Leasure Ridge Trail Loop Hiking on Ghost Public Land

in #hiking6 months ago (edited)

Today was a great day to try something new. When visiting the Canadian Rockies, everyone always heads straight to Banff, Jasper or Kananaskis- one of the major National and Provincial Parks of Alberta. And, who can blame them, there is so much beauty there. Where we went is slightly closer to Calgary and much less crowded. One issue with going somewhere popular is in the July or August, especially on a weekend, it's going to be crowded, where we went, there was hardly anyone else.

Leasure Ridge Trail

Here are some great resources we used to plan our hike All Trails and GAIA GPS I recommend taking some screen shots and making sure you have google maps of the area predownloaded. The terrain features are particularly helpful, as you might just end up with nothing. Internet access isn't reliable to say the least in the wilderness.

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Finding the trail can be a little difficult, you turn off the paved road (highway 40) when you see this cattle gate, it looks like someones private property but it's not. Theres a sign that say's Trapper's Hill Campground, the trail is before that.

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A couple miles down the rocky dirt road, you will cross another cattle gate and see this sign. The trail starts by following the fence, if you have crossed the river, you've gone past Leasure Ridge Trail. There were people day camping by the river, it looked like a fantastic spot that was not crowded at all. We parked the car off the road in the grass, there was one other car.

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These mountain stream bridges are cool. They are often one way and it goes without saying, slippery when wet! This was on the paved road, before the turnoff to the trail in a place called "Waiparous Village"

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The trail splits off for the loop just past this steeper section of loose rock. Wear proper boots and if you aren't steady on your feet, bring a hiking pole. After this the trail split, we went clockwise, I recommend this if you have issues with heights as it is relatively open on the way up, so going down this way, or doing the trail backwards might be unsettling. Some people prefer to descent through the forest.

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It's a steep climb with epic views looking back all the way up. That's the Ghost River and the mountains would be the Canmore - Banff area.

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We passed one turn off to the left near the top that would shorten the loop but didn't take it. Some people complain that the trail isn't clealy marked at times, while we had no issues, there were some fallen trees and it was somewhat overgrown.

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Eventually you get to this straight All Terrain Vehicle Road. Go Left. This is the descent. It's not as scary as the open field but it does get rocky, there are alternate pathways or switchbacks to help.

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Asides from squirrels, this is the only other mammal we saw on the hike. I usually carry bear spray when hiking in these parts but thankfully have not needed it.

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At the bottom of the hill one comes across this stream. You have to follow it. Look for a rag marking the trail, again it's not very obvious, but it's right next to the stream.

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You follow the path which isn't well trodden but so long as you don't cross the stream, or scramble up the mountain you will be good. There is an area where the stream meets another one, you go left, and have to open a gate of barbed wire, continue following the path, it goes up a little more.

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The way back was relatively easy and very rewarding with the views. The only hard part was once we met up with the access trail and had to walk down the hill of loose gravel.

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Thought you might enjoy hiking with Crypticat.

All photos unfiltered and taken with s22

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Hiya, @LivingUKTaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Top 3 in Daily Travel Digest #1649.

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Looks epic, this photo is my fav, sorta looks like a Pheonix in the clouds to the left 🙃

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Bless up bro, great post!

Thanks, hope you're doing well too