I called on my new hiking partner Shantell to come hiking with me once again. We were both keen to go and eager to try something different. My new summer bible told of a canyon with hoodoos, waterfalls, and pictographs. What more could a person want? Its name is Grotto Canyon and it is located on highway 1A just west of the 1X junction. This canyon is known for its flash floods and its many interesting characteristics (pictographs, hoodoos, etc..). On a day such as today when the rain was beating down all around us the idea of flash flood came to mind.
Fortunately we did not have time to experience the flash flood (that would have inevitably come) as a deer had gone and gotten itself killed right on the trail! In the Rockies this means "get the hell outta there fast" as a bear is surely not far away. So we briskly turned around and packed our rain soaked selves into the car. We drove to Canmore to have lunch where we decided that we would hit Heart Creek on our way back. By the way, for those of you looking for a scenic drive, highway 1A is beautiful!
After filling up and warming up we headed for Heart Creek which runs south to north crossing the Trans Canada highway just before the Lac Des Arcs turnoff (there are usually cars parked in this area as it is quite popular). Recently I had discovered a side trail that leads to the top of the ever so mysterious Heart Creek waterfall. This is the route we took and then some. After getting to the top of the waterfall
we followed the upper creek till we came to a small trail leading up the bank on the east side of the creek. It is small and hard to pick out, but we marked it with a small water run off that resembled a waterfall in the making.
We took this trail to the top of the rock face that faces the official end of the Heart Creek trail, and then descended the trail on the right to come back to the main trail.
On our way down the side trail we noticed some steam coming from a tree. After investigating a little we realized it was actually smoke and that there was a smoldering fire beneath the rocks and trees where we were standing. Charred sticks and hot rocks were a clear indication that this too was a place we needed to leave quickly. After returning to the car we reported the "fire" to the appropriate authorities. How exciting!
The day was beautiful as seen from the pictures below and throughout, and although this is a hike I have done before, today I felt like we explored a new world:) Take note of the two pictures showing the unique design of natures insects….