It was amazing. The need for a car shuttle scares off a lot of hikers and is also a bit of a pain. Halfway to the ridge climb the wife decided to stay due to steep terrain but I push myself and slowly climb up to the top. Love this. Having a GPS often helps. I did this. This is not a well-maintained path, so watch out for tree stumps, we’ve torn our gear here before. Hike. Completed the full ridge from the North parking lot to the South (two cars) in about 6.5 hours with a few breaks. It was a challenging hike, but the views are unlike any other! Elevation. We started at the south end and walked clockwise. October 12, 2020 Holiday Monday There is no clear path, just find a way up. You come back to the main path and follow along Pocaterra Ridge. Most of the elevation gain is at the beginning, and then once you’re on the ridge it’s fairly easy! Not that it was a competition, but we did our version a good 30 minutes faster. One of the premier ridge walks in Kananaskis and a rare trip that can be done as a one way jaunt that doesn't require you to retrace your steps. 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. Certainly if you only hike from the south lot to the larch stand and back, this would be a moderate trip for most people. add review. Some areas have blown off, others had drifts as deep as our knees to walk through. Saw some pikas in the valley area. If you want to only do a one-way hike, most people start at Ptarmigan Cirque / Highwood Meadows parking lot (located near Highwood Pass) and hike to a second car parked at Little Highwood Pass parking lot. If you do Pocaterra Ridge as a point to point hike I would estimate 4-7 hours to hike Pocaterra Ridge. The "Kootenay Ridge," as geologist John Allan called it in 1947, is a heavenly ridge walk where it's possible to pick off four tops named even farther back in time, "the Pocaterra Peaks" by George Pocaterra. Over to your left you can see Elbow Lake, a wonderful, family-friendly backpacking trip. Following all trails also makes you double back almost in a few spots early on based on the recording trail. 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. Mount Burke is an underrated, bigger version of Prairie Mountain that isn’t as well-known. Hiking the 5 Km Traverse of Pocaterra Ridge I LOVE ridge traverses, and Pocaterra Ridge is a great family one with no narrow sketchy parts. Users have reported that the trails are not marked well. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. As first time hikers on this trail, we've found it confusing due to multiple trails in the woods leading to the larch valley. Magnificent terrain. This has been my most epic adventure, and I don’t use that term lightly. ( 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. It’s a relatively long hike, but you get to walk along a stunning ridge for virtually the entire hike. I did this hike with three women around the third week in September when the larches were at their peak. Temperatures will be well below freezing (max -8°C on Wed night, min -12°C on Tue night). Cell reception can be tricky. 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. Pocaterra Ridge. Total hiking time = approx. Be safe! This is still a great hike though, it may be a bit on the easier side but it really makes up for it with the beautiful views you get on this hike. Trail was a bit nerve racking coming down from the first peak as there was a bit of snow and mud. Pocaterra Cirque and Ridge. Enjoy my friends. add photo. 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). The larches had shed most of their needles but still looked nice from afar. There are lots of dead trees here courtesy of the Alberta Flood of 2013. It was raining and snowing all afternoon on the trail, and the south end was very slippery. You’ll start out on the same trail as Ptarmigan Cirque for 300 m before a twinned dirt trail appears and heads left, with a sign reminding you to stay on-trail at the intersection. Note that our map shows us going right into the larches after the 2nd hump. Pocaterra Ridge Trail Reports no reports have been added for Pocaterra Ridge yet, add a trail report . 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. If you go up to the left following the southern side you'll end up following Highwood trail up to its ridge. Cant miss it. 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. All the while, you’ll be hiking along a ridge with sprawling peaks and valleys on all sides. In autumn, the colours are dazzling. 01 Aug 2020 by Vagabond No Comments. The rest of Pocaterra Ridge stretches away to the northwest. Start at the … Dorota and Sonny stand on the highest point of Pocaterra Ridge (2671 metres). After crossing the first ridge you get a view of the larch forest from the avalanche slope. Chester Lake we did get a teeny bit lost on the way down. At this point, you can either go left up the next smaller peak or go cross-country to save some elevation. Pocaterra Ridge Hike Getting there. 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. You’ll notice that just to your right there is a faint path down through bushes. Very quickly you come to Pocaterra Creek. From here we hiked up to Pocaterra Ridge that truly is a leg burner. In short order, we will be rewarded with not only amazing larches, but a cirque, tarn, and stunning ridge walk. Pocaterra Ridge Trail, Alberta Snow-capped peaks and alpine meadows are just the start (Booking.com) At the top of Kananaskis Country is the Pocaterra Ridge and one of the country’s most exquisite trails. Indeed the view at the top is priceless! Sep 28, 2018. Not technical just steep and need to watch footing due to loose rocks. Lots of roots and mud on bottom stretch. Mount Rae is a sprawling mountain to the northeast. Town: Kananaskis, AB. Hiked from the south. 4 hours (about 2 1/2 hours for the ascent and about 1 1/2 hrs for the descent) For end-to-end along Pocaterra Ridge (which requires a shuttle arrangement or hitchhiking to collect your vehicle), the total hiking distance is 12 km. Rockwall Trail and Floe Lake. The route continues going up from treeline, and you must continue hiking up over a first hump. Thanks to fellow hikers who had maps and managed to find our way out of the woods into the larch valley. If you don’t have time to complete the ridge walk, the first summit is a scenic stopping point. Most people here will be heading to Ptarmigan Cirque or Pocaterra Ridge, so take care not to follow the crowds. The views are insane. Length: 10.3 k.m. Hike back the way you came. Weather was beautiful. Located in Kananaskis Country, Pocaterra Ridge is a solid day hike at 12 km long (roughly 5 to 7 hours). Now the fun hiking begins. All trails makes you turn left early on, but that is a harder path than just going straight. 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. Difficulty: Difficult. 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. After 1.5km and 310m of elevation gain in the forest, you arrive at treeline. It got me thinking about the scenery even after I have left. Larch Time in Pocaterra Cirque. Copyright © 2020 10Adventures Inc. All rights reserved. Vagabond Hikes Pocaterra Ridge. The incline is not steep & there is no scrambling involved. Would recommend snowshoes for a couple days till it packs down. Adventurous types will want to continue…, Today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates. There is about 6-8 inches of snow all over the ridge. As the ridge has such incredible views, the out-and-back allows more time on the ridge, with the turn-around at the summit of Pocaterra Ridge. Do not attempt to hike during winter. Many people turn back at this point, as the next bit is fairly steep and can be icy in late autumn. They will be able to provide you with current trail conditions, wildlife sightings and potential hazards. You may find the final route-finding (near Pocaterra Creek) back to your car fairly challenging. We ended up at the north parking lot at the same time, so we compared our numbers. However, plans changed (as they often do) and we ended up hiking only the Pocaterra Ridge summit instead. These can break, are narrow and are very slippery. Trail was narrow not well marked. Follow the river for a while (stay right) before you start a short ascent then you will descend a bit before entering the valley. A nice diverse hike, that is moderately challenging. Where the path splits go right through more trees. Allow at least 5 hours. Don't forget to take poles as this hike is pretty steep. Amazing views, poles and proper footwear are highly recommendable, specially for descending. Trail type. 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. The Pocaterra Cirque and Ridge hikes are favourites year round (well, June to October!) Difficulty: Moderate to challenging ( scree/scramble involved) Distance: 8.9 KM (5.5 miles) Duration: 5 – 6 hrs; Elevation gain: 950 metres (3,120 feet) Best time to hike: Mid-July to October; This area is at risk for avalanches. When you start to climb Pocaterra ridge to the first summit stay to the right. It’s not. We picked Pocaterra Ridge for our “Canada Day” hike (though a day late) and it surely didn’t disappoint! Pocaterra Ridge Total Distance: 11 km. Just make sure you bring poles! The beginning of the path is across from the highwood pass sign or parking lot. 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. You have a stunning view here, especially in September, when the larches are changing. We only had one car so we completed this as an out and back hike. Pocaterra Ridge. Take the left-hand trail. Hiking the ridge is completely worth it! There is also no parking, it was full at 8am but not to worry there is plenty of room along the highway. … Views from the ridge are absolutely stunning and well worth the effort of making the ascent. There is about 6-8 inches of snow all over the ridge. Its just down the hill before the tree line. Follow the path up over the false summit and come down on the other side. To our surprise, we only ran into perhaps 3 or 4 other groups and had the ridge mostly to ourselves. Located in Kananaskis Country, Pocaterra Ridge is a solid day hike at 12 km long (roughly five to seven hours). Farther on from the lake there is a fun hike to Rae Glacier. If you don’t like crowds, don’t do this on the weekend, it was packed. edit text. Galatea Lakes. Follow the path through the trees, trying to keep on the most well-used path, as there are many here. Distance: 10.3km one way; Elevation: 727m; Difficulty: easy but long; Pocaterra Ridge has become one of our all time favourite hikes. The Breathtaking Pocaterra Ridge Hike in Kananaskis. There were a few spots where there were intersections of trails. We just went to the top and back tracked instead of going to the end and walking back along the highway. We ended up hitchhiking back to the lot otherwise we would have been walking for another 1.5 hours along the highway. It's a pretty easy forest trail, but long (8.9km one way). 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). If there is snow or ice at elevation, definitely take microspikes. When you start the hike its hard to tell where the trail starts if you dont have a map. Awe-inspiring and unforgettable place. From there it was pretty well knee deep snow. To the southeast are Highwood Ridge and Grizzly Ridge. Proper footwear with ankle support is essential, and poles are helpful as well. Having hiking poles and good hiking boots help a lot especially coming down. Planned to do Sarrail Ridge but they had just closed it due to bears. We had winter coats, warm hiking boots and poles which you definitely will need (crampons too). Up ahead you can see the craggy summit of Pocaterra Ridge. Of course, this depends upon group size and hiker fitness, but I feel that a hiking club from Canmore should put in a good show. Although this trail can … The larch colours at the north end with the mountain and lake backdrops were stunning. Everything was great! A challenging hike, but with spectacular views, we love hiking Pocaterra Ridge in autumn with the beautiful fall colours. Went for the sun set, great views. Parking lots had maybe 12 cars probably due to the weather. 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. 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. Home. Pocaterra Ridge is a 11.4 kilometer heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Kananaskis Improvement, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Spikes would be good too. Why You Need To Go: This spectacular hike is a must-do for any hiking fan. Pocaterra Ridge Hike. Quite steep getting to the top, so poles were handy. The trail was busy but route finding at both the beginning and end requires attention. Mount Tyrwhitt is ever present to the south. This hike takes in Lillian Lake, Lower Galatea Lake and…, The hike to Elbow Lake is a wonderful, family-friendly hike in the Highwood Area. The wonderful hike along Pocaterra Ridge is a stunner! We had everything – bugs, humidity, wildlife, views, getting lost and hitchhiking. I think this hike is great for beginner hikers that want to progress to harder hikes. Gillean Daffern. We enjoyed the hike. Please note: I want to say this right away – this is absolutely NOT a hike for beginners. You can see the path ahead. Lost a pair of brown men’s sunglasses; if someone finds them please reach out on FB. No snow - Oct 10th. Pocaterra Ridge Trail to Little Highwood Pass Route, Tombstone Lakes and Rae Lake Loop via Elbow Pass Trail. Trail reports are used to indicate a trails current condition and inform builders and other riders about any issues on a trail. Our map goes cross-country. This trail is rated hard but its actually moderate. The hike from point to point is challenging but completely worth it. More of a moderate hike than a hard. This is an exigent hike but with eye-catching views. Several amazing views. 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. Your path goes up a very steep slope that can freeze after cold weather. Hike Pocaterra Ridge. There are a few steep sections, but overall not technical and the views are worth it. The Pocaterra Ridge hike in Kananskis Country deserves to be on your must-do list. No spam. Views are good once you are out of the trees. Become a Contributor at 10Adventures and share your adventures! loooove it! Beware, most people cross on the old logs. However, completing the whole trail could be quite challenging for inexperienced hikers, as there are numerous sections that are significantly steep and rocky. From this wonderful viewpoint, hike down into the larch forest. A striking hike with unbelievably beautiful views. Along Pocaterra Ridge for our “ Canada day ” hike ( though a day )! The Stoney Nakoda Casino on the Ridge mostly to ourselves I will even. Trail is a leg burner conditions were great but due to bears 275m less of elevation gain the. 10Adventures and share your adventures Ridge and Grizzly Ridge: Activities: Seasons. This as an out and back tracked instead of going to the are. 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