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Day Hike Kananaskis?

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Denver, CO
posts: 19
Day Hike Kananaskis?

I am staying 2 nts in Canmore Sept 21 since Banff is apparently booked for a big bike race that wknd. As such I'm considering spending Saturday hiking in Kananaskis Country (instead of Banff NP) since I'll have 3 days in Banff after my Canmore stay (but my friend will only have 1 day in Banff NP).

My questions are:

1 - Is K Country worth taking a day away from BNP? A couple travel books make it sound like the locals' well-kept secret but I've found very little here on TA (so maybe indeed a well-kept secret?)

2 - Any suggestions for a fabulous 8-12 mile summit hike (we like lake hikes too but seems we'll get our lake fix in BNP)

Thanks in advance for any advice and suggestions!!

1. Re: Day Hike Kananaskis?

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Edmonton, Canada
posts: 3,850
reviews: 56
2. Re: Day Hike Kananaskis?

1. Yes, ssh.

2a. Barrier Fire Lookout, Jumpingpound Ridge (hikes)

2b. Heart Mountain, Mount Yamnuska, Mt. Tyrwhitt (light scrambling)

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 22,311
reviews: 66
3. Re: Day Hike Kananaskis?

Comparing Banff to K-Country is really an apples-and-oranges thing.

Banff: Century-old national park with strong protection for wildlife and controls on development. Lots of tourist services, such as restaurants, accommodations, gas, shopping, gondolas, etc. Since it's at a higher elevation than K-Country, there are glaciers and glacier-fed lakes and rivers with that unique coloration.

K-Country: First set up in the 1970s. Since it's not a national park, there is a bigger mix of permitted activities, such as all-terrain vehicles (limited to certain areas within K-Country) and hunting (again, limited to particular zones within K-Country). Less infrastructure, since it is primarily meant for day use and camping - only a few fixed-roof accommodations and restaurants, only one or two gas stations. Because it is in the front ranges, the mountain forms are quite different from those in Banff. I like them because of that (especially in the Highwood Pass area), others think that they are less attractive than jthose in Banff.

There is a huge network of hiking and climbing trails, and the K-Country vault toilets are quasi-legendary, and everywhere: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2MW9

Consider Mt Allen for your mountain hike, but make sure to get an early start:

trailpeak.com/trail-Mt-Allen-Centennial-Ridg…

It's 16 km (10 miles), but with a lot of elevation gain, of course.

If you're interested in a challenging lake hike (and don't mind climbing a short cliff face with fixed chains - easy for non-climbers), consider Ribbon Lake, with Ribbon Falls en route. It's been years since I did it, but an acquaintance was raving about it recently. The three Memorial Lakes are also a good hike. If you're interested in something shorter, Troll Falls is nice but much more popular.

Denver, CO
posts: 19
4. Re: Day Hike Kananaskis?

Thank you both for the recommendations!!

I will research all of your suggestions - I'm sure one or more will work!!

Calgary, Canada
posts: 1
reviews: 17
5. Re: Day Hike Kananaskis?

We "locals" much prefer Kananaskis to Banff NP for many reasons!

The best trails (or should I say routes) are unofficial and unsigned and need some knowledge of the area. Tent Ridge Horseshoe (which I just did this last Saturday) is a great hike/scramble.

The trail-head is just up the Watridge road in Spray Lakes Provincial Park signed Mount Engadine Lodge. Just do a search on the internet and you will find quite a lot of information. I'm sorry I did not see your post before

Edited: 6:10 pm, September 11, 2012
Hudson Valley
posts: 1,191
reviews: 1
6. Re: Day Hike Kananaskis?

We enjoyed hiking to Burstall Pass when we stayed in Canmore several years ago. It's funny - nearly everybody we met on the hike was local and they kept wanting to know what we were doing there (in a friendly way, I guess most tourists flock to Banff).

Canmore, AB
posts: 75
reviews: 60
7. Re: Day Hike Kananaskis?

Buller Pass and Pocaterra Ridge are great day hikes as well.

8. Re: Day Hike Kananaskis?

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