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Sparrowhawk Snowshoe


  • Sparrowhawk



  • February 29, 2020



  • Ed, Jace, Craig, Eldon, An, Dave, Oak, Jane, Ceili, Luna, Peter, Lisa, Oggie, Michael, Django



  • took the Spray Lakes Road 23 km from Canmore to the Sparrowhawk day-use parking lot and the trail is across the road (east side)
  • the trail cuts diagonally across the slope into the trees but has no trail markings
  • the trail is relatively easy to follow although it crosses the High Rockies trail about ten minutes into the hike and just past this point (1 km into the hike) you need to take the right-hand fork (marked with a rockpile, scratched tree and blue tape), or you will end up climbing steeply up to Reads Ridge
  • it can be tricky to find your way through the forested area after the fork if there has been fresh snow which was the case on this day



Degree of difficulty:

  • 400 meters elevation
  • 8 km to the base of the rockpile that leads up to the tarns but we fell short of this due to the deep snow
  • Just under 3 hours total time on the trail
  • steady uphill climb at the start and then a moderate, gradual climb to the rock slope
  • stay in the trees after the turn at the fork, or you could be exposed to a small avalanche slope
  • on this particular day, there was fresh snow and windblown snow that made it challenging to find the trail through the forest after the fork



Interesting notes:

  • this hike is a bit closer to Canmore that most of the Spray Valley trails, so it saves a bit of time
  • it is generally not a very busy trail, and while a lot of the trail is in the trees it does afford some sweeping views of Spray Lakes and the surrounding mountains (Read’s Ridge, Mount Sparrowhawk, Mount Bogart, Mount Nestor)
  • is a beautiful summer hike to see the tarns in the upper bowl, the rockpile as you climb towards the tarns, a meandering stream and in the fall for the larch trees