The southern half of Guinns Pass trail was rebuilt this summer after the 2013 flood damaged the original route up that dreadful avalanche gully. It is perfect for campers at Lillian Lake who can visit the pass, peak 237374 and Galatea Lakes all in one day.

Commonwealth Ridge

Top of north summit and the Kananaskis Range.

Commonwealth Ridge, easy scramble

The big ridge looming over Highway 742 north of Mud Lake is a popular winter destination for snowshoers who plod up the lower slopes to treeline. In summer, though, there is nothing to stop the hiker/scrambler from going all the way to the summits where a fantastic view awaits.

The High Rockies Trail Thumbnail

The impressive suspension bridge over Blackshale Creek

The High Rockies Trail

The High Rockies Trail — See our Guide — is finished and open. It is just under 82 km from Goat Creek to Elk Pass at the powerline. While almost all of the trail can be used in winter there are a few things you should be aware of:

Next time you visit Elk Pass at the powerline take a few minutes to view the new portal conceived, designed, built and erected by students from three Elk Valley schools. Using carts they designed, they hauled three 16 ft carved cedar logs 5 km and 300 vertical metres to the Alberta boundary at Elk Pass.

Lake Rae

A Better Trail to Lake Rae

Thanks to a local outfitter we now have a much better trail to Lake Rea from the Elbow–Sheep cut-off in the headwaters of the Sheep River in Kananaskis Country. While the trail is 500 m longer than the discontinued one, it misses out open hillsides torn up by grizzlies and has a good tread throughout.

Avalanche Impact Pool

Tombstone Lake avalanche impact pool from the avalanche path. Upper Tombstone Lake in the background.

Tombstone Avalanche Impact Pool

Among the rarer land forms in the Canadian Rockies are snow-avalanche impact pools. They are small ponds located at the foot of steep avalanche slopes scoured out by snow avalanches with a mound of debris behind them. We visited the impact pool at Upper Tombstone Lake.

We were about 150 m up the trail when Gillean saw a bear cub ahead soon followed by its mum shepherding her offsprings toward us. We were heading up Elbow Lake Trail about 8:15 Thursday morning on a backpacking trip to Tombstone Campground.

Sandy McNabb Hills

Sheep River Hiking Trails

Here are our picks for the best day hikes in the Sheep River Area. They vary in effort required from an easy walk up Sandy McNabb Hill to moderate ascents of Volcano Ridge and Mount Ware and a long hike to Junction Lookout.

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