KE4-2, KE4-3, KE4-4, KE4-5 = Kananaskis Country Trail Guide 4th Edition, volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 respectively, Gillean Daffern. R = Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, 8th edition, Brian Patton & Bart Robinson. GT = Gem Trek Map.

Apr 11: WEST BRAGG CREEK TRAILS, FROM SOUTH TRAILHEADS
Relatively new to the club: starting at either Station Flats or Allen Bill trailhead, hike a custom-chosen selection of West Bragg Creek trails that suit your hiking style. More leisurely hikers can select from at least three choices of trails (any distance you choose), mid-energy hikers have several choices incorporating new and old trails (10-12 km), and the gung-ho group can string together a hike composed of several new trails that can challenge even the most fit with altitude and the potential for plenty of distance (20+ km, if you can walk fast enough!) Signage is good, and the south-facing trails should be in relatively good shape at this time of year.

Apr 18: YAMNUSKA / BOW VALLEY PROVINCIAL PARK KE4-3:113,104
From the trailhead parking, follow the trail steadily uphill to a junction (1.0 km). Turn east and continue up to the ridge, then west to a notch that allows access to the top of the mountain at 2120 m. Return same way (436 m;9 kmT), or stronger hikers may circle right around and return under south face of mountain (lots of scree!) OR BOW VALLEY PROVINCIAL PARK: Start from park administration building or Middle Lake and follow park trails / elk paths, hiking 10-15 km (or as far as time allows) over glacial eskers, possibly walking along the Bow, around Many Springs (keep an eye out for muskrats) or in the woods on the path around Middle Lake.

Apr 25: BARRIER LOOKOUT / BARRIER LAKE KE4-1:35,33,36
Barrier Lookout: from Barrier Dam Parking, cross the dam (1.1 km) to power line, then continue straight ahead on Prairie View Trail to Barrier Lake Fire Lookout (3.7 km). Return the same way (9.6 kmT), or go down the back of Barrier Mountain at the reflector, turn left at the bottom, and follow the Jewel Pass trail around the front of the mountain and back over the dam to the parking lot. OR Barrier Lake: cross the dam (1.1 km) to power line, then turn left onto Stoney Trail and hike around Barrier Lake as far as desired before returning the same way.

May 2: HIGH NOON HILLS or LONG PRAIRIE/PINE/MACCABEE RIDGES and ARCTIC HILL KE4-4:18-20
High Noon Hills are located in the Sheep River drainage west of Turner Valley. A small area, it offers easy hiking in the foothills. The shorter hike is a circuit (or out and back) to Hill 785124 (3 kmT;120 m). A longer hike descends to just east of the confluence of Long Prairie Creek and the Sheep River with a side trip, on the return, to Hill 794124 (9 kmT;~300 m). South facing slopes shed snow early in the spring, and the hills offer fine views of the front ranges. OR LONG PRAIRIE/PINE/MACCABEE RIDGES and ARCTIC HILL: this Sheep Valley Loop follows Long Prairie Ridge, Death Valley Trail, Pine Ridge, Maccabee Ridge and goes over Arctic Hill (12 kmT;565 m).

May 9: DRUMHELLER VALLEY / TYRRELL MUSEUM / HORSESHOE CANYON
Drumheller to Tyrrell Museum: start hike from the Visitor Centre in Drumheller ("World's Biggest Dinosaur"), following the river and an established trail (paved and gravel) through the badlands to the Tyrrell museum for a lunch stop. The trail is approximately 6 km one way. Bus pick-ups from the museum and from the Visitor Centre in Drumheller. OR Horseshoe Canyon: A glacier carved “U” surrounded by prairie. Well worn trails lead down into the valley bottom. Follow trails through the valley bottom as far as time permits or until terrain roughens, then return to the view point. The bus will pick up hikers and return you to the Tyrrelll Museum where you may spend the rest of the day, or you may hike back to Drumheller townsite.

May 16: LADY MCDONALD MOUNTAIN / MONTANE TRAIL / CANMORE NORDIC CTR K1:15
Start from Cougar Creek parking. Hike the Cougar Creek trail on the NW bank of the creek (0.9 km). Go left, climbing the steep bank to the south ridge, then to the helipad. Return via the same route (6.4 kmT). OR Montane Trail (7 kmT;170 m): Starting at the same parking lot (corner of Benchlands Trail & Elk Run Blvd) as the trail to Lady McDonald, hike approx 1 km to the Montaine Traverse intersection and follow the trail around the Silvertip Golf Course. Return to the parking lot via Silvertip Footpath. OR Hike trails starting at Canmore Nordic Centre (several possibilities including hiking to trailhead and up Grassi Lakes trail)

May 23: WASOOCH RIDGE / WASOOCH CREEK / BALDY PASS KE4-1:52,49,38
From Wasootch Creek parking, start behind picnic tables and climb steeply, then hike up the ridge (great views throughout!), eventually climbing to the grassy high point. Return via the same route (13 kmT). OR Hike some of the many trails around Kananaskis Village. OR Baldy Pass: trail begins at Wasootch Day Use area and heads north crossing Porcupine Creek and on to the junction with Baldy Pass trail and return (6 kmT) OR turn right and follow Baldy Pass trail to the boundary ridge (573 m;12 kmT).

May 30: BULL CREEK HILLS / GUNNERY CREEK / GRASS PASS KE4-5:24,35,20
Travel west on Hwy #541 to Sentinel day use area. Hike north to Grass Pass (3.2 km), and continue right onto Fir Creek Point (1.2 km). Then climb steeply up to Bull Creek Hills (731 m) and on to Marston Creek before descending to #541 at the Highwood recreation area (10.2 km). OR Gunnery Creek / Grass Pass : from Eyrie Gap day use parking, cross the highway, follow the trail on the east side of the falls up a steep hillside (3 km). Continue up Gunnery Creek trail to the junction with Grass Pass and return via Grass Pass. OR Continue up Gunnery Creek trail then up open slopes on the right to the ridge top for lovely 360 degree views, and return the same way.

Jun 6: PRAIRIE MOUNTAIN / POWDERFACE RIDGE / FORGETMENOT POND TRAILS KE4-2:72,105,181,1
Powderface Ridge: Begin at the junction of Elbow Falls Trail and Powderface Trail (road), climb north up to the ridge, and along the ridge to Powderface Pass (6.7 km). Hike down Powderface Creek Trail 3.4 km to Prairie Link junction, then continue 2.8 km down Powderface Creek Trail to the Powderface parking lot (12.9 kmT). OR Prairie Mountain: access via Elbow Falls Trail (Hwy 66). The hike - fairly steep - starts just west of the turn-off to Elbow Falls parking (8 kmT;726 m). OR Forgetmenot Pond: hike options are Ford Knoll; a fairly strenuous hike with a few steep climbs to a hilltop and great views (244 m;6 kmT) OR Nihahi Ridge; a short steep hike to a viewpoint on the south end of Nihahi Ridge (411m;8 kmT) OR Glasgow Creek loop: an easy loop around a hill below Mount Glasgow (10 kmT).

Jun 13: RAWSON LAKE / UPPER K LAKE / WATSON AREA / BBQ KE4-1:191,192,186
From the Upper Lake parking lot proceed along the south shore of Upper Kananaskis Lake to a junction, then steadily uphill to Rawson lake (305 m;7.8 kmT). OR UPPER KANANASKIS LAKE: hike out and back around the lake any distance you have time for. OR Hike the trails around Watson as desired.

Jun 20: * WHALEBACK (7:30 bus time @ SOUTH CENTRE; a long day - good flowers)
The bus will depart from South Centre Mall. The Whaleback Ridge and the surrounding area is the brightest jewel of montane landscape in Western Canada (From: "Grassland to Rockland" by Peter Douglas Elias). Access is via A7 ranch road, north of the Oldman River, to a small clearing beside Bob Creek. Hikes offered are the Camp Creek trail (out and back AFAP - minimum elevation;7 kmT), Little Whaleback ridge (out and back AFAP - 300m;10 kmT) OR a strenuous traverse of the Whaleback Ridge to Waldron Ranch corrals for a pickup on Hwy 22.

Jun 27: CARRY RIDGE / MULEY RIDGE KE4-4;44,47
West of Turner Valley, just past the Anchor D Ranch and the K-Country boundary lies ~4 km long and “ruler-straight” grassy Carry Ridge, a lovely early season foothills destination. After hiking up and along the ridge, return the same way, or via the west fork of Mud Springs Creek (an 11 km loop). The more adventurous can add a climb from Mud Springs Pass up to Muley Ridge and back to the bus. Bring your compass!

Jul 4: PIGGY PLUS / ROBERTSON FLATS / SAWMILL TRAILS KE4-1;265
Piggy Plus hike is an off-trail option from Burstall Pass parking. Hike up Burstall Pass trail to a high point just before bike rack, turn left up an old logging road and continue to climb up onto a spectacular open ridge overlooking the Robertson Glacier valley. From this point, ramble along the ridge with great views, or the more adventurous can climb to a col overlooking the French Glacier drainage. Return the same way. OR hike Hogarth Lakes OR continue up Burstall Pass to Robertson flats. OR hike a mixture of Sawmill trails from Chester Day Use area to complete a circuit.

Jul 11: * HEALY PASS / SUNSHINE MEADOWS / BANFF TOWN HIKES R:52
Healy Pass: from the trailhead past the gondola lift, follow trail 0.8 km to a junction. Turn right and follow the trail to Healy Meadows and on to Healy Pass. The meadows host a profusion of wild flowers. Return via the same route (655 m;20 kmT) or via Simpson Pass. OR Sunshine Meadows: to ride the shuttle bus from the Sunshine parking lot to Sunshine Meadows and back, you must make a reservation in advance (White Mountain Adventures, 1-800-408-0005). OR Banff: hike along the river pathways, to the Hoodoos, or to the Cave and Basin in groups of at least 4 persons.

Jul 18: JAMES WALKER CREEK /CIRQUES / NORTH KENT WEST OUTLIER KE4-1:292,295,298
Start and return to Sawmill parking. North Kent is a scramble-type trail, which leaves the parking lot with an uphill slog to an unnamed peak at the north end of Kent Ridge. Ridge (1100 m;8+ kmT). North Kent West Outlier is a beautiful and steep ridge hike on the way to Kent Ridge (680 m;6 kmT). There are spectacular views of the Spray Mountains, from Tent Ridge to Indefatigable and across to Hero Knob. OR Hike James Walker trail to the lake (260 m;9 kmT) or to the Cirques (780 m;16 kmT). Follow ski trails to the valley of James Walker Creek. The valley has larch meadows strewn with boulders and an unnamed lake. Follow the trail up a headwall to the upper valley with meadows, waterfalls, tarns, Grotto Spring and cirques.

Jul 25: * YOHO: ICELINE / LAUGHING FALLS / TWIN FALLS R:288,290
From Whiskeyjack hostel, climb steadily to Yoho Lake junction. Continue climbing to Celeste Lake junction (5.7 km), and up to the Iceline Summit (690 m;0.7 km). Descend to the Celeste Lake junction, turn left and follow the trail to the Little Yoho Valley Trail. Return to Takakkaw Falls (16.4 kmT). OR Hike the Yoho Valley Trail from Takakkaw Falls to Laughing Falls and on to Twin Falls (290 m;17 kmT). Return via the same route.

Aug 1: YAMNUSKA MTN / WEST WIND VALLEY / WIND RIDGE KE4-3:113,209,206
President’s Special, Yamnuska: From the trailhead parking, follow the trail steadily uphill to a junction (1.0 km). Turn east and continue up to the ridge, then west to a notch that allows access to the top of the mountain at 2120 m. Return same way (436 m;9 kmT), or stronger hikers may circle right around and return under south face of mountain (lots of scree!) OR West Wind Valley from Dead Man’s Flats up to Skogan Pass trailhead. Cross Pigeon Creek on bridge and follow trail to West Wind Creek that is crossed on a log bridge. (water levels will be low). Follow valley bottom trail AFAP or loop back to climb the grassy slopes of Wind Ridge for views above the trees and lunch. Return the same way. OR Wind Ridge follows the same approach as West Wind Valley, but continues up the grassy slopes to a cliff band which is easily scrambled to allow a hike to the ridge top. (790 m;13 kmT)

Aug 8: TENT RIDGE / WATRIDGE LAKE / KARST SPRINGS / RUMMEL LAKE KE4-1:248,243,278
Tent Ridge (670m;11kmT): From a widening of Shark Mountain road walk east a short way and up the south road cut to find a trail on an old logging road that leads to an overgrown cut block and a forested trail leading into the bowl beneath the horseshoe shaped ridges. Climb to the northeast ridge and circle around the bowl in a clockwise direction. One of the best easy scrambled ridgewalks in K-Country. OR Watridge Lake (60 m;7 kmT) / Karst Springs: start at the Mount Shark parking lot and continue west along the wide trail until the turn-off on your left to Watridge Lake. If desired, continue south past the lake and uphill to Karst Springs along a very beautiful creek. OR Rummell Lake: hike to this lovely translucent turquoise lake at the foot of an outlier of Mt Galatea and return the same way (10 kmT;396m).

Aug 15: * BOW GLACIER FALLS R:124 / HELEN LAKE R:55 / HELEN RIDGE
From the Bow Lake parking area, follow the shoreline, angle across willow flats to north shore, follow the stream, then the gravel flats and up a short steep incline along the canyon. Have a look at the Bow Glacier basin, then cross it to the falls. Return the same way (9.4 kmT;95 m). OR HELEN LAKE / CIRQUE PEAK: from the Crowfoot Glacier viewpoint follow the trail east, climbing to a switchback on the southeast end of Cirque Peak ridge. Traverse north on a level trail to Helen Lake (12.0 kmT). Steep switchbacks lead up to Katherine Lake and Dolomite Pass (550 m;17.8 kmT), or climb Cirque Peak (add 493 m;1.8 kmT from Helen Lake).

Aug 22: RED RIDGE KE4-3:330 / SPARROWHAWK TARNS KE4-3:321 / RUMMEL LAKE / PASS KE4-1:278
Access from Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail (Hwy 742) at Sparrowhawk Day Use area. Red Ridge is a strenuous hike with bushwhacking and scrambling for experienced hikers. Hike will be a circuit combined with a descent to Sparrowhawk tarns and hike out Sparrowhawk creek. (1036 m;13 kmT) Sparrowhawk Tarns (670 m;11.4 kmT) follows Sparrowhawk Creek trail to the upper valley and the tarns, returning the same way. OR Rummel Lake / Pass: access from Smith Dorrien Trail (Hwy 742), at Shark Mountain road, to hike to the lake and beyond to Rummel Pass.

Aug 29: HIGHWOOD RIDGE / GRIZZLY COL & PEAK / POCATERRA RIDGE / PTARMIGAN CIRQUE KE4-1
From Highwood Pass parking, hike toward Pocaterra Cirque (0.4 km). Turn left at a high point on the trail, climb steadily uphill to the ridge and follow to the north summit (488 m;4.5 kmT). An option to returning the same way is continue hiking to the south Highwood Ridge summit (5.8 km). Descend into Storm Creek drainage and bushwhack east to Hwy #40 and the Mount Lipsett Day Use area for a bus pickup. OR continue into Pocaterra Cirque turning left to hike up to Grizzly Col (518 m;8 kmT). To go further hike north on Grizzly Ridge to Grizzly Peak returning the same way (165 m;1.6 kmT). OR from Highwood Pass parking, hike to Pocaterra Cirque. Turn right, steadily uphill to the ridge and follow north traversing Pocaterra Ridge to descend to Little Highwood Pass (500 m;11 kmT) OR from Highwood Pass cross the highway and hike up into Ptarmigan Cirque (299 m; 3.6 kmT).

Sep 5: STANLEY GLACIER / MARBLE CANYON / BOOM LAKE / BOOM LAKE to TAYLOR LAKE R:206,64,
Stanley Glacier (560 m;12 kmT) This moderate hike starts from the Banff-Radium Hwy (#93) and features remnants of a 1968 forest fire (now with lots of flowers), a hanging valley, high peaks (Stanley, Storm, Wymper and Boom) and the receding Stanley glacier. At 4 km the trail arrives at a boulder field in the Stanley basin, with options for further exploration. OR Marble Canyon, a unique and popular year round attraction at the confluence of Tokkum Creek and the Vermillion river. This hike features a slot canyon, many bridges crossing, fences and well graded trails. (A busy place!) OR Boom Lake: From Boom Lake picnic area hike a forested trail first up a series of switchbacks to where the trail becomes more gradual and follow to the outlet of Boom Lake (250 m;10 kmT). OR Boom Lake to Taylor Lake traverse. This hike depends upon the trail being serviced by Parks Canada and its condition is unknown at this time.

Sep 12: MOUNT LIPSETT / NAMELESS RIDGE K2:19, 203
Hike from Hwy 40, south of Highwood pass, to this small summit of Mount Lipsett on an old coal exploration road. The hike may be done as out as far as possible and back (14 kmT;700 m) or as a circuit (11 kmT;800 m). The bus will pick up circuit hikers who wish to descend off the south ridge of the lower summit to Hwy 40. OR Hike from Hwy 40 to Unnamed Col and back (6 kmT;442 m) or upward to Unnamed Ridge to complete a circuit (9 kmT;650 m) south and back to the highway. A scrambling side trip may be made from the col to search for the Mist Mountain Hot Spring (see photos in Daffern’s book).

Sep 19: BLACK PRINCE CIRQUE & LAKE/ WARSPITE LAKE KE4-1:301
Access is via Smith Dorrien - Spray Trail (Hwy 742) from Peter Lougheed Park. Park at Black Prince Day Use area. Cross Smith-Dorrien Creek on the new bridge and follow the trail to Warspite Lake (122 m;4.2 kmT). An interpretive trail loops around east of Warspite Lake. OR continue on around Warspite Lake to climb game trails alongside Warspite Cascades to the upper valley. Climb to the right half way into the upper valley to reach Black Prince Lake behind a terminal moraine (625 m;10 kmT).

Sep 26: * MT. ST. PIRAN / PLAIN OF THE SIX GLACIERS / BIG & LITTLE BEEHIVES (LK LOUISE)
See the spectacular views as you climb to Mt. St. Piran via Lake Agnes - a stiff climb on a good trail made relatively easy with switchbacks (900 m;13 kmT). OR Hike along the shore of Lake Louise to the Plain of the Six Glaciers (365 m;10.6 kmT). OR With a side trip to the Little Beehive on the way up if desired, hike to Lake Agnes, continue up to the Big Beehive, around and down to Lake Louise, then return along the lake to the Chateau.

Oct 3: BALDY PASS / BALDY 2 / WEDGE POND - EVAN THOMAS CIRCUIT KE4-1:38,105
Baldy Pass: Trail begins at the Baldy Pass parking lot west of Hwy 40. Cross Hwy #40 and follow the trail 700 m to a 4-way junction and sign. Turn left and follow the road, which becomes a trail that leads to Baldy Pass aka Boundary Ridge (490 m;8.2 kmT). AND Scramblers can climb north up the ridge to Baldy2 (815 m;12 kmT). Return the same way. OR From Wedge Pond Day Use area follow the bike trail (Bill Milne Trail) north west to cross Hwy #40 west and continue north to cross Evan-Thomas Creek and beyond 0.5 km to a point opposite the entrance to Evan-Thomas Day Use area. Cross Hwy #40 east to the south east corner of the parking area to locate the Evan-Thomas fire road and follow 1.5 km to the Wedge Connector. Turn right on the connector and follow to the new bridge crossing Evan-Thomas creek and back a total of 1.9 km to the bike trail. Turn right at the bike path and return 1.0 km to the Wedge Pond Day Use area (100 m;8 kmT). If you have reserved energy hike the 1.0 km path around Wedge Pond.

Oct 10: * ROCKBOUND LAKE / TOWER LAKE / JOHNSTON CANYON INK POTS R:40,38
The trail starts as an old road at the Castle Mountain parking lot across the 1A Hwy from the Castle Mountain Youth Hostel. At 0.3 km a 0.6 km detour finds you at Silverton Falls (few people visit this). At 5 km the old road becomes a trail. Just before Tower Lake (7.7 km) you walk through a meadow area. Follow the trail to the right side of Tower Lake and switchback up to Rockbound Lake. Return the same way (16.8 kmT;760 m to Rockbound Lk. 15.4 kmT to Tower Lk). OR JOHNSTON'S CANYON TO INK POTS Trail reaches Lower Falls at 1km, Upper Falls at 2.7 km, and Ink Pots at 5.8 km (11.6 kmT;215 m).

Oct 17: COX HILL / EAGLE HILL / DEER RIDGE / SIBBALD LAKE KE4-2;229,255,258,254
Hike from Dawson Day Use Area, cross Jumpingpound Creek, and continue up the NE ridge of Cox Hill to an interesting summit (872 m;14 kmT) offering fine views of Jumpingpound Ridge and Moose Mountain. OR hike the trails near Sibbald Lake - EAGLE HILL: from the parking at Sibbald Lake, head south following the outlet stream from Moose Pond. Turn right on the north side of Moose Pond. Hike to a viewpoint overlooking the Bow Valley (332 m;6.8 km), or do an out-and-back of whatever length you wish. Return via the Deer Ridge Trail, if desired, (15 kmT) or go back the way you came (13.6 kmT).OR Follow the Sibbald Flats interpretive trail (1 km loop) and/or other shorter hikes near Sibbald Lake.

Oct 24: BANFF - BOW FALLS / TUNNEL MOUNTAIN / HOODOOS / SULPHUR MOUNTAIN / FENLAND TRAIL
Choose among 4 hikes: BUS DEPOT TO BOW FALLS: downstream of Banff Ave bridge, cross the Bow River on a new pedestrian / bike bridge; turn left and follow the river to the Bow Falls parking lot. Return the same way (minimal elevation gain;6 kmT). BUS DEPOT TO HOODOOS: from Banff Ave bridge follow the Bow River, without crossing, until the Bow Falls viewpoint parking lot descend and follow Bow Fall/Tunnel Mtn trail 4.5 km to the Hoodoos parking lot. Return the same way (50 m;13 kmT). TUNNEL MTN: From bus depot, hike to trail head on St. Julien Road; follow trail to top of Tunnel Mtn. Return the same way (300 m;8 kmT). SULPHUR MTN: From Banff Springs Hotel hike to gondola base and follow the trail to the ridge top. Return the same way (800 m;14 kmT). FENLAND TRAIL: Information on bus.

Oct 31: OLYMPIC SUMMIT (MOUNT ALLEN) or RIBBON CREEK KE4-1:75,79,66,69,92
From Ribbon Creek parking hike up the Hidden Lake Trail and on to the Centennial Trail. Continue to Olympic Summit (925 m). Return same way (9.4 km T). OR hike trails in the RIBBON CREEK / KANANASKIS VILLAGE area (Ribbon Falls, Skogan, Hummingbird Plume, Terrace Trail).

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