Added by James Hueser
Distance: 18 km (11 miles) round tripElevation gain: 1100 metres (3600 feet)Duration: 6 hoursSummit Mount Lineham while taking in Rowe Meadow and Lineham LakesGet epic views of the mountains in Waterton National Park
I’ve heard a lot about the hiking in Waterton and the stunning scenery, but I never really bought into it from the pictures alone – I’m glad I finally took the opportunity to find out for myself. Mount Lineham is a short extension of Lineham Ridge, and while it might not eclipse the views from the ridge, it’s definitely worth the extra hour ascent.
I think one of my favourite parts about this hike is its length – lots of stuff to look at, from the forested walk to Rowe Lakes that opens up into Rowe Meadow, and then getting a bird’s eye view of the meadow as you ascend to the ridge, etc. Lakes, mountains, trees; what more do you need?
The trail begins at Rowe Lakes Trailhead, which takes you on a maintained trail until you reach Lower Rowe Lake. It’s a pretty easy stretch of trail which eats up a lot of the 9 km (5.6 mi) one way trip, but it’s enjoyable. Take time to explore the river and its waterfalls, and be sure to take in the glimpses of grandeur that are offered to you in the brief meadows between treed areas. After reaching the turnoff to Lower Rowe Lake, keep heading west. You won’t be able to miss Rowe Meadow as it’s as subtle as a punch to the face. But a beautifully green and flowered punch to the face. It’s good… trust me.
As you wander across the meadow, you’ll come across a wooden bridge across a small creek. Now, for anyone less adventurous, cross the bridge, keep following the signs. For any adventurous folk wanting to take the wrong way, don’t cross the bridge! Hang a right just before, and you’ll be following a drainage channel. Even though we took it because we made a mistake, it was actually a pleasant surprise. The channel slowly turns into small ledges that are likely beautiful, cascading waterfalls when the area is wet, but are excellent for a tiny bit of bouldering if you so choose. It hooks up with the main trail about halfway along the slope, and you won’t be able to miss it.
The trail then takes you up to the fork to Lineham Ridge and Mount Lineham, which overlooks Lineham Lakes. The summit is to the east, and is only about an hour or so to go – not a bad idea to have a snack to get some energy for the final push. The trail to the summit is boot beaten in some places, and very faint in others. It’s not a huge issue going up, but some extra attention needs to be paid on the way down so that you don’t descend too far.
Once you’re at the top, all that’s left to do is take in the stellar views, and make sure to tell your friends about beautiful Waterton National Park.
- Hiking boots
- Hiking poles
- Water and snacks
- Bear spray
- Appropriate layers and clothing
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