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: [1][2][3][4][5][6][8][9][10][12]-12th CC=nc-nd-flickr, [7] arianne CC=nd-flickr, [11]-Jvstin CC=nc-nd-flickr.


Maria said...

What a lovely daytrip in this spectacular glacier scenery!
Dear Barbara, thank you for your spectacular tours!
I wish you all the best for the New Year and look forward to many beautiful trails thorugh your beautiful country!

Arija said...

Beautiful trail, well illustrated.
If I were 30 years younger, I'd be sorely tempted.

Ash said...

Happy New Year, Barbara! Have a wonderful 2009 :-)

debra said...

Happy new year, Barbara, and thanks for a view of an breathtakingly beautiful place.

Barbara Martin said...

Maria, this was an auspicious day to renew the hiking trails posts. There a multitude of other hiking trails in Canada.

Arjia, I will be posting about some easier hikes, though this one is deemed moderate.

Ash, thank you.

Barbara Martin said...

Debra, Waterton Lakes is beautiful at all times of the year. I will be providing other glimpses such as a boat trip to Glacier National Park in Montana.

Teresa said...

Hi Barbara,

Thank you for another post with such beautiful pictures of Canadian scenery. If you have any travelogues or history segments about Nova Scotia up your sleeve, I'd be interested in seeing them because some of my ancestors came from there.

Love your pictures of moose (meese?).

Happy New Year to you!!

Rick said...

Hello Barbara, and Happy New Year! Can't stay long this morning, but did want to wish you the best year to date.

Barbara Martin said...

Teresa, there will be posts about Nova Scotia: history and trails.

As for the word "moose": it is both singular and plural for this mammals who stand 7 foot tall at the shoulder.

'Meese' is not a word, but probably refers to mice, those horrid rodents that like to nest in the walls of cottages in lake country or the mountains.

Barbara Martin said...

Rick, I'm hoping for the same, thanks.

Teresa said...

Thanks, Barbara.

I'll be looking forward to seeing your Nova Scotia posts. The planned post about Glacier Park sounds interesting, too. Thanks for researching these things and sharing.

Shelley Munro said...

Happy New Year, Barbara. This area looks beautiful. I enjoyed the virtual hike through the spectacular scenery.

Anonymous said...

Wishing you a happy 2009 Barbara with many more interesting posts.You are one of a group of bloggers who have inspired me with a need to re-connect to Nature.Hope you don't mind but I've mentioned this briefly on my site, with a link to you.With continuing thanks and good wishes.

Barbara Martin said...

Shelley, glad you enjoyed the tour. Here I'm posting about summer weather when I should be showing off all the winter sports available.

Barbara Martin said...

Pam, thank you for the referrals. Now you'll have to write the odd post on nature from your part of the world. I would be pleased to see flora and fauna in their habitat.

BernardL said...

What a magnificent looking hotel.

Barrie said...

I want to go there!

Barbara Martin said...

Bernard, you should think and plan taking a trip to stay there. There are many activities available.

Barrie, then make your plans. Let me know what activities you think you'd like to participate in and I'll do a post on them.

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