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Old 08-29-2020, 11:25 AM   #721
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Thanks! Which one would you say is a better hike overall? Looking for some cool views
Ha Ling is a sheer cliff with a view of Canmore and bow Vally.

Sterile ridge is an open Vista of the surrounding mountains.

I prefer Sarril mainly do fewer crowds once you are past Rawson lake and the lake itself is really nice. To me Ha Ling is a shoulder season hike done in April/May or October as other things get snowed in.
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:28 PM   #722
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Sterile Ridge...there's a joke in there somewhere.


Try something like EEOR or Windtower - similar (if not better) payoff than Ha Ling without the crowds.
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Old 08-29-2020, 05:13 PM   #723
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West Wind Pass has the highest value to length/difficultly ratio in that Canmore area.

Only 3-5km I believe for great views in both directions, fraction of the Ha Ling crowds, unless everybody is going there now.
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Old 08-31-2020, 03:21 PM   #724
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West Wind Pass has the highest value to length/difficultly ratio in that Canmore area.

Only 3-5km I believe for great views in both directions, fraction of the Ha Ling crowds, unless everybody is going there now.
Yep, it's a great payoff for not much work. Tent ridge is a bit more work but huge payoff as well.
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Old 09-02-2020, 04:30 PM   #725
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If you spend time in the Columbia Valley, I highly recommend Pedley Pass (on the Rockies side), Lake of the Hanging Glaciers (on the Purcell side), and the Conrad Kain Hut hike (in the Bugaboos).
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Old 09-02-2020, 04:48 PM   #726
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If you spend time in the Columbia Valley, I highly recommend Pedley Pass (on the Rockies side), Lake of the Hanging Glaciers (on the Purcell side), and the Conrad Kain Hut hike (in the Bugaboos).

We tried going up to the Bugaboos last weekend... my truck could not handle that FSR. We turned around at about 18kms (we had no hike planned, just wanted to see it as we have a trailer just north of Radium so just a drive) and did Lower Bugaboo Falls. Very nice little easy hike.


Very much want to get up there though!
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:26 PM   #727
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I did Rawson Lake last Sunday and Ha Ling today. Both really nice hikes and I didn't find them too hard. I love living closer to the mountains now so I can experience this more often!

Also thanks for all the help and advice in this thread
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:25 AM   #728
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Thats great that you got around to both. They are great half day outings. Did you go around Rawson and get up to sarrail ridge?

Yeah, I'm an advocate of going all out whenever possible. See all the places. We have maybe 35% of the year to do it when the ground is bare in the higher altitudes so why wait if you can.

I've seen so much this year but hungry for more. Buckling down for studies though. Hopefully can fit in a trip or two for the fall colors.

If anybody has any suggestions for good fall hikes to see golden larches, do tell. I want to take this girl I'm dating out there.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:38 AM   #729
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For Larches how long of hike.

The best Larch hike is Larch Valley / Sentinal pass. This year with no shuttle to Moraine lake it will be not very busy. Normally in Larch season it’s wall to wall people. The problem this year will be parking as it’s already almost impossible to get and will get worse for latches. Essentially you need to show up 1/2hr after sunrise and get a spot as the sunrise photographers are leaving. There are also private shuttles which might be a better option for a date.

Option 2 is sunshine meadows. Rock Isle Lake or Citidel Pass. This can be as easy as a 3-5 km loop or medium 16k round trip to citidel pass or a 22k rock isle lake, then hike over to Healy pass then out Healy Creek. The problem with all of these is that it requires a Gondola ride up to sunshine meadows ($40) and I believe it was closed for Covid this year. The Gondola gains you 500m of elevation putting you at Larch elevation when you start the hike with it closed none of the above opinions are easy.

Healy pass and Bordeau lake /Harvey Pass are both 20k round trip / 700-900 elevation gain trips d St o are full days and start with 2hrs of forest. Larches are fantastic for both but you are making a full day hike commitment

Gibson Pass between Shadow lake and twin lakes might be the most under visited Latch pass. You could start hiking at highway 93 Arbica lake trailhead and hike 24k 700m round trip past twin lakes and arnica lake to get there. Or what I am doing this year is bike up the red earth creek trail 9k one way 300m elevation. It’s reasonably graded fire road, a bit of a slog but not technically difficult. Then you have another 6k 400m or so one way to get to Gibson Pass. So 18k bike 12k hike. (I haven’t done this as a bike / hike yet but have hiked and bkiked all of the trail involved as separate trips)

Lake Ohara Alpine circuit plus Opabin plateau. Amazing Hike / Logistically difficult. Normally you have the impossible to book bus to deal with but this year that’s closed so you have the gravel access road to go up 12k one way just to get to the start of the hike so any hike totals 30+k so a really long day. It’s a must do some time so watch in January when they open up the bus lottery for next year.

The above are all really amazing Larch hikes where you walk through yellow forests. They all have logistical or physical challenges that Make them not as ideal.

For okay Larches but not amazing but way easier.

Ptarmigan Cirque - 6km loop in k country
Chester lake 5 km one way
Arethusa cirque / little Arethusa- 2-5k one way depending on how far you go up. 2-3k for larches.

These will all be crowded but great hikes and in the easy to moderate range if the date is an infrequent hiker. Normally I’d recommend sunshine meadows and paying for the Bus / Gondola but with that out not sure. I think throwing money at the Larch Valley problem and booking a private shuttle from lake Louise would get you the best hike for a date. Really depends on how much hiking you want to do.

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Old 09-10-2020, 10:28 PM   #730
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Thanks. Maybe Sentinel is the one to do. Problem is you don't know when or if that parking lot is going to be filled up. Also still haven't made the little trek out to Consolation Lakes.

Did O'Hara earlier this summer. Would kill to see it in the fall from wiwixy & obapin! But a huge logistical task to get a few hours up there, the first time exhausted me.

I heard Pocaterra Ridge is good for fall also.
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:43 AM   #731
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Thanks. Maybe Sentinel is the one to do. Problem is you don't know when or if that parking lot is going to be filled up. Also still haven't made the little trek out to Consolation Lakes.

Did O'Hara earlier this summer. Would kill to see it in the fall from wiwixy & obapin! But a huge logistical task to get a few hours up there, the first time exhausted me.

I heard Pocaterra Ridge is good for fall also.
The moraine lake parking lot will be full when you arrive. I did it this summer on a week day and got there at 7:30 and the lot was full and you had to basically drive by until the road workers waved you up after someone else had left the parking lot. So you just have to keep driving the loop from LAke Louise village to the lake until you get lucky on timing. I would have a back up plan if trying to do it with parking at the lake.
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Old 09-11-2020, 03:08 PM   #732
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You can also bicycle from Lake Louise. It's 13 or 15 km depending on if you take the road or the trail. I did this when I did Tower of Babel.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:08 PM   #733
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I checked out Grotto Canyon this morning but wasn't too interested in it. Then on the way back to Calgary in the afternoon I went to Bragg Creek and hiked Powderface Ridge. That was definitely a lot more challenging and interesting
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:19 AM   #734
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my wife was talking earlier in the week about going to LL; however, the forecast (slightly cool with a chance of 1 mm of rain) turned her off as she felt she did nto have the right clothes for the potential conditions.

i am not a huge hiker, but i love LL and I was dissapointed to not be headed there. although it was nice to not get up at 5.15am as we live in the deep SE, so getting to LL is a huge task.

I will keep these places in mind for future reference:

Ptarmigan Cirque - 6km loop in k country
Chester lake 5 km one way
Arethusa cirque / little Arethusa- 2-5k one way depending on how far you go up. 2-3k for larches.
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Old 09-21-2020, 03:45 PM   #735
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I checked out Grotto Canyon this morning but wasn't too interested in it. Then on the way back to Calgary in the afternoon I went to Bragg Creek and hiked Powderface Ridge. That was definitely a lot more challenging and interesting
I did Powderface Ridge last weekend for the first time and it had a pretty good bang for the buck. You don't have to work too hard but you get some nice views (or I would have it wasn't so smoky).

However, the trail markers are pretty abysmal particularly on the ridge. I find this is pretty common on a lot of Provincial hikes. I compare that to the markings at a Federal hike like Lake O'Hara and they're not even in the same stratosphere.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:53 PM   #736
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I did Powderface Ridge last weekend for the first time and it had a pretty good bang for the buck. You don't have to work too hard but you get some nice views (or I would have it wasn't so smoky).

However, the trail markers are pretty abysmal particularly on the ridge. I find this is pretty common on a lot of Provincial hikes. I compare that to the markings at a Federal hike like Lake O'Hara and they're not even in the same stratosphere.
Lake Ohara was made by the greatest trail builder in Canadian History. Lawrence Grassi. It blows away any and all National park trails. Aside from other ones built by the master himself.

I did Ptarmigan on the weekend with a friends family with their young kids. It was stupid busy. Probably a km of cars. The hike wasn’t too terribly crowded though as the switch backs have been braided so much it is fairly easy for one group to short cut. Not great for the trail but good for Covid. The hike is hiking 4 year old friendly. Lots of kids in the 4-6 range hiking it.
Larches were about perfect.

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Old 09-21-2020, 11:16 PM   #737
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Lake Ohara was made by the greatest trail builder in Canadian History. Lawrence Grassi. It blows away any and all National park trails. Aside from other ones built by the master himself.

I did Ptarmigan on the weekend with a friends family with their young kids. It was stupid busy. Probably a km of cars. The hike wasn’t too terribly crowded though as the switch backs have been braided so much it is fairly easy for one group to short cut. Not great for the trail but good for Covid. The hike is hiking 4 year old friendly. Lots of kids in the 4-6 range hiking it.
Larches were about perfect.
O'Hara blew me away with how when you traverse the fields of orange purple and green boulders there are specific colored rocks to mark the trail. Pretty cool, must have been hell to make.

That area in general is a geological freak of nature and taking the trails is like wandering through the Disneyland of hiking networks. The most Gatorade blue looking water I've ever seen is up there.

Its funny how people praise LL and ML which are beautiful lakes, but they literally back onto perhaps the crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies and many aren't aware of it.

They did well to isolate it from the general public, it wouldn't be the same if they opened the road and built parking lots for tourists to flood the place.
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:01 AM   #738
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I don’t think Lake Louise makes my top 10. Moraine (when not over run with people) is pretty high up there for me. The 10 peaks is such an amazing range framing the lake and the rock pile gives you such amazing access to take it in.

Floe Lake
Zigadaneus Lake
MacArthur
Berg
Magog
Moraine
Oesa
Ohara
Og
Haiduk
Scarab

Yes the list is a little snobby as I not Moraine is easily accessible and most require overnight trips but it really shows just how amazing the Canadian Rockies are. Lake Louise is probably 11 or 12 for me

The amazing part of the Grassi trails is he just added well place rock to create walk ways through boulder fields. It’s so well thought out that you don’t even see it from a distance and it just slowly picks its way through obstacles.
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Old 09-27-2020, 10:02 AM   #739
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Help! We were going to do Ptarmagin or Arethusa cirque tomorrow, but I've heard the larches are now gone, and the snow line is below 2000m. Due to many health issues of the hikers, I need something around 300m elevation, nothing to steep, and under 8km. Looking around the front ranges somewhere, I think. Preferably not to far south, as my dad is coming form Canmore. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-27-2020, 10:35 AM   #740
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Help! We were going to do Ptarmagin or Arethusa cirque tomorrow, but I've heard the larches are now gone, and the snow line is below 2000m. Due to many health issues of the hikers, I need something around 300m elevation, nothing to steep, and under 8km. Looking around the front ranges somewhere, I think. Preferably not to far south, as my dad is coming form Canmore. Any thoughts?
I had friends who did pocaterra ridge across the highway yesterday and there were still larches. I did Gibbon pass in Banff on Friday and it still had larches. I’d be surprised if they were gone.

Given your description of the hikers a wet ptarmigan wouldn’t be ideal because there are some steep sections that would be pretty muddy and slick. I haven’t done Arethusa in a long time but think it’s similar with a short steep section to start.

Maybe Black Prince Cirque or Burstall pass but stop at the lakes. Or some combination of Quaite Creek / Jewel pass / prarie view.
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