Added by James Hueser
Distance: 6 km (3.7 miles) roundtripDuration: 3 hoursElevation gain: 850 m (2790 ft)Short but steep hike with great views of the peaks and valley around youAbundance of wildflowers to brighten your way up the col
The trailhead is located on the north side of Ripple Creek, the first creek you come across after passing the Grizzly Creek turnoff. There is an easy pull-off on the east side of the highway. You should be able to see the trailhead from the road, which follows the southern slope of the mountain from the get-go.
850 m (2,800 ft) is pretty substantial, and 3 km (1.8 miles) is not a substantial distance to cover it! This makes for a great conditioning hike that prepares you for bigger objectives, plus the reward at the summit is still totally worth it!
The trail is well-defined, partly from the numerous hikers who have traveled it over the years, but mostly from their sweat that cemented it into the mountainside! This is a great route, especially for beginner scramblers, as there are a few rock bands to maneuver, but nothing too difficult.
The trail zigs and zags across the eastern and southern slopes until opening up to the col between Grizzly Peak and Mount Evan Thomas. It's a bit of a slog up it, but it's littered with wildflowers, and breaks are always required to smell the flowers (especially tiny blue forget-me-nots!). The alpine meadow gives way to a bit of a scree slope (great for the way down!) until you get to the saddle between Griz and Evan Thomas. Grizzly Peak is to your left, towards the highway.
From the saddle, it's about a 15 minute push to the summit, and you won't able to see anything until popping over that last little bit of the ridge and seeing Kananaskis valley in all of it's glory. Grizzly Peak is one of those summits that you just have to sit down and enjoy for a long while. Just be.
- Hiking boots
- Hiking poles
- Appropriate clothing and layers
- Water and snacks
- Bear spray
- Bug spray w/legal limit of DEET or a good tick checker - the col is infested with them!
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