• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Scenic
Wildflowers

Gorgeous views the whole way (quick elevation gain). 360 views of Kananaskis Valley and Spray Lakes from the Summit. Opportunity for extended hiking / multiple trail options. The perfect day scramble. Easy to find and easy to navigate. Distance: 10kms. Time: 6 hours round trip. Elevation: 2575m. Elevation gain: 1020m.

Opal Ridge is located on the East side of highway 40 in Kananaskis.

The trailhead starts at Fortress Gas Station. Park at the North end of the parking lot. The trailhead is easy to spot from here. Follow the creek a couple hundred meters till you reach an open area with power lines. Turn left. Continue for another couple hundred meters until you come to a creek, cross the creek and watch for a rock formation. This rock formation will direct you left onto the main trail, where you will begin your hike up to Opal Ridge.

The elevation gain is fast, where you will make your way through a forested area on a well marked trail until you come to another open space, with grass and trees. At this point you will get a pretty good view of the rest of the route.

From here on you will be making your way up Rocky paths and scree slopes. You can say so long to the dirt paths! The view the whole way is breathtaking, advised you take breaks just in order to truly take it all in.

You will reach a grass gully after an initial scramble, a great place to break and hang out for a bit. There is also a large rock I advise you climb up which is perfect for a photo op (you can't miss it).

The remainder of the route is quite obvious as you continue to make your way up in the shale scree. Once you reach the ridge you will take a right and head on up to the South Summit!!

There is plenty of opportunity for extended hiking in the area. Once you summit the South peak you can traverse back to where you reached the ridge and go left, to check out the North view just a couple hundred meters up, before heading back down.

Enjoy!!!!

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Water
  • Trekking poles
  • Bear spray
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat (weather depending)
  • Climbing helmet recommended due to lose Rock and shale
  • Camera
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This is a beautiful hike, relatively easy scrambling up, in some areas you'd have to climb over ledges (with fossils!!). Steep and quick inclines prompt you to rest often and soak in the views. Lots of rock formations at the top to take the typical staring at nature shots for the gram. South summit is absolutely breath taking. You can scree slide for most of the way down. 5-6 hours tops with plenty of rests and photo ops.

8 months ago
8 months ago

Brooke Willson

24 years old, currently living in Central Alberta. Having obtained my Social Worker Degree, I am currently employed as a FT Youth Worker and Resiliency Coach at a K-8 school in my home town. Working school hours has its benefits, as I am able to spend every weekend as well as holidays and summer months out adventuring, exploring and traveling. Kayaking, hiking, biking, running, photography and camping are some of my favourite activities. Also living so close to the Rocky Mountains I am blessed with endless trails, scenery and opportunity to explore. With 14 countries under my belt I want to and will continue to explore our beautiful world on an International level.

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