Completed the full ridge from the North parking lot to the South (two cars) in about 6.5 hours with a few breaks. Over to your left you can see Elbow Lake, a wonderful, family-friendly backpacking trip. The trail was busy but route finding at both the beginning and end requires attention. Your path goes up a very steep slope that can freeze after cold weather. From there it was pretty well knee deep snow. 6.9km roundtrip. The Lake O'Hara Alpine Circuit is 12 km in length and it's a combination of the following trails: Lake O'Hara shoreline… You may find the final route-finding (near Pocaterra Creek) back to your car fairly challenging. If it’s just the adults, tackle Pocaterra Ridge, an extra 3km past the cirque. Allow at least 5 hours. The incline is not steep & there is no scrambling involved. Dorota and Sonny stand on the highest point of Pocaterra Ridge (2671 metres). Would recommend snowshoes for a couple days till it packs down. After crossing the first ridge you get a view of the larch forest from the avalanche slope. Larch Time in Pocaterra Cirque. Located in Kananaskis Country, Pocaterra Ridge is a solid day hike at 12 km long (roughly 5 to 7 hours). It was a challenging hike, but the views are unlike any other! Pocaterra Ridge is often hiked as a one-way hike, finishing where our route starts (Little Highwood Pass), with the hiking starting at Highwood Pass parking lot, farther along Highway 40. Went up on October 1st. There is no clear path, just find a way up. If you do the full ridge walk and come down the north side, you will be quite a ways away from the Highwood parking lot. add photo. On a sunny weekend, we only…, The trail to Guinn’s Pass is spectacular, offering stunning views. Awe-inspiring and unforgettable place. Saw signs for Pocaterra Trail on our way back and stupidly thought this was the trailhead for Pocaterra Ridge (our second choice for a hike). Many people turn back at this point, as the next bit is fairly steep and can be icy in late autumn. Just take your time and enjoy! Pocaterra Ridge Hike. It ranks as one of the best day hikes I’ve done in Alberta. At this point, you can either go left up the next smaller peak or go cross-country to save some elevation. All trails makes you turn left early on, but that is a harder path than just going straight. Pocaterra Ridge is astounding! No snow - Oct 10th. Pocaterra Ridge is typically done as a point-to-point hike, so if you have two cars I would definitely try to do it this way. You reach a sub-peak, from which you have a few minutes of picking through rocks on an indistinct trail before getting to the summit of Pocaterra Ridge and truly wonderful views. Total hiking time = approx. … Rated 4.0 /5 based on 1 customer reviews ... One of the best places to experience this is Pocaterra Ridge, located in the Highwood Pass of the Kananaskis region in the Alberta Rockies. Some areas have blown off, others had drifts as deep as our knees to walk through. Trail was a bit nerve racking coming down from the first peak as there was a bit of snow and mud. To do this you follow the trail network until you reach the open valley. Beautiful hike with stunning views. The trailhead can be found by heading south on Highway 40 south from Highway #1 for approximately 70 km. It was one of the most amazing hikes I've done! Hiking the ridge is completely worth it! Take the left-hand trail. Pocaterra Ridge is an epic Larch hike (I'm seriously considering doing it again soon to see the larches) It's one of the best hikes I've come across in the Rockies. The second half of the hike up to Sarrail Ridge is a steep 45 minute climb, not quite a scramble but the use of poles is recommended. Enjoy my friends. The colors of the surroundings were astonishing. Park at the Little Highwood Pass parking lot. ( Just as a note keep low to the right which is the north side of the mountain and you will eventually clearly connect with the Pocaterra Ridge trail. If you do Pocaterra Ridge as a point to point hike I would estimate 4-7 hours to hike Pocaterra Ridge. They will be able to provide you with current trail conditions, wildlife sightings and potential hazards. Pocaterra Ridge is often hiked as a one-way hike, finishing where our route starts (Little Highwood Pass), with the hiking starting at Highwood Pass parking lot, farther along Highway 40. Most of the elevation gain is at the beginning, and then once you’re on the ridge it’s fairly easy! You can get there by driving to the Little Highwood Pass parking lot and finding the trailhead from there. A nice diverse hike, that is moderately challenging. If you go up to the left following the southern side you'll end up following Highwood trail up to its ridge. Home. There were a few spots where there were intersections of trails. Please use caution if you attempt it, we hit a blizzard while finishing the ridge and the winds really picked up (temp probably dropped to about -15 with wind). Offline map is recommended. The final ascent is the most challenging, as the path goes to the left of the rock band and can be very slippery if there was snow recently (definitely take microspikes if there is snow on the trail). If you don’t have time to complete the ridge walk, the first summit is a scenic stopping point. worth every moment. There are lots of dead trees here courtesy of the Alberta Flood of 2013. Why You Need To Go: This spectacular hike is a must-do for any hiking fan. We had everything – bugs, humidity, wildlife, views, getting lost and hitchhiking. Follow the path through the trees, trying to keep on the most well-used path, as there are many here. The first time I hiked Pocaterra, we meet a hiking group from Canmore at the 1/2 way mark. Not for the light of heart. we did get a teeny bit lost on the way down. After 1.5km and 310m of elevation gain in the forest, you arrive at treeline. Mount Tyrwhitt is ever present to the south. You can see the path ahead. The larches had shed most of their needles but still looked nice from afar. Completed the full ridge from the North parking lot to the South (two cars) in about 6.5 hours with a few breaks. When Can You Hike Pocaterra Ridge? Cant miss it. After hiking 4.4km from the car, you crest what you may be hoping is the summit of the walk. Quite steep getting to the top, so poles were handy. In short order, we will be rewarded with not only amazing larches, but a cirque, tarn, and stunning ridge walk. In autumn, the colours are dazzling. Type: out-and-back. The climb is worth it though as it gives an awesome view of Upper Kananaskis lake to the North and Rawson lake to the South East. Hike back the way you came. It’s truly a feast for the eyes! Distance: 10.3km one way; Elevation: 727m; Difficulty: easy but long; Pocaterra Ridge has become one of our all time favourite hikes. The ridge is generally quite wide most of the time, you likely won't have to put your hands down too many times to scramble over anything, and there are no steep cliffs for the kids to fall off of. Most people just do the first climb and thats it. My 6 year old made the entire ridge from the south. There is another peak visible. Proper footwear with ankle support is essential, and poles are helpful as well. Please note: I want to say this right away – this is absolutely NOT a hike for beginners. We only had one car so we completed this as an out and back hike. Follow the path up over the false summit and come down on the other side. in Kananaskis, but they are particularly spellbinding in the autumn. The views are insane. Difficulty: Difficult. It’s not. It was raining and snowing all afternoon on the trail, and the south end was very slippery. We share a common goal: to see golden larch trees. Not technical just steep and need to watch footing due to loose rocks. If you brought the kids out, we recommend Pocaterra Cirque, which is a kid-friendly 6.9km out-and-back hike. Pocaterra Ridge Hike Duration If you plan on heading up to Pocaterra Ridge summit and returning the same way making it an out and back hike this hike will take you anywhere between 2-5 hours. In my opinion, these comments do people a disservice, because if you consider this hike from the perspective of an average person, it is very much worthy of being labelled hard (especially if conditions are less than optimal). Length: 10.3 k.m. Adventurous types will want to continue…, Today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates. Pocaterra Ridge is known as one of the best places to hike among the autumn larch trees. The wonderful hike along Pocaterra Ridge is a stunner! Trail reports are used to indicate a trails current condition and inform builders and other riders about any issues on a trail. From the Stoney Nakoda Casino on the TransCanada, take Highway 40 south for roughly 60.0km. Pocaterra Ridge Trail to Little Highwood Pass Route, Tombstone Lakes and Rae Lake Loop via Elbow Pass Trail. Elevation. Although this trail can … Like many hikes, getting to the summit of Pocaterra Ridge is easier going up than coming back down. Vagabond Hikes Pocaterra Ridge. The Pocaterra Ridge hike is something that Louise and I had talked about doing for years, and last week we finally had a chance to do it. Follow the path as it follows Pocaterra Ridge. Whether you’re hiking to Pocaterra Ridge or just Pocaterra Cirque you’ll be rewarded with views of yellow larches & snow covered mountain peaks around you. Follow the river for a while (stay right) before you start a short ascent then you will descend a bit before entering the valley. So, we share this route as an out-and back route for Pocaterra Ridge. Hike. Indeed the view at the top is priceless! It got me thinking about the scenery even after I have left. Stars: Activities: hike Seasons: fall summer From: ghreq. Everything was great! However, completing the whole trail could be quite challenging for inexperienced hikers, as there are numerous sections that are significantly steep and rocky. To our surprise, we only ran into perhaps 3 or 4 other groups and had the ridge mostly to ourselves. You will get the chance to see beautiful golden larches, the last of the summer’s wildflowers, and a lovely lake. What a spectacular hike! It's not worth the risk without them. Mount Burke is an underrated, bigger version of Prairie Mountain that isn’t as well-known. Now the fun hiking begins. Love this. loooove it! We enjoyed the hike. best if you bring two cars. Winds increasing (light winds from the WSW on Thu night, extremely windy from the W by Fri afternoon). The larch colours at the north end with the mountain and lake backdrops were stunning. The Breathtaking Pocaterra Ridge Hike in Kananaskis . To get there and back takes 1.5-2 hours for fit hikers, so make sure you have enough time to complete it and get back to the car before it gets dark. Out and back. Copyright © 2020 10Adventures Inc. All rights reserved. Users have reported that the trails are not marked well. Thanks to fellow hikers who had maps and managed to find our way out of the woods into the larch valley. print. You have a stunning view here, especially in September, when the larches are changing. This is a straightforward, moderate hike that also includes Lillian Lake. You’ll find this hike in the Heart of Elk Island National Park. This has been my most epic adventure, and I don’t use that term lightly. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email. Having hiking poles and good hiking boots help a lot especially coming down. It’s a relatively long hike, but you get to walk along a stunning ridge for virtually the entire hike. Trail type. There is about 6-8 inches of snow all over the ridge. A lot of people have been complaining about the hike having high traffic. The Pocaterra Cirque and Ridge hikes are favourites year round (well, June to October!) Time: 7 hrs. There are a few steep sections, but overall not technical and the views are worth it. Be extremely careful at this point, and if you feel uncomfortable perhaps try another hike today, there are many in the area. Rockwall Trail and Floe Lake. Pocaterra Ridge. Saw some pikas in the valley area. One of my favourites now. During weeks of rain, mist and snow, the larches had been gradually turning orange. There is also no parking, it was full at 8am but not to worry there is plenty of room along the highway. This trail is rated hard but its actually moderate. Given that it was a long weekend, we had braced ourselves for hordes of people all out and about to enjoy themselves in beautiful sunny weather with clear blue skies. The east face of Mount Pocaterra is an arresting sight. The need for a car shuttle scares off a lot of hikers and is also a bit of a pain. From this wonderful viewpoint, hike down into the larch forest. Pocaterra Ridge Total Distance: 11 km. The total elevation gain is nearly 1,000 metres, meaning that the views you’ll get at the top are more than worth the trip. As the name suggests, it's the highest point of the hike so we still got a chance to see the amazing views the ridge has to offer. We just went to the top and back tracked instead of going to the end and walking back along the highway. Lots of roots and mud on bottom stretch. Pocaterra Ridge Trail Reports no reports have been added for Pocaterra Ridge yet, add a trail report . We ended up at the north parking lot at the same time, so we compared our numbers. 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