Added by Stephanie Vezina
Experience it all: the meadows, the forest, the sub-alpine and the alpine in one forenoon. Stopping at the end of the Windy Ridge trail is more than enough to give you a bang for your buck, but you have the option to hike up a short unnamed peak nearby to give you the ultimate experience.
Windy Ridge is located by Og Pass in the Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. Whether you start from any of the campgrounds, huts or the lodge, the way to the Windy Ridge Trail is well indicated and the trail itself is well worn. Beware that if you are using the Gem Trek map (1:100,000), the notes at the back indicate a 120m elevation gain. I assume this would be to some point along the trail, possibly to the official end of the trail, but most likely not on the ridge itself or the unnamed peak to the left. On our hike we gained approximately 500m instead.
Regardless, this beautiful hike will take you through the Horse Group Campground meadows, then up into the forest and onto a hill where you will ascend via nice switchbacks. Be aware that this is bear country; encounters with Grizzlies are not uncommon.
Once you get to the ridge, the whole other side at Og Pass reveals itself to you. There is a natural bridge crossing to some sort of lookout, where the ridge drops right down to the valley below. Scary and amazing! On your left, there is another short and steep hike up some unnamed peak which should take you 30 minutes or so to summit.
- Appropriate clothing
- Water, food
- Bear spray
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