Robbins: Enjoy the Safe Spring Hike


Content of the article

Canadians subject to travel restrictions headed out in force last year. With another long winter over and COVID still affecting our way of life a lot, many people are looking for a summer filled with adventure on the trails. If we are enthusiastic about exploring the great outdoors, we must ensure that we do so responsibly.

The mountain trails in the Kananaskis area have been particularly well traveled lately. Visitors to Kananaskis Country increased by about 30% in 2020. This made things very busy for Kananaskis public safety teams, who answered 150 more calls in 2020, a 53% increase from to 2019.

“We are seeing a massive increase in visits. The trails overflow almost every day, not just on weekends. We answer so many calls from people who, if they were better prepared, would have been able to solve their own problem or have not had a problem, to begin with, ”says Jeremy Mackenzie, Alberta Public Safety Specialist Parks, Kananaskis region. .

Publicity

This ad is not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

Content of the article

Even if you know what you’re doing, a lack of preparation among less informed hikers could hurt your experience. To avoid this, novice hikers should stick to hiking trails within their area of ​​experience and level of fitness.

If you're less experienced in the backcountry, consider a guided hike this summer.  Courtesy, Canadian Rockies experience
If you’re less experienced in the backcountry, consider a guided hike this summer. Courtesy, Canadian Rockies experience jpg

Another option for less experienced hikers is to go with a professional guide. Not only does this make it a hassle-free day, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to explore the area and learn some skills.

“It takes all the stress away, not only from an organizational standpoint, but also knowing what to do if you encounter wildlife or inclement weather. Plus, guides usually bring good food, ”says Laura Dowling, professional guide and owner of Canadian Rockies Experience.

In terms of food, Dowling is no exception. Hikers on her tours are greeted with croissants and hot drinks, and her private tours also include a packed lunch and a beautiful platter of cold meats to devour on the hike.

One of Dowling’s most popular offerings is the Kananaskis Alpine Lakes Experience, a seven-hour hike and sightseeing tour from Canmore. Whether you prefer a flat five mile hike or something more difficult, she’ll have options tailor-made for you.

There is plenty of room for everyone when hiking in the backcountry.  If Kananaskis is too crowded, try the routes in Banff National Park.  Courtesy of Travel Alberta
There is plenty of room for everyone when hiking in the backcountry. If Kananaskis is too crowded, try the routes in Banff National Park. Courtesy of Travel Alberta jpg

Hiking near Banff

If you are going alone, finding the path less traveled usually makes the experience more enjoyable. Last summer, Dowling found Banff National Park to be slightly quieter than Kananaskis Country. “If you only drive an extra 30 minutes, you’ll find less congested trails.”

Publicity

This ad is not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

Content of the article

A good early season option is the hike to the upper falls in Johnston Canyon. This easy, five-mile round-trip hike follows an established trail. As it is currently only accessible by foot or by public transport (Roam Transit Route 9), you will find it much less congested than in the pre-COVID years.

Boom Lake is another great option. Hikers warm up their legs on a few quick switchbacks with a slight elevation, before following a gentle trail to the shores of the lake.

“This is a perfect hike to start the season, regardless of age and level of fitness. Although accessible year-round, spring provides a quieter experience and the chance to see Banff’s abundant wildlife. As the trail is well marked, it’s almost impossible to get lost, ”says Sarah Pittard, who documents her family’s hiking experiences under the pseudonym Instagram. Solo mom takes flight.

For more difficult hikes, Dowling recommends both Taylor Lake and Lake Minnewanka early in the season. Taylor Lake is a 12 km round trip hike with an elevation gain of 585 meters, while you can follow the shore of Lake Minnewanka for 13.5 km to the Aylmer Pass.

The trails at Cottonwood Park in Lethbridge are great for families.  Courtesy visit Lethbridge
The trails at Cottonwood Park in Lethbridge are great for families. Courtesy visit Lethbridge jpg

Hiking in Southern Alberta

While the Rockies get much of the fanfare, there are some equally appealing trails in southern Alberta.

“Castle Provincial Parks and Crowsnest Pass (have) all the beauty you would expect to find as part of the Canadian Rockies, but a lot (less) crowded. The hike here is just as breathtaking as what you will find in other mountain destinations, but few realize it because it has not been developed as much, ”says Heather Davis, owner and professional guide with Uplift Adventures.

Publicity

This ad is not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

Content of the article

Although known as a local ski resort in Blairmore, the Powderkeg Pass has well-marked hiking and mountain biking trails.

A 20 minute drive from Blairmore is Chinook Lake with a two mile loop dotted with wildflowers. Take the trail counterclockwise to be rewarded with stunning views of Mt Tecumseh and Crowsnest Mountain.

In Castle Provincial Park, Davis recommends Clubs Peak as one of those not-too-difficult treks that offer incredible vistas with minimal effort. Nearby there is an interpretive trail around Beaver Mines Lake and for something more difficult consider Table Mountain.

Are you unfamiliar with the area? Uplift Adventures offers interpretive tours, multi-day hiking trips, and private family tours that combine hiking and self-discovery of the area.

Perhaps the most overlooked gem in southern Alberta is the hiking options in Lethbridge. About 57 kilometers of nature trails lie within the city limits, winding along the Old Man River and otherworldly lava flows.

Bull Trail Park, the site of the last great battle between the Cree and Blackfoot tribes, has a long network of trails that meander through the river valley and lava flows.

On the west side of town, Cottonwood Park is a town preservation area and a natural habit for wildlife, such as deer and rattlesnakes. (Wear long pants!) Here you will find trails that lead you through meadows, lava flows and a forest.

A variety of incentives are available to hikers who share their experiences on social media, by tagging @VisitLethbridge and using the hashtag #VisitLethbridge. More details can be found by visiting the city’s new hiking webpage: visitlethbridge.com/trails.

Jody Robbins is a Calgary-based lifestyle writer. Follow his outdoor adventures on his blog: Travel with luggage Or on Instagram.

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil discussion forum and to encouraging all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a response to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread that you are following, or if a user is following you comments. Visit our Community rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail The settings.




About Thomas Thorton

Check Also

Water activities in Detroit to see the city in a new light – Detroitisit

Spending the day on the water slows down time a bit and allows you to …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.