On Sunday, Sheena and I headed to south Kananaskis and the Highwood area for a hike to the fire lookout at Raspberry Ridge. Highwood is about an hour and a half drive from Airdrie, made somewhat a faster trip now that we can head straight south on highway 2 toward Longview and High River. We’ve wanted to go on this trip for a long time and for one reason or another, things got changed or postponed. Despite all the other canceled plans, we were on our way there amid a forecasted 31C day.
We took our time driving to Highwood and enjoyed the scenery along the way. At one point on the Longview Road, we came across a Bison ranch — surprisingly close to the highway. We couldn’t resist seeing these huge creatures up close and took a few snapshots. We made a now mandatory stop for Longview Beef jerky (in Longview of course). Nearing Highwood, we were also treated with a few bighorn sheep, including a tiny lamb. As started south on highway 940, driving on the narrow and dusty dirt road leading to the lookout hike, I was a bit concerned about how much water we had brought as the heat was really starting to settle in. We started the hike with about 4 litres between the two of us, that would be about 2/3rds gone by the time we reached the top.
The hike to Raspberry ridge is fairly easy, a 4.5km slow winding trail to the main ridge and from
there a steeper hike to the top. The last bit of the trail is heavily switch-backed and could present some fun grass grovelling and scrambling to those interested. On the top, the views are exquisite of the continental divide. Far to the north we saw Mist Mountain and perhaps even Mt. Joffre (which I took photos of in my Warrior Mtn. trip). The lookout was active, with a lone female lookout graciously providing water to another group of hikers who had run out completely (even though it appeared they only brought two 500ml water bottles). We took a few snaps, then headed back down as both of us were starting to get headaches from the heat. It was certainly a nice day, but quite hot. The trip down was quick, and we promptly headed to Highwood House for some ice cream and cold drinks.
Later, we headed to Cat Creek Falls — which were a bit of a disappointment due to the amount of people hanging out at the falls. I was really hoping for a cold dip, but would have to wait until our next trip. More photos on flickr.