Ptarmigan Cirque Hike, Kananaskis Country, Alberta

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Ptarmigan Cirque Hike, Kananaskis Country, Alberta

Postby teapot57 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:33 pm

Thought I would share some photos with you from my hike yesterday to Ptarmigan Cirque in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country, Alberta. The trailhead is located at Highwood Pass off Highway 40. At only 6 kilometers in length, this hike would be a great stop for stretching your legs if you are ever driving the scenic route from Glacier to Banff. The trailhead at Highwood Pass is at about 7,200 feet elevation, making that stretch of highway 40 the highest paved road in Canada.

If you are in the area in September, it is a nice place to view the turning larches, and I can guarantee it will be less crowded than the popular Larch Valley hike.

My friend and I were able to fit this hike in during the day while our kids were at school. It's about an hour and a half drive from Calgary to Highwood Pass, and the hike took us about two hours.

This was our view to the west after we hiked above the tree line.

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The morning sun wasn't great for photographing the cirque:

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But the views to the west were gorgeous.

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Our timing was perfect-- we were able to see the larches in all their glory.

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I enjoyed this hike because it has a lot of diversity within it's 6K length: A climb through a subalpine forest, a beautiful alpine meadow, a few small waterfalls, and an interesting cirque with lots of rocks to climb on and fossils to discover within the terminal moraine.

You can hike with your dog in Kananaskis Country, but they must remain leashed at all times. My basset hound loved being out there, enjoying all sorts of interesting scents and sights. I found out the hard way though, that she's not too fond of stream crossings.

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We had the whole cirque to ourselves and didn't see anyone else until we were coming down the switchbacks, almost to the parking lot. What a great way to spend the last day of summer.

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Re: Ptarmigan Cirque Hike, Kananaskis Country, Alberta

Postby isleroyaleguy » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:46 pm

Beautiful!
Looks like a fun day.
Love your dogs expression
Thanks for sharing
IRG
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Re: Ptarmigan Cirque Hike, Kananaskis Country, Alberta

Postby PeteE » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:44 pm

Very nice Teapot!
Beautiful place. Nice for such a short hike.

pete :wink:
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