Trail through the cutblocks.
This is the story of two trips to Highway 549. The first was to check out reports of well roads being gated in an effort to stop Pengrowth’s well sites being used as shooting ranges. And it’s true. Gates have been installed by ministerial order (am I the only one who dislikes that term?) on the Mesa Butte access trails down by the highway. Just means we have to walk a little bit farther. No big deal there. However, the gate on the Threepoint Creek trail is another story. It is situated on the east side of the bridge over Threepoint Creek and means we can no longer drive to accesses 2 and 3 described on page 204 of volume 4. You’re gonna need a bike if you have any hope of getting to the great viewpoint on the Hogs Back trail. [click to continue…]
Slogging up the Hydroline. The actual snowshoe trail is to the right of the ski trail near the trees.
Finally got around to looking at the official snowshoe trail to Elk Pass in Peter Lougheed park.
The well-marked trail starts from the end of Elk Pass parking lot and heads up the powerline right-of-way. Before the steep bit it cuts left, crosses Elk Pass ski trail and climbs an old track to the top of the ridge. It uses the ski trail to descend to Fox Creek where it turns left on Fox Creek trail, then almost immediately right for an enjoyable stint alongside Fox Creek — the nicest part of the whole route. We would have liked to have continued up Fox Creek, but on reaching the bottom of Hydroline, we were disappointed to find that the rest of the route follows Hydroline up the steep hill and along the powerline right-of-way all the way to Elk Pass. This is a long and boring straight (particularly on snowshoes) and exposed to bad weather. And apart from having a picnic table and visiting Whisky Jacks, Elk Pass on the powerline is no great shakes as a destination either. We are wondering if anyone’s made a trail up the more sheltered environs of upper Fox Creek to West Elk Pass where the views are?
A friendly Whiskey Jack at the high point of the ski trail.
Start Elk Pass parking lot on Kananaskis Lakes Trail. Distance 5.5 km to pass, height gain ~259 m (850 ft.)