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Cougar Creek Hike

Where:

  • Cougar Creek

 

When:

  • April 13, 2019

 

Who:

  • Ed, Jace, Craig, Ian, Lisa, Dave, Lorna, Katie, Bella, Eldon, Geoff, Lynn

 

Trailhead:

  • the trailhead is on the north side of Canmore on the Benchlands Trail on the west side of the road where it meets up with Elk Run Boulevard as it intersects Cougar Creek at the traffic circle
  • leaves from the same trailhead as Lady MacDonald which we had originally planned to do on this day, but recent snow cover rendered it a bit more dangerous

 

 

Degree of difficulty:

  • the creekbed is relatively flat, but the original trail was washed out in the 2013 floods, so you have to be careful with your footing on the loose stones as well as the numerous creek crossings and occasional large boulders to climb over
  • there is a large metal fence near the start of the hike that was built to prevent large rocks careening down the creek, but this is easily bypassed by a well-built trail on the right-hand side of the creek (or you can scale it like Ian)
  • it is best before spring runoff, which we did when the creek is at a low level, and the snow has mostly disappeared which makes it less slippery
  • is a good hike for younger kids that can handle some uneven terrain
  • it is 8 km return to the fork and another 6 km return, 14 km in total, if you take the left fork to the end of the valley

 

 

Interesting notes:

  • this area is popular for rock climbers who can be fun to watch although they were not out on this particular day
  • no great views as you are entrenched in the valley for the whole hike and the surrounding peaks are not overly panoramic other than some views as you exit the creek on the way back of the Three Sisters across the valley
  • the damage from the floods is significant and very obvious throughout the valley