For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 




 

The Churchill River system runs from Alberta, across Northern Saskatchewan and into Manitoba where it dumps into Hudson’s Bay. It is over 1600km long and we have had the privilege of exploring it on two separate occasions. The Churchill River has everything from lakes and rapids, to canyons and waterfalls. Don’t forget your camera as the sunsets in North Saskatchewan are incredibly beautiful. If you’re lucky, maybe one night the northern lights will put a show on for you.

Canoe Trip #1: Devil Lake to Corner Rapids

 

Canoe Trip #2: Stack Lake to Missinipe

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3 days/3 nights (depending on your itinerary)

Location: 80km North of La Ronge, SK

Distance: 20km-50km depending on your itinerary

Difficulty: 7/10 – Route finding, portages, outdoor living.

Season: June to September

Additional Requirements: Camping equipment, canoe, PFD, paddles.

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Prince Albert: Head north on the number 2 highway out of Prince Albert. Follow that highway 240km to La Ronge where the highway becomes the 102 and winds its way 78km to Missinipe, SK.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Water shoes. Bring a pair of water shoes for portages and a pair of hikers or running shoes for the nights when you’re outside camping. Your feet will be wet for most of the day so it’s really nice to put on a dry pair of shoes at night.
  • Water: Having a good water purification pump or purification tabs are a good idea.
  • Snacks/Food: The amount of people on your trip will determine the amount of food you should bring. Here’s a list of some basic foods we packed for our trip:
    • Coffee
    • Powdered milk
    • Tang powder
    • Bacon/Eggs
    • Beef Jerky
    • Salt/Pepper
    • Oatmeal/Brown Sugar
    • Pancake Mix
    • Fish Beer Batter
    • Cheese
    • Syrup
    • Jam
    • Ketchup/Mustard
    • Butter
    • Potatoes
    • Rice
    • Bread

We also had the luxury of having Bush Pie makers with us. If you have access to them or can go buy some, we recommend it! Bush Pies make for a good lunch or evening snack. For our bush pies we had bread, cheese, pizza sauce and salami or sausage and we cooked them over the campfire.

Bush Pie Maker - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Bush Pie Maker
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Bring a raincoat! Learn from our mistakes. We got poured on and some of us didn’t have anything to keep us dry. A poncho will suffice. Also bring a sweater, toque, long sleeve shirt, T shirt, multiple pairs of socks, sweatpants, swim trunks, and maybe a bug net of some sort. Bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Camping Equipment: Knife, cutlery, plates, bowls, cups, pots, pans, grill to place over the fire, bush pie makers, camping stove, propane, gasoline, fire starter, matches, lighter, tent/hammock, sleeping bag, tarp, pillow if you have room, Ziploc bags to keep any valuables dry, lantern, compass and first aid kit. Totes and a sealed barrel are good for storing equipment and food. Pack any personal items you want to keep dry in a dry bag. Bring a fishing rod, tackle, and fileting knife. Great fishing up there.
  • Canoeing Equipment: For every 2 people you need 1 canoe, 3 paddles, 2 PFD’s and 1 bailing bucket. Make sure you have an extra paddle in case you lose one. Even if you aren’t running rapids, you will get water in your boat so bring a bailing bucket. We rented all of our equipment from Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Missinipe, SK. They were very helpful, reasonably priced, and even provided a shuttle that dropped us off with our canoes at the launching area. They also have experienced guides that will take you out and teach you the basics of whitewater canoeing and outdoor survival.

Phone number: (306) 635-4420

Address: Walker street, Missinipe, SK S0J 2P0

Website: www.churchillrivercanoe.com

  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your experience. A hat with a bug screen on it, or even a full mesh jacket is a good idea. The bugs in Northern Saskatchewan are huge and relentless. If you are not prepared for them, your trip may be very unpleasant.
  • Maps: Take some handheld laminated maps and keep them connected to your canoe You can usually find something applicable to your trip for purchase at your local outdoor recreation shop.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always carry bear spray and keep it easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the trip!

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be camping in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location. The guides at Churchill River Canoe Outfitters will have the most up to date information on the last bear sightings and where they have been most commonly making visits. Camping on islands is the best way to avoid bear interactions.

 

Flights: For our second trip we booked flights. We flew into Stack Lake and then paddled back to Missinipe. We booked through a company called Osprey Wings. It is located right in Missinipe and they were very easy to deal with.  Phone: (306) 635-2112 Email:  Ospreywings@sasktel.net

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ADVENTURE DIRECTIONS: CANOE TRIP #1 (DEVIL LAKE TO CORNER RAPIDS)

Summary: This guide will contain information on what we did on our trip. The beauty of canoeing in North Saskatchewan is having the option to explore hundreds of rivers and lakes. There’s no right or wrong route to choose. Your skill level and physical condition will determine the route that is most suitable for you to take. This route we took is for the intermediate canoer. It requires lining up rapids, portaging, and ferrying across weak class rapids. There is also the option to run some higher class rapids if you want a challenge.

 

Canoeing The Churchill River Adventure Map - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Canoeing The Churchill River Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Our trip started at Churchill River Canoe Outfitters on a Friday evening. We had 6 guys, 3 canoes, and we got dropped off at Devil’s Lake boat launch (Route marker #1 on the map) at about 5pm. We paddled northwest across Devil Lake and around Manitou Island to our first portage at Mosquito Rapids. This was only about a 4km paddle and took less than an hour. The portage around the rapids is a short 100m on a well trafficked trail. We launched our boats back in the water, continued paddling passed Murray Falls (we could only hear it because we were upstream) and to the end of Muchaye Island where we found an awesome campsite (Route marker #2 on the map).

Portaging on the Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Portaging at Mosquito Rapids
Camping on the Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Camping at Muchaye Island

 

The next morning, we took off from our campsite and paddled across Barker Lake and around the north side of Barker Island to a point called Hank’s Hotel. There are nice campsites at Barker Island and at Hank’s Hotel. We continued up the rapids, ferrying across to the North side of the river, and then stopped at a little island before getting out and lining our canoes up the South side of that island. Once passed those rapids it was a straight shot to Surf City (Route marker #4 on the map). Lining our canoes over Surf City was a little more challenging.

 

Lining up the Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Lining up Surf City

 

After passing Surf City we headed North passed Carla’s Rapids and then West toward Scouts Island (Route marker #3 on the map). This was where we spent most of the afternoon. We shot Corner Rapids a few times to get some confidence and practice our white water skills. Then we tried a short set of rapids beside Ric’s Falls that didn’t go as well.

 

Canoeing The Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Corner Rapids
Canoeing The Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Ric’s Falls

 

After an afternoon of adrenaline and fun, we decided to head back to Surf City to camp. We found a great campsite above the rapids. After jumping in the rapids and going for a ride a few times, we grabbed our fishing rods to catch dinner. There is an eddy on the North bank of the rapids that was very generous with fish. We had beer battered fish for supper before calling it a night.

 

Fishing on the Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Mattson catching a fish at Surf City

 

When we woke up the next morning it was raining. Some of us weren’t prepared for the rain and a raincoat or poncho would have been very nice. We paddled down Surf City, across Barker Lake, then around the South side of Muchaye Island. We portaged our gear around Mosquito Rapids on the same trail we went up the day before, but left our canoes at the top. After transporting all our gear we got back in the canoes and paddles all the way around Muchaye Island to the Murray Channel on the north side of the island. The Murray Channel has four sets of rapids all in a row. The rapids are class 3, then 2, then 3, then 1 and there are little eddies after each set to stop and wait for your comrades. After the second class 3 set of rapids there is a whirlpool as a result of the waterfall and rapids meeting. If you stay left you can avoid it, but paddle hard!

 

Canoeing The Churchill River - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Paddling to the Murray Channel in the rain

 

After coming out of Murray Rapids we headed right around the corner of Muchaye Island to where we had left our gear from the portage. We packed up and continued East across Devil Lake to the top of Otter Rapids. At this point we decided we needed shelter from the rain and found a perfect spot at the Otter Rapids campground (Route marker #5 on the map). There’s a portage on the East side of the river before the rapids begin that will take you up to the bridge. The campground is on the road just passed the east end of the bridge.

Before drying off completely we had one last thing to check off the bucket list. Jumping off of the Otter Rapids Bridge has been on our to-do list for some time, and we did it. There are signs on the bridge written in spray paint pointing out the safest place to jump.  This is a dangerous activity and we only recommend jumping if you are a strong swimmer and the water level is high.

Otter Rapids Campground - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Otter Rapid’s Campground
Otter Rapids Bridge - Saskatchewan- Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Otter Rapid’s Bridge

 

The next morning, we shot the Otter Rapids before getting picked up by the Churchill River Canoe Outfitter’s shuttle. Overall the trip was a huge success and we’d highly recommend this route to anyone looking to go on a Canoe Trip in Northern Saskatchewan.

 

ADVENTURE DIRECTIONS: CANOE TRIP #2 (STACK LAKE TO MISSINIPE)

Summary: This guide will contain information on what we did on our second trip. The route we took is for the intermediate canoer. It requires navigating through small to medium rapids, portaging, and long lake paddles. There is also the option to run some higher-class rapids if you want a challenge.

 

Stack Lake to Missinipe Adventure Map - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Canoeing Stack Lake to Missinipe Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Our first day began with us hopping into two float planes, getting dropped off in Stack Lake, unloading our gear from the plane, and then loading it into the canoes. We made our way Northwest to our first campsite at the “Slick” or “Rooster Tail Rapids” (Route marker #1 on the map).  We dropped our gear off there, launched our canoes and headed Northwest to a portage that would eventually dump us into McIntosh Lake.

Missinipe Float Plane - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 13: Boarding the float plane in Missinipe
Churchill River Portage - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 14: Portaging to McIntosh Lake

We paddled all the way to the South end of McIntosh Lake, where there is a set of Class 2 rapids. These rapids dump into Trout Lake and were a good starter set to run because they were the right mix of challenging yet makeable. From there we passed Trout Falls, Little trout rapids (very easy), and then made our way back to the Slick (our first night campsite). The Slick is a fun set of rapids with minimal risk that is great for beginners to learn on.  We played on these rapids a few times before calling it a night and setting up camp.

Churchill River The Slick - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 15: The Slick
Churchill River The Slick - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 16: Camping at The Slick

Day two we set off East and South through some channels and hit Rock Trout Rapids (Route marker #2 on the map). There is a portage that takes you across the first set of rapids. We portaged our gear and then ran the rapids with empty boats. These rapids were a challenge, and we had multiple wipeouts. After Rock Trout Rapids we reached Little Rock Trout Rapids which we shot with gear in our boats. After some more paddling we popped out into Mountney Lake.

 

Churchill River Paddling - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 17: Paddling across Mountney Lake

We paddled our way to the South end of Mountney Lake. After leaving the lake there were a few small rapids that we shot with gear (Upper and Lower Chief Rapids), both class 1+. After these rapids we were in Nipew (Dead) Lake. Dead Lake is roughly 10km long and can be quite a challenging paddle depending on wind direction. We headed straight East to the end of the lake, keeping Boyes and Boyle Island to the North of us. Straight ahead at the East end of the lake is Devil Rapids Lodge.

Churchill River Dead Lake - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 18: Planning the route across Dead Lake
Churchill River Paddling - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 19: Paddling Dead Lake

 

We made our way through the channels at the Northeast end of Nipew Lake to find a campsite for the night. There are two campsites around there. One on the North side of the river on the mainland, and one on an island that we chose to stay at a little bit farther downstream (Route marker #3 on the map).

Churchill River Campsite - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 20: Night two campsite
Churchill River Campsite - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 21: Night two campfire

 

Day three we set off and paddled around the south side of Two lake Island with the hopes of making it to Sluice Falls for lunch. We made it through Hayman Lake and stopped at the portage trail at the top of Sluice Falls (Route marker #4 on the map). Sluice Falls, and the rapids before it, is a long set of rapids too treacherous for a canoe. Most people portage around this. You’ll find this 850m portage on the West side of the river just before the rapids start and there is a great campsite at the other end.

Churchill River Paddling - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 22: Paddling to Sluice Falls
Churchill River Portage - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 23: Portaging Sluice Falls

 

This is where our trip takes a turn. During our lunch break at the Sluice Falls campsite, we were approached by a man in a jet boat telling us that we had to evacuate due to the spreading forest fires and smoke rolling in.  We packed up our bags and motored back to Missinipe in the jet boat (Route marker #5 on the map). That was the end of our trip.

Churchill River Sluice Falls - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 24: Sluice Falls
Churchill River Speed Boat - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 25: Getting evacuated

 

If our plans didn’t get interrupted by fires, we would have continued to Corner Rapids, Surf City, through Barker Lake and finished with Otter Rapids.  During our first trip we made it to Corner Rapids and finished at Otter Rapids, which was the intended last leg of this journey. So, in other words, if you combine Canoe Trip #1 and Canoe Trip #2, we completed everything from Stack Lake to Otter Rapids. It was a little unfortunate as some of our team had never paddled Otter Rapids before, but the positive is that we didn’t get burnt down or caught in a forest fire.

Missinipe Cabin - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 26: Back in Missinipe
Missinipe Forest Fire - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 16: Missinipe forest fire smoke

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Churchill River adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




 




 

Mclean Creek is considered a “Public Land Use Zone” (PLUZ) in Kananaskis Country just West of Calgary. It is a great spot for anyone wanting to get out of town and ride trails on dirt bikes/quads/side-by-sides.  McLean Creek is nice and close to Calgary and has a big parking lot/staging area to unload quads and bikes. There is a campground there that has 96 powered campsites, roughly 70 more unserviced campsites, plus random camping is allowed in the PLUZ. This PLUZ is 202 square km’s so there is a lot of area to explore!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: As much as you want!

Location: 60km west of Calgary past Bragg Creek

Season: May to mid-October

Additional Requirements: Dirt bike/quad/side-by-side

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary:  Take AB-8 W for 25km, take your 3rd exit at the round-about, pass Bragg Creek and keep on AB-22 until you reach a T intersection. Take a right at the T onto AB-66 W and follow for 11.7km until you reach the McLean Creek Staging area.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: High ankle boots.
  • Water: Always important
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy as a light lunch.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Camping Gear: If you choose to camp, bring your hammock or tent! Also check the links below for booking a campsite.
  • Proper Riding Gear: Helmet, gloves, goggles.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike
  • Map: Use the link below to download the map from alberta.ca or, better yet, download the “Maclean Creek Map” from Azenza Maps. More details below.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

BIKING/CAMPING DIRECTIONS

Below are a few links:

For camping reservations:

https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis/mclean-creek-pra/information-facilities/camping/mclean-creek/

Random Camping is allowed in the PLUZ (Note** As of 2021 a Public Lands Camping Pass is required). Download a map of the area and learn more about what you can and cannot do on the website below:

https://www.alberta.ca/mclean-creek-off-highway-vehicle.aspx

McLean Creek Camping - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Hammocking at McLean Creek
McLean Creek Camping - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Mattson camping at McLean Creek

 

Pro Tip – Get the Avenza Maps app on your phone and download “MacLean Creek Map” before you get out there. This will allow you use your phones GPS to know where you are even when you don’t have cell service.

 

McLean Creek Dirt Biking - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Dirt Biking at McLean Creek
McLean Creek Dirt Biking - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Dirt Biking at McLean Creek

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your McLean Creek adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Grey Owl’s Cabin is in the northern part of Prince Albert National Park, north of Waskesiu and Kingsmere Lakes. This is a beautiful, challenging hike that starts at the south end of Kingsmere Lake. The hike follows the east shoreline for 20km to another smaller lake called Ajawaan Lake where lies Grey Owl’s Cabin.

“Far enough away to gain seclusion, yet within reach of those whose genuine interest prompts them to make the trip, Beaver Lodge extends a welcome to you if your heart is right.”

– Grey Owl

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2 days minimum

Location: 3 hours north of Saskatoon

Distance: 40km round trip

Elevation Gain: minimal

Difficulty: 7/10 – Very long

Season: May to September

Additional Requirements: Camping Permit

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Prince Albert:  Take Hwy 2 North for 75km until you see signs for Hwy 264/Waskesiu. Turn left here and follow Hwy 264 for 46km until the road dead ends. It will be gravel for the last 18km and there will be a parking lot and boat launch at the end.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters.
  • Water: This hike is very long so it’s important to stay hydrated. If you have a small water filter, or purification tablets, they will come in handy as you won’t have to carry as much water.
  • Meals: This hike is a minimum 2-day hike, so you’ll have to plan some meals. Smokies, sandwiches, oatmeal, veggies, and fruit are easy to pack and full of nutrients.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. We would recommend a raincoat just in case…
  • Extra shoes and socks: Depending on the time of year, the trail can be wet and mucky. A warm pair of socks and shoes at the end of your hike will feel better than you think.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: This area has a ton of mosquitoes. Don’t forget to bring bug spray!
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike
  • Camping Equipment: Tent, Sleeping bag, hammock, pots, pans, plates, and utensils. Anything you think you’ll need for an overnight hike.
  • Camping permit: This can be purchased at the national park Visitor Center.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

Canoe: Reaching Grey Owl’s Cabin can be done by canoe. There is a boat launch at the trailhead, a rail cart that helps you portage into Kingsmere Lake, and big signs on the shore of Kingsmere Lake to use as landmarks for trails and campsites. This guide will stick to the hike instead of the canoe route, but paddling is an option.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The trail heads north from the parking lot along Kingsmere River then follows the east side of Kingsmere Lake for 20km passing different campsites along the way. From the north end of the lake, you will hike another 1.5km to Ajawaan Lake where you will find Grey Owl’s Cabin.

 

Grey Owl's Cabin Adventure Map - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Grey Owl’s Cabin Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

In the northwest corner of the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) and will see a big sign marking the trailhead. Follow the trail north for a few hundred meters and you will see the Kingsmere River down below. There is a rail cart portage track for canoers.

 

Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The trail to Grey Owl’s Cabin
Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Wet sections along the trail

 

Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Kingsmere River

 

Roughly 300 meters from the trailhead is a branch off to the left to reach the first campsite, Southend Campground. This campground is another 1.2km from the fork. To get to Grey Owl’s Cabin stick to the right and continue following the trail. 3km from that fork, you’ll arrive at Westwind Group Campground (Route marker #2 on the map).

At 6.7km there is another campsite called Chipewyan Portage Campground (Route marker #3 on the map). This is where we stopped for snacks and a break.

 

 

Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Chipewyan Portage Campground
Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Anderson continuing along the trail

 

6km past Chipewyan Portage Campground is Sandy Beach Campground (Route marker #4 on the map). This is where we spent the night. There are no campsites at Grey Owl’s Cabin. We’d recommend camping at either Sandy Beach Campground or North End Campground and doing a day hike from there to the Cabin without heavy gear.

Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Sandy Beach Campground
Grey Owl's Cabin Hike - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Sandy Beach Campground

 

There are a couple sections of the hike where you walk along the beach. It’s a nice change of scenery and the views of the lake are beautiful.

 

Kingsmere Lake - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Kingsmere Lake
Kingsmere Lake - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Kingsmere Lake

 

The last campground before Grey Owl’s Cabin is Northend Campground (Route marker #5 on the map). It is 16.8km from the trailhead. It includes two double sites and two single sites. Here you will also find a large sheltered area with picnic tables and a wood stove. I wish we would have known about this shelter when we did the hike as we could have taken shelter from the rain.

The last leg of the journey is relatively easy, and most people do it without their packs and gear. 3km north of the Northend Campground the trail will jag to the left and take you along the west shore of Ajawaan Lake to the Cabins. The lower cabin was Grey Owl’s, and the upper cabin was built for his wife, daughter, and visitors. There is a lot of history in these cabins about Grey Owl’s journeys and his message about nature conservation. There are postcards, pictures and books telling stories about Grey Owl inside his cabin. Respect the cabin, respect the site, and have fun!

 

 

Grey Owl's Cabin - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Grey Owl’s Cabin

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Grey Owl Cabin adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA







 

Fortress Mountain is located in Kananaskis Country and has the highest base elevation of any ski resort in Canada. This means it gets a ton of POW! We have no other Cat Ski experience to compare to, but KPOW treated us really well, provided us with morning snacks, lunch, cold beer, avalanche safety training and epic snow! We would absolutely go Cat Skiing with KPOW again!

 

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take Hwy 1 West until you reach the Stoney Nakoda Casino and Hwy 40. Head South on Hwy 40 for 45km (18km past the Nakiska exit). At the Centrex Gas Station turn right and drive about 400m and park on the right side of the road. KPOW will meet you here in the morning.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Gear: Snowboard boots and board (move bindings to the back of board) or if you are skiing; skis, poles and boots (KPOW recommends a minimum of 100mm underfoot for skis.
  • Snacks: KPOW will provide some snacks and a lunch but if you want specific things you’ll have to bring them.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Wind/water proof outer layers. Jacket, pants, gloves, neck warmer, warm socks, toque.
  • Sunscreen: You can get a sunburn in the winter time. Ask Mattson
  • Helmet: Helmets are not required but very much recommended.
  • Hand and foot warmers: Having cold feet is the worst.
  • Camera: It is fun to be able to watch some footage after or at least review some pics.
Book at:   www.kpow.ca
Their website is easy to navigate and has more information on how to book a day of riding than this guide. So check it out.
Pricing is:

Single seats in the low season are $425.00 per person. (Dec. 1st to Feb 13th)

Single seats in the high season are $525.00 per person (Feb. 17th to April 17th)

 

 

KPOW Cat Skiing - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: KPOW Cat Skiing

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your KPOW Cat Skiing adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Hiking Black Rock Mountain in the winter was a gnarly adventure, but in the summer months the hike is straightforward and only moderately difficult. Getting to the trailhead of this hike is an adventure as you will need to 4×4 through a (mostly dried up) riverbed. The hike has some easy scrambling, but the most difficult part is the steep final push to the summit. At the top you are rewarded by unreal 360-degree views of the Rockies.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 4-5 Hours

Location: 45km west of Calgary

Distance: 10.9km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2440m

Elevation Gain: 980m

Difficulty: 7/10 – Consistent elevation gain

Season: May to October for summer conditions.

Additional Requirements: 4×4 vehicle to reach the trailhead.

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Cochrane: Head west on Bow Valley Trail/AB-1A for 14km and then turn right onto Forestry Trunk Rd/AB-40 North. Follow Hwy 40 for 38.2km and take a left at Ghost Airstrip Campground followed by another immediate left. Head south for 12.8km then turn right, follow this road for 6.2km and you will reach a steep hill going down to the riverbed. Once you hit the riverbed, follow the road in the riverbed heading north for about 2km. The trailhead will be on the (North) other side of the creek. NOTE: You will likely need a 4X4 vehicle to drive in the riverbed.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Boots if it’s winter.
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring enough water for 4-5 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the falls.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The trail up Black Rock Mountain is fairly straightforward and in the summer, is easy to follow. The trail gains elevation to an upper plateau and then there is a final steep push to the summit. In the winter if there is snow, we recommend using an app with GPS (AllTrails) to ensure your taking the correct route.

 

Black Rock Mountain Adventure Map - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Black Rock Mountain Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Finding the trailhead for this hike is potentially the most difficult part of the hike. You will need a 4×4 vehicle to drive the final 2km across the dry riverbed. A broken sign marks the Black Rock Viewpoint trail (Route marker #1 on the map). We used the AllTrails app to find the exact location of the trailhead and it worked great.

 

Black Rock Mountain Trailhead - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Trailhead
Black Rock Mountain Trail - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Following the trail

 

The trail is easy to follow and reasonably flat for the first few kms of the hike. A forest fire blew through the area a few months before we did the hike, so the trees were charred black and the smell of smoke was still in the air. There was some snow coverage so the trail was difficult to find at times but in the summer the trail would be easy to follow.

We lost the trail and ended up too far right on a steep scree hill. The challenging slippery climb up the scree slope made the hike much harder than it should have been. On the way down we managed to stay on the correct trail and the descent was a lot easier. The trail will eventually reach the upper plateau (Route marker #2 on the map) where it follows the ridge to the false peak.  From here you can see the steep final climb to the true summit.

 

Black Rock Mountain Trail - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Scrambling up the scree
Black Rock Mountain - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The false peak with the summit in the background

 

Even though the false peak has good views don’t stop there! The steep final section to the summit is tiring but well worth it. If Finn can do it, you can too!

At the summit (Route marker #3 on the map), there is an old fire lookout that was built in 1889. People used to take horses all the way to the top to keep lookout for wildfires. Leave your mark by carving your name into the fire lookout at the top, enjoy some 360 views of the Rockies and then make your way back down the same way you came up! Enjoy!

 

 

Black Rock Mountain Summit - Ghost River - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Anderson and Finn at the summit

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Black Rock Mountain adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Hidden Canyon is located on the east side of Zion about 1000 feet above the floor of the main canyon. They call it a “hanging canyon” because of how high it rests. This hike has a challenging amount of elevation gain to overcome before you reach the entrance to the canyon, but once you get there some fun exploring and scrambling awaits.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2-3 Hours

Trailhead: Weeping Rock Trailhead

Distance: 5km (3 miles)  round trip

Elevation Gain: 300m (1000ft)

Difficulty: 6/10 – Well trafficked, lots of scrambling

Season: Year-round. Spring and fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and winter can be icy and dangerous.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with runners but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long and can be very hot. Be sure to bring enough water for 3-5 hours of physical exertion in the hot sun.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorites snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible to encounter snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are tons of photo opportunities along the way you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Heat and Dehydration:  In Zion National Park, the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day.  Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.

 

Steep Cliffs:  Falls from cliffs along the trail could resulted in death. Stay on the trail, stay back from cliff edges and be careful of sand or loose rocks that can make for a slippery surface.  Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are trying to capture the perfect photo. During the winter months, the trail can be snow and ice covered so be extra careful and wear traction devices on your shoes for extra grip.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: During the busy months (March to November), Zion National Park has a free shuttle system to help move large numbers of visitors around the park. When the shuttle is in operation Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles so visitors must rely on the shuttle service. The shuttle departs from the Zion Visitor Center and stops at nine locations in the park. The shuttles run very frequently between 7am and 6:15pm and you should never have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Although you can park at the Visitor Center, the lot fills up quickly so it is best to park in the town of Springdale and take the Springdale Shuttle to the park gate.
The Springdale Shuttle leaves from the Majestic View Lodge and stops at the Zion Canyon Theatre. From the Zion Canyon Theatre, cross through the National Park Pedestrian Entrance to pay the entry fee, then catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle from the Visitor Center.
There are many Springdale Shuttle stops between the Majestic View Lodge, and Zion Canyon Theater. Walk to the nearest stop from your accommodation or drive and park in a marked “Shuttle Parking” area.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Starting at the Weeping Rock Trailhead the hike begins with steep switchbacks that take you up to the wall of the canyon. At that point there is a chain to assist you crossing a narrow ledge hundreds of feet above the canyon floor. After some more climbing and a bit of scrambling you will arrive at the Hidden Canyon Rock Arch.  For many hikers this is the turnaround point, but the canyon continues and you can hike further if you are up for more scrambling.

 

Hidden Canyon Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Hiking Hidden Canyon Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

This hike starts at the Weeping Rock Trailhead (Route marker #1 on the map). There is an easy to follow trail that will begin to take you up the canyon and then fork to the left to Weeping Rock (Route Marker #2 on the map). Weeping rock is a short detour worth checking out before heading up to Hidden Canyon.

 

Weeping Rock - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Mattson under the Weeping Rock
Weeping Rock - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The view from Weeping Rock

 

After checking out weeping rock return to the main trail. From here there are some steep switchbacks that take you up to a fork in the trail. If you go left, you will be on the East Rim Trail headed towards Observation Point, so take a right to Hidden Canyon.

 

Hidden Canyon Trail - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The trail fork to Hidden Canyon

 

 

The trail continues to climb up more switchbacks until eventually it narrows to a small ledge on the side of the canyon. There are chains bolted into the cliff walls to hang onto as you cross these narrow sections. After crossing the ledge there is a stone staircase to climb and shortly after you will find yourself in Hidden Canyon.

 

Hidden Canyon Trail - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Crossing the narrow ledge
Hidden Canyon Trail - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The stone staircase

 

The canyon is narrow and tall, so it is tough to get lost. There is only one way to go but there are some obstacles along the way. This part of the hike requires some rock hopping and scrambling over larger boulders.

 

Hidden Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Headed into Hidden Canyon
Hidden Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Scrambling over boulders

 

About half a mile into the canyon is a large natural rock arch that can’t be missed (Route Marker #3 on the map). This is the point where a lot of hikers turn around but you can continue past the rock arch if you want to keep adventuring.

 

Hidden Canyon Rock Arch - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Hidden Canyon Rock Arch

 

We kept going further into the canyon for about another kilometer (Route Marker #4 on the map). The scrambling did get tougher after the arch but it was a lot of fun! When scrambling keep in mind it is always easier going up then coming down. Know your limits and when its time to turn around. When you are ready to start the return trip, follow the same route in reverse back to Weeping Rock Trailhead.

 

Hidden Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Mattson trying to keep his feet dry
Hidden Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Scrambling up a steep section of rock

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Hidden Canyon adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

If you’re spending time in Zion National Park and want to get one of the best views in the park, Observation Point should be on your list! It is one of the highest points in the main canyon and offers a 360-degree view of its surroundings. The hike is challenging, has interest points along the way such as weeping rock and echo canyon, and the reward at the top is a view that’ll make you want to stay there… FOREVER!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 4-6 Hours

Trailhead: Weeping Rock Trailhead

Distance: 13km (8 miles)  round trip

Highest Elevation: 1980m (6500ft)

Elevation Gain: 1463m (4800ft)

Difficulty: 7/10 – Long hike with consistent elevation gain

Season: Year-round. Spring and fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and winter can be icy and dangerous.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with runners but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring enough water for 4-6 hours of physical exertion in the hot sun.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible to encounter snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are tons of photo opportunities along the way you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Heat and Dehydration: In Zion National Park, the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day.  Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.

 

Steep Cliffs: Stay on the trail, stay back from cliff edges and be careful of sand or loose rocks that can make for a slippery surface.  Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are trying to capture the perfect photo. During the winter months, the trail can be snow and ice covered so be extra careful and wear traction devices on your shoes for extra grip.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: During the busy months (March to November), Zion National Park has a free shuttle system to help move large numbers of visitors around the park. When the shuttle is in operation Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles so visitors must rely on the shuttle service. The shuttle departs from the Zion Visitor Center and stops at nine locations in the park. The shuttles run very frequently between 7am and 6:15pm and you should never have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Although you can park at the Visitor Center, the lot fills up quickly so it is best to park in the town of Springdale and take the Springdale Shuttle to the park gate.
The Springdale Shuttle leaves from the Majestic View Lodge and stops at the Zion Canyon Theatre. From the Zion Canyon Theatre, cross through the National Park Pedestrian Entrance to pay the entry fee, then catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle from the Visitor Center.
There are many Springdale Shuttle stops between the Majestic View Lodge, and Zion Canyon Theater. Walk to the nearest stop from your accommodation or drive and park in a marked “Shuttle Parking” area.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Observation Point is a challenging hike due to its elevation but it is straightforward as far as directions go. From the trailhead we recommend making a quick detour to check out Weeping Rock and then ascending the well-marked trail up multiple sets of switchbacks to Observation Point.

 

Observation Point Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Hiking Observation Point Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

This hike starts at the Weeping Rock Trailhead (Route marker #1 on the map). There is an easy to follow trail that will begin to take you up the canyon and then fork to the left to Weeping Rock (Route Marker #2 on the map). Weeping rock is a short detour worth checking out before heading up to Observation Point.

 

Weeping Rock - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Mattson under the Weeping Rock
Weeping Rock - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The view from Weeping Rock

 

From Weeping Rock backtrack to the main trail and then head up the series of switchbacks with consistent and exhausting elevation gain. You can try to distract yourself from the physical challenge by enjoying the already amazing views of Zion.

 

Observation Point - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson climbing the switchbacks

 

 

Eventually the trail will level out and you will enter Echo Canyon Passage (Route marker #3 on the map). Echo Canyon is a slot canyon, 1000ft above the valley floor. The hiking trail takes you through the slot canyon making for some great photo opportunities.

 

Echo Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Echo Canyon Passage
Echo Canyon - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Anderson following the trail in Echo Canyon

 

After Echo Canyon you will come to the East Rim Trail Junction. Take a left and make your way up the final round of switchbacks and elevation gain. Once you’ve reached the end of these switchbacks the terrain levels out for the last mile. This is part of the East Rim Trail that will lead to Observation Point.

 

Observation Point - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Mattson ascending more switchbacks

 

Once you make it to Observation Point (Route marker #4 on the map) you will be treated to incredible views of Zion. This is a tough hike but being atop Observation Point on a nice day is totally worth it! After taking in the views you can return to Weeping Rock trailhead by backtracking the same way you came up.

 

Observation Point - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: The view from Observation Point

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Observation Point adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

The Narrows in Zion National Park is a unique hike that takes you on a journey through the water up the Virgin River. The walls of the canyon stand roughly a thousand feet tall and are only twenty to thirty feet wide at some of the narrowest points. This is one of Zion’s most popular hikes.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3-5 Hours

Trailhead: Temple of Sinawava

Distance: 16km (10 miles)  round trip

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Difficulty: 4/10 – Hiking through water

Season: Year-round. Spring and fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and busy. Winter can be cold

Additional Requirements: If attempting in winter, dry suits are highly recommended.

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Footwear: Bring shoes that can get wet! In the summer water shoes are a good idea. In the winter we recommend the boots and neoprene socks that come with a dry suit rental from Zion Adventure Guides. The water will be cold!
  • Water: This hike is long and tiring. Be sure to bring enough water for 8-10 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the turnaround point.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Depending on the time of year you do this hike it could be very hot, or quite cold. Check the water temperature as well as you will be walking through water that can be waist deep.
  • Swimsuit: If you do this hike in the summer it is advisable to bring a swimsuit as you will get wet!
  • Dry Suit: If you are doing this hike in the wintertime, bring a dry suit. You will need it to walk through the cold water. You can rent them from the Zion Adventure Company in Springdale.
  • A walking stick: A walking stick will come in handy to keep your balance on the rocky terrain underneath the water. Sometimes walking sticks can be found at the trailhead, they can also be rented from Zion Adventure Company
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Flash Floods: It’s important when hiking through water flow areas (The Subway and The Narrows), to check the local forecast for rain and always be on high alert for noticeable changes in the weather. The Zion Visitor Center posts river flow rates for these hikes and can advise when they are safe to do. If flow rates are too high the National Park will close The Narrows. Flash floods are a real danger and can sneak up on you when you least expect it. If you do find yourself in a flash flood situation, get to high ground on the side of the canyon as quick as you can to stay safe.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: During the busy months (March to November), Zion National Park has a free shuttle system to help move large numbers of visitors around the park. When the shuttle is in operation Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is closed to private vehicles so visitors must rely on the shuttle service. The shuttle departs from the Zion Visitor Center and stops at nine locations in the park. The shuttles run very frequently between 7am and 6:15pm and you should never have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Although you can park at the Visitor Center, the lot fills up quickly so it is best to park in the town of Springdale and take the Springdale Shuttle to the park gate.
The Springdale Shuttle leaves from the Majestic View Lodge and stops at the Zion Canyon Theatre. From the Zion Canyon Theatre, cross through the National Park Pedestrian Entrance to pay the entry fee, then catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle from the Visitor Center.
There are many Springdale Shuttle stops between the Majestic View Lodge, and Zion Canyon Theater. Walk to the nearest stop from your accommodation or drive and park in a marked “Shuttle Parking” area.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Hiking the Narrows from the bottom up is a very straight forward hike. From the Temple of Sinawava you follow the Virgin River upstream till you want to turn around, and then you follow it back to the temple.

 

The Narrows Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Narrows Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

There is an option to do this hike from the top down (which requires a permit). It is a 16 mile full day adventure but we will focus on the bottom up route. The bottom up route does not require a permit and is nice because you can go as far up the river as you’d like (up to 5 miles) before turning back and making your way out. This hike starts at the Temple of Sinawava, the last stop of the shuttle service (Route marker #1 on the map).  From the temple there is a paved trail to follow that will take you to the Virgin River. From there you follow the river upstream into the canyon. In some places the water is only ankle deep but there are other sections when the water can be up to your waste. Be careful of your footing, take your time and enjoy the scenery.

 

The Narrows Hike - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Entering the canyon
The Narrows Hike - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Following the river upstream

 

The most spectacular section of The Narrows is known as Wall Street (Route marker #2 on the map).  This is the narrowest section of the canyon where the walls extend thousands of feet above you. The high canyon walls block out most of the daylight giving this section of the hike an eerie feeling.

 

 

The Narrows Wall Street - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Wall Street
The Narrows Wall Street - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Mattson at Wall Street

 

From the temple, you can walk up the river for 5 miles before it is required that you have a permit to go any farther. That leaves a 10 mile round trip, and plenty of canyon to explore. The turnaround point is a place called Big Springs (Route marker #3 on the map).

 

The Narrows Big Springs - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Big Springs

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your The Narrows adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

If you’re looking for an easy stroll in the outdoors with incredible views and an abundance of lush vegetation, Emerald Pools is the hike for you. The trail is well paved and the minimal elevation gain can be accomplished by anyone. Hiking Emerald Pools is a great chance to get outside and enjoy a taste of what Zion has to offer.

 

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 1-2 Hours

Trailhead: Zion Lodge

Distance: 3.5km (2 miles) round trip

Highest Elevation: 1834m (6113ft)

Elevation Gain: 60m (200ft) to the Middle Emerald Pool and another 60m (200ft) to the Upper Emerald Pool

Difficulty: 4/10 – Minimal elevation gain on a well maintained trail.

Season: Year round. Spring and Fall are most pleasant. Summer can be very hot and the waterfalls generally aren’t flowing as strongly.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St. George: Travel on the I-15 North towards Salt Lake City, after 11 km (7 miles) merge onto UT-9 East via exit 16 and travel 20km (12.5 miles) through Hurricane and then up to La Verkin. Take a right turn in La Verkin to continue on the UT-9 East for 32km (20 miles) until you come into Springdale. Follow that same road until you pull up to the Zion park entrance.

From Arizona: Travel US-89A North through Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 West to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

From the North: Travel the I-15 South past Beaver, UT and exit on Hwy 20. Head east until you reach US-89, then head south to the Mount Carmel Junction. Take UT-9 west to Zion’s East Park Entrance.

 

WHAT TO BRING

 

  • Comfortable Footwear: A good pair of comfortable sneakers is all that this hike requires.
  • Water: One bottle of water per hiker should be sufficient as this hike is short and not too strenuous.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike. Some of our favorites snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible to encounter snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Heat and Dehydration: In Zion National Park, the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water.

 

Steep Cliffs: Falls from cliffs along the trail have resulted in death. Stay on the trail, stay back from cliff edges and be careful of sand or loose rocks that can make for a slippery surface. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are trying to capture the perfect photo. During the winter months, the trail can be snow and ice covered so be extra careful and wear traction devices on your shoes for extra grip.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

ZION SHUTTLE SYSTEM

 

Zion Shuttle System: Emerald Pools is perfect for hikers and adventurers of all levels and abilities. The trail starts at the Zion Lodge and immediately crosses over the Virgin River. The first stop along Emerald Pools Trail in the Lower Pool. From the Lower Pool the trail gains elevation to the Middle Pool and then finally climbs to the Upper Pool.

 

Zion Shuttle - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Zion Canyon Line Shuttle Stops

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Emerald Pools is perfect for hikers and adventurers of all levels and abilities. The trail starts at the Zion Lodge and immediately crosses over the Virgin River. The first stop along Emerald Pools Trail in the Lower Pool. From the Lower Pool the trail gains elevation to the Middle Pool and then finally climbs to the Upper Pool.

 

Emerald Pools Adventure Map - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Emerald Pools Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

There are three different possible routes for this hike. Our recommended route, and the route we will describe in this guide begins at the Zion Lodge (Route marker #1 on the map). If the Zion Shuttle service is in operation, this is the fifth stop. If the shuttle is not running, park at the Emerald Pools Parking Lot. Alternatively you can begin this hike at shuttle stop #6 the Grotto Picnic Area (Route marker #2 on the map), and take the Kayenta Trail to the Emerald Pools. This makes the hike around 3-4 hours. The third option is taking the Southwestern Spur Trail from the Zion Lodge straight to Middle Emerald Pools. We do not recommend this route as it bypasses the Lower Emerald Pool, which is our favorite of the three pools. Also the Southwestern Spur Trail is also often closed due to rainfall and flooding. If you wish to take this trail, check in at the Visitors Center first to check if its open. Please respect all trail closure signs as they are there for your safety.

The route description below is from Zion Lodge (Route marker #1 on the map) taking Emerald Pools Trail.

From the trailhead at Zion Lodge follow the trail over the Virgin River and take a right to head northeast on Emerald Pools Trail along the river.

Emerald Pools - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Emerald Pools Trailhead
Emerald Pools - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Emerald Pools Trail

 

Emerald Pools Trail is paved and has a very gradual incline. The trail follows the Virgin River with some shade provided by small collonwood trees. After following the trail for about one kilometer, you will reach Lower Emerald Pool (Route marker #3 on the map). The Lower Pool is home to lots of lush, green vegetation growing from the moisture filled rocks. The mist caused from the waterfalls creates a microclimate where plants thrive. In the winter months, the mist freezes, forming icicle branches on the trees, which creates a unique photo opportunity. The trail follows the canyon wall behind the two waterfalls that drain from the Middle Pool and fill the Lower Pool. Be careful in the winter, if the temperature is below freezing, the trail may be slippery with ice.

 

Lower Emerald Pool - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson walking behind the falls at Lower Pool

 

After wrapping around the Lower Pool the hike starts to get a little bit more challenging. The trail becomes less paved and you begin to gain elevation more rapidly. A rocky staircase along the way helps to ease the sudden elevation increase. The trail loops around to the Middle Pool (Route marker #4 on the map) at the top of the cliff that you just walked under. The Middle Pool supplies the water to the falls viewed previously from Lower Pool. It is small and the least scenic of the three pools but there are good photo opportunities looking back into the main Zion Canyon from this vantage point.

 

Middle Emerald Pool - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Mattson at Middle Pool

 

The last leg to the Upper Pool (Route marker #5 on the map) is only 450m (0.3 miles) but can be difficult as you have 60m (200ft) in elevation to gain. Whe you arrive at the Upper Pool, you’ll realize that every step was worth it! The Upper Pool sits at the base of a monsterous 300-foot cliff with a waterfall cascading into the pool below. The Spring and Fall are the best times of the year to view the waterfall because it has the highest volume of water. Upper Pool is a great place to find some shade, relax, and have some lunch.

 

Upper Emerald Pool - Zion - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Upper Emerald Pool Waterfall

 

On the return trip you can either follow Emerald Pools Trail back the way you came, or take the Southwestern Spur Trail (if its open) south from Middle Pool to complete a loop and see some different scenery.

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Emerald Pools adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA




For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!

 




 

Grotto Canyon is a relatively simple trail walk with interesting features that make it a very worthwhile excursion. Walking between the narrow walls of the canyon provides an eerie experience and at the end of the canyon there is a small waterfall and cave to explore. You can also find ancient pictographs painted on the canyon walls if you know where to look!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 1-2 Hours

Location: 16km east of Canmore, AB

Distance: Up to 7km round trip

Highest Elevation: 1550m

Elevation Gain: 250m

Difficulty: 3/10 – Some uneven footing

Season: Year-Round – May be icy and slippery in the winter.

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary:  Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 65 km to Exit 114 and take Hwy 1X north.  After 3.5km turn left and head west on Hwy 1A.  Follow Hwy 1A 11km and park at the Grotto Pong Day use area.

From Canmore:  Take Hwy 1A east approximately 16km and park at the Grotto Pond Day use area.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: A pair of comfortable sneakers will be sufficient for this hike. In the winter you may want winter boots and potentially micro spikes as it could be icy.
  • Water: One water bottle per hiker will be sufficient as this is a fairly easy, short hike.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the trail.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The Hike through Grotto Canyon begins at the Grotto Pond Day Use Area just off Hwy 1A.  There is a well-marked trail that will take you from the Day Use Area to the entrance of Grotto Canyon.  As you venture up the canyon follow this guide to find ancient hopi pictographs painted on the canyon walls, the waterfall that feeds grotto creek and a small cave.

 

Grotto Canyon Adventure Map- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Grotto Canyon Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the Grotto Pond Day Use Area, the trailhead to Grotto Canyon is clearly marked (Route marker #1 on the map). Begin following the trail into the forest. 450m down the trail you will come to a work access road.  Cross the road and continue following the trail towards the noisy Baymeg Plant.

 

Grotto Canyon Trailhead- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Grotto Canyon Trailhead
Grotto Canyon Trail- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Cross the work access road

 

Follow the trail 350m more and you will hit a fork in the road. Follow the right trail indicated by the arrow in the green circle on the sign.

 

Grotto Canyon Trail- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The trail to Grotto Canyon

 

This path will take you to a rocky creek bed which leads to the canyon.  At this point you can climb down into the creek bed and follow it or take the higher trail on the right side through the trees.  The trail through the trees will traverse the hillside and then lead you down into the canyon.

Grotto Canyon Creek Bed- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The creek bed
Grotto Canyon Trail - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: The upper trail through the trees

 

Follow the rocky creek bed into the canyon.  You will cross back and forth over the creek as you make your way deeper into the canyon

 

Grotto Canyon - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Grotto Canyon

 

600m into the canyon from where you first hit the rocky creek bed is the rock wall where ancient Hopi Pictographs can be seen (Route marker #2 on the map). They are a faint red color approximately at eye level.  The picture below shows a group of hikers viewing the pictographs.

 

Grotto Canyon Hopi Pictographs- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Hopi Pictographs

 

Grotto Canyon Hopi Pictographs- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Hopi Pictographs
Grotto Canyon Hopi Pictographs- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Hopi Pictographs
Grotto Canyon Hopi Pictographs- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Hopi Pictographs
Grotto Canyon Hopi Pictographs- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Hopi Pictographs

 

200m further down the canyon you will come to a T-intersection.  The creek is fed from a small waterfall to your right.  A very short walk along the creek will take you to the waterfall (Route marker #3 on the map).  Be cautious on the wet rocks as they are very slippery.

Grotto Canyon Waterfall- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 13: The view towards the waterfall
Grotto Canyon Waterfall- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 14: The waterfall

If you go left from the T-intersection the canyon will widen and you will trek through a valley of rock cairns built by previous hikers.

 

Grotto Canyon Rock Cairns- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 15: Rock Cairns

 

1km down this path you will come to a small cave on the side of the rock face (Route marker #4 on the map).  It is a steep climb to get up to the cave, but it is worth checking out before starting the return journey.

 

Grotto Canyon Cave- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 16: Grotto Canyon Cave

 

When you’ve seen enough of Grotto Canyon head back the way you came to the Grotto Pond Day Use Area.

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Grotto Canyon adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA