Neither Wietse or I were really in the mood for front range hiking but we decided it would be good exercise and a good test of my ankle.
My 2020 season was one of my favorite to date and even a messed up ankle can’t take away the many peaks, many beautiful landscapes, great memories with great friends and all of the many wonderful experiences I was lucky enough to enjoy. Marvel Peak was certainly a highlight among many!
I liked this short hike. It’s a great family option too. Be aware of some hard-pack dirt to the summit that folks in runner might not enjoy if they’re not used to slippery trails that are this well used. Just don’t expect solitude unless you’re up and at it early in the day.
It was hard not to enjoy life as we sat in silence and listened to the night life start up around us in the forest. Reflecting back on our special trip up Panther Mountain as I fell asleep was just about the perfect way to end a perfect summer day.
Mount McCarty was a strange mix of very pleasurable hiking in fields of wildflowers surrounded by impressive mountains and a bit of a thrash through heavy vegetation (soaking wet) and myriads of bugs including mosquitoes.
I meet the same folks time and again and have run into more friends here than anywhere else in the Rockies. And why not? It’s about 45 minutes west of my house, boasts 650m of height gain and only takes around 1.5 hours in decent conditions.
It’s hard to put this day into a trite summary. There was simply way too much going on to do it justice. There was exhaustion, bugs and willows but there was also wildflowers, soaring summit views and exhilarating hiking through a special hidden place that very few have trod before.
I highly recommend Coliseum Mountain for any hiker that is in the Nordegg area. This easy mountain hike is comparable to Prairie Mountain or Cox Hill and can be done by anyone who is used to height gains around 700 meters and mountain environments.
Would I recommend my route on Carbondale Hill? Yes and no. If you want to try a north approach I recommend trying the cutline route. Start where I did and follow the track I did a bit further to see if there’s a trail up the cutline. If there is, this could be a wonderful option.
Cherry Hill is not destined to be one of the greats. But it’s a thing with a high point – possibly even an official “summit” that’s not the one you hike to. And you can never have too many of those on your bucket list. Can you?
IMHO there is much value in a peaceful front range solo rambles where the mind is free to wander along with the butterflies, the bees and the sharp scents of spring as they carry along on crisp front range breezes. I think that in a world that only seems to admire extremes, there is a deep satisfaction in realizing that “simple” is fast becoming the new “extreme” – if only because it seems so hard for many of us to do.
I recommend this hike for people looking for a front range hike with a bit of scrambling and some nice foothill views. Just make sure you ask for permission before setting foot on someone else’s land so that we can all keep enjoying little gems like this.
Wietse and I agreed that despite initial misgivings on these small “nothing” objectives, they did sport some pretty sweet views and the combination of bear tracks and wild weather made them worthwhile. Just barely. The cards peaks are a good option for families looking to try some off trail hiking with some pretty sweet views.
I enjoyed Black Mountain as a short, easy hike with very interesting landscapes and natural features. I highly recommend it as a half day hike when you are short of time and need to refresh your soul with some good Alberta montane country.
I would rate Bluff Mountain as an excellent and easy scramble via the SE ridge and I would highly recommend going back over Greenhill Ridge. We didn’t run into any “No Trespassing” signs or private land issues and the pictographs are a pretty unique Rockies experience.
Within 30 minutes of leaving the parking lot in Bragg Creek I was already at the summit of Two Pines! Views were surprisingly good to the west. Honestly, you should just sit on the bench here, enjoy the views and have a nice beverage and then head back down. There is very little reason to continue to Last Break.
I used to scoff at the idea of hiking Saskatoon Mountain. The fact that it was our “twofer” peak on Saturday, April 25 2020 goes to show that you should never scoff too loudly at minor objectives. You never know when they get added to your list thanks to a global pandemic and very late spring melt.
I can’t say Loop is a premier hike, but it doesn’t fall into a bottom category either. It’s worth a spring trip when other peaks are still out of condition and you’re looking for mountain views, some exercise and fresh air.
The views from Mockingbird make it worth your time – they are 100x better than the “view” from Blue Hill. The hike on the approach road is rather “meh”, but with a family this is worth the nice drive.