A premier ridge walk in the front range of the Rockies. It's proximity to Calgary and short time from car to summit makes it ideal for an after work hike. 

This year on the summer solstice, I was invited to go up Nihahi Ridge to celebrate. It's in one of my personal most underrated areas of the Rockies just west of Bragg Creek, and it's a popular objective, but less so during the evening. The trail begins once you park your car at the Little Elbow parking lot. 

Follow the campground road for around 1.5 km and you'll come across the fork to continue up Nihahi Ridge to the north. Once again, it's only elevation gain at this point, so take your time if you need to - the mountain isn't going anywhere. 

While the beginning starts off a bit like a slog, there are some really nice parts about the trail up Nihahi Ridge. Quite often it'll open up to a vast meadow and a grand vista of the Rockies to the west. While there is some elevation gain, the trail isn't too taxing either, so it leaves you with a lot of energy to enjoy the company you're with.

The trail kind of braids at certain points - my philosophy is to always take the high road, but it's your call! There's some loose scree/mostly dirt that's a bit tricky to keep your footing (especially going down), but it's only for a short bit. 

After the loose scree, you'll be on the ridge proper which you'll follow all the way up to the ridge plateau. There's a bit of scrambling to get up on the ridge, but it's very manageable even when you need to downclimb. After the scrambling, even though you already had a taste of the views that await for you, it's hard not to have your breath taken away. Particularly when the sun is going down and you're kicking off the start to another wonderful summer. 

The way back down is the way you came up! Make sure to have your headlamp with you! 

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking poles
  • Headlamp
  • Appropriate layers
  • Snacks - maybe some liquor to keep you warm...
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Bear spray
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RT Distance 8.1 Miles
Elevation Gain 2624.7 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Awesome Hike!

Just completed this hike last weekend and it was awesome. Great views in every direction.

Worth It!

This one is worth the trip! The start is beautiful and scenic. Once you hit the scree it can be a little challenging, but dig in, you won't regret it. Bring a lunch and enjoy the most outstanding views! This is an intermediate hike but can be a hard one for some. You won't regret it.


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