Thursday, 1 January 2009
Hiking Trails - Snowshoe Trail - Waterton Lakes National Park
[1-Prince of Wales Hotel - clicking on most of the photos will enlarge them]
The Prince of Wales Hotel was built in 1927 by the Great Northern Railway. Although I have stayed at this hotel, I prefer the Banff Springs Hotel.
Waterton Lakes National Park belongs to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park – A World Heritage Site consisting of 505 sq. km (195 sq. mi). The name of the park is derived from the Waterton Lakes named by Lieutenant Blackiston, a member of the Palliser Expedition, in honour of the British naturalist, Squire Charles Waterton (1782-1865).
The Snowshoe Trail can be hiked or mountain biked. This trail is one of three in the Park that can be biked, is hard packed and can accommodate side by side hiking for most of the way.
The length is 18 km = 6 hours + (depends on how fit the hiker is)
Trailhead: Red Rock Canyon parking lot
Destination: Snowshoe Warden Cabin and backcountry camping area (requires backcountry permit)
Elevation Gain is 350 m (1,148 ft)
As the trail used to be a fire road there will be some steep sections. Please note there are several creeks to be forded. The Park is under a Leave No Trace program.
To get to the Red Rock Canyon parking lot, take the Red Rock Parkway from the Park Entrance Road.
[2- The Bear’s Hump is formation that juts out from Mt. Crandell]
Along the Red Rock Parkway in Blackiston Creek these animals were munching on water plants.
[3– Baby Moose]
[4– Momma Moose]
[5– Mt Blackiston (9547 ft) along Red Rock Parkway]
The trail starts at the Red Rock Canyon parking area, at the end of the Red Rock Parkway.
[6– Anderson Peak (8,852ft) from Red Rock Parking Lot]
Cross the bridge near the washrooms and head west.
[7–Footbridge over Red Rock Canyon]
[8– Red Rock Canyon and creek]
The trail follows the Bauerman Creek Valley and accesses the more remote areas of Waterton National Park.
[9– Hard pack trail with a few modest-technical creek crossings]
The trail climbs about 740 feet over 5.24 miles.
At 4.6km you will come to the junction of the Goat.
Another 3.9km of gentle uphill brings you to the Snowshoe cabin/campground. Although this is a rather unexciting destination in itself, this is a major trail junction, intersecting with trails to Lost Lake, Castle River Divide, Twin Lakes (c/g), Blue Grouse Basin and Avion Ridge.
The trail becomes steeper as it gets closer to the Snowshoe Campground.
[10– Nearing Snowshoe Campground]
The return trip is all downhill.
[11– The Red Rock Canyon consists of the same iron rich rock that the Grinnell Formation has along the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park in the U.S. to the south. Most rocks in Glacier and Waterton Lakes contain some iron, but the red colour comes from oxidation.]
[12-View from the Prince of Wales Hotel to townsite]
Photo Credits: -12th CC=nc-nd-flickr,  arianne CC=nd-flickr, -Jvstin CC=nc-nd-flickr.