For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

Rawson Lake is a beautiful, green, alpine lake with Mount Sarrail as the incredibly stunning backdrop. This is one of the most beautiful hikes in Kananaskis and reaching the lake is well worth the moderate climb. The trail to Rawson Lake begins at Upper Kananaskis Lake and offers great views of the surrounding mountains, Sarrail Falls and the lush forest.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2-3 Hours

Location: 136km west of Calgary in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Distance: 8km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2100m

Elevation Gain: 400m

Difficulty: 5/10 – Well marked trail with moderate elevation gain.

Season: June to mid-October

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 70 km to Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) and then follow that 50 km to Kananaskis Lakes Trail.  Turn right onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail and follow it for 13 km. Take a left on Upper Lake Drive and park at the south end of the Upper Kananaskis Lake Day Use Area.

From Canmore: Take the Trans-Canada(Hwy 1) east approximately 30 km to Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) and then follow that 50 km to Kananaskis Lakes Trail. Turn right onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail and follow it for 13 km.  Take a left on Upper Lake Drive and park at the south end of the Upper Kananaskis Lake Day Use Area.

 

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 running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: Two bottles of water per hiker should suffice as this hike isn’t too strenuous.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the lake. Some of our favorites 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 along the way.
  • 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: Rawson Lake is a scenic trail walk starting from the Upper Kananaskis Lake Day Use Area.  The trail follows Upper Kananaskis Lake Trail clockwise until it branches off to the south and begins gaining elevation to Rawson Lake.  The official trail ends at the North East side of Rawson Lake.  There is a less maintained rocky trail that can be followed around the lake to the far west side for a different view of the lake.

 

Rawson Lake Adventure Map - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Rawson Lake Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the Upper Lake Parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map), follow the trail from the south side of the lot heading clockwise around Upper Kananaskis Lake.

 

Rawson Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The trailhead to Rawson Lake

 

As you follow the trail, you will cross Sarrail Creek at Sarrail Falls (Route marker #2 on the map).

 

Sarrail Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Sarrail Falls

 

1.2 km into the hike (approx. 100m after crossing Sarrail Creek) you will come to a T-junction (Route marker #3 on the map).  Take the left trail with the sign indicating the route to Rawson Lake.

 

Rawson Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The trail fork to Rawson Lake

 

Follow the trail as it begins climbing upward through the moderately steep switch backs.  The trail will level off and after kilometer 3, you will arrive at Rawson Lake (Route marker #4 on the map).

 

Rawson Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Mattson following the trail to Rawson Lake

 

This is the most scenic view of the Rawson Lake with Mount Sarrail as a backdrop.  You can continue around the south side of the lake to the west end (Approx. 1km to the far side).  The official trail ends part of the way around the lake, but there is a rocky trail that can be followed all the way to the west end.

 

Rawson Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Rawson Lake and Mount Sarrail

 

Enjoy the beautiful scenery at Rawson Lake before returning to the Upper Lake Parking lot following the same trail in reverse.

 

 

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 Rawson Lake 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! 

 

Fossil Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Kananaskis and the hike to reach them is one of our favorites in the area.  Although most of this hike follows a well-marked trail, the final 2 km to the falls are steep, difficult and involve some bushwhacking.  To some this may sound like a deterrent, but we think it adds to the experience and increases the feeling of satisfaction once you arrive at the falls.  We hope you enjoy your adventure!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 8 Hours

Location: 136km west of Calgary in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Distance: 20km round trip

Highest Elevation: 1980m

Elevation Gain: 811m

Difficulty: 7/10 – Route finding, rapid elevation gain, and bushwhacking.

Season: June to mid-October

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 70 km to Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) and then follow that 50 km to Kananaskis Lakes Trail.  Turn right onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail and follow it for 13 km.  Park at the North Interlakes Day Use Area on Upper Kananaskis Lake.

From Canmore: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) east approximately 30 km to Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) and then follow that 50 km to Kananaskis Lakes Trail.  Turn right onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail and follow it for 13 km.  Park at the North Interlakes Day Use Area on Upper Kananaskis Lake.

 

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 running shoes 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 waterfall. 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 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.
  • Long pants/high socks: The final two km of this hike are through dense brush. Having long pants or high socks for this portion of the hike will save the skin on your legs.
  • 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 starting point for this hike is at the North Interlakes parking lot.  From there you will travel around Upper Kananaskis Lake to the “Secret Trail” that leads to Hidden Lake.  The falls are about 2 km from the south point of Hidden Lake.  This final stretch to the falls is the most challenging part of the hike as there is not much of a trail and it is very steep!

 

Fossil Falls Adventure Map - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Fossil Falls Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the North Interlakes parking lot you will see Upper Kananaskis Lake directly in front of you to the west.  Make sure you are looking at Upper Lake as Lower Lake is nearby on the east side of the parking lot.  You don’t want to start off walking around the wrong lake! Start by heading northwest from the parking lot and crossing the dam (Route marker #1 on the map).  Follow the clearly marked trail counterclockwise around the lake.

 

Fossil Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Interlakes Dam
Fossil Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Upper Kananaskis Trail

 

Follow the path around Upper Kananaskis Lake approximately 3.35km to Point Campground (Route marker #2 on the map).  You will reach a fork in the path.  Do not go left as that will take you to the campground.  Instead take the right (west) fork and continue following the trail.

 

1.6 km further down the Upper Lakes trail there is a small path leading off to your right (southwest), it is marked with a pink tape around a tree (Route marker #3 on the map).  This is approximately 30m after the third wooden bridge you will have crossed. This is the “Secret Trail” to hidden lake!

 

Fossil Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Pink tape marks the “Secret trail” to Hidden Lake
Fossil Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The third wooden bridge

 

Follow this path for 400m staying left at the one fork you will come across.  If all has gone well you should emerge at Hidden Lake. TAKE NOTE OF THE TRAIL YOU EMERGED FROM SO THAT YOU CAN FIND IT FOR THE RETURN TRIP!

 

Hidden Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Anderson at Hidden Lake

 

The path to Fossil Falls is on the far southeast side of Hidden Lake approximately marked by the arrow on the below photo.  We recommend travelling around this lake clockwise (about 1.5km). We went counter clockwise on the way to the falls and there is a difficult stream crossing you would have to make.  We do not recommend this.  The entrance to the trail up to the falls is marked by two large trees creating a doorway (Route marker #4 on the map).

 

Hidden Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The trail to Fossil Falls across Hidden Lake
Fossil Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: The trail from Hidden Lake to Fossil Falls

 

At this point you are about 2 km from Fossil Falls but the route gets substantially harder. If you are wearing shorts, it is recommended to put on long pants or high socks for the final section of this hike.

Follow the path upwards towards the falls. After gaining around 800m of elevation, you will exit the dense trees and get your first look at the falls. You have the option of staying above the tree line to the left and scaling the shale rocks, or bushwhacking through the trees.  We chose the shale to save some of the skin on our legs but from this point forward there is no trail so you choose your own route.  Although the final stretch of this hike is difficult the close up view of the waterfall is well worth it!

 

Fossil Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Approaching Fossil Falls

 

Have lunch here and spend some time enjoying the falls before beginning the trek back.  Follow the same route in reverse to get back to the North Interlakes parking lot where you left your car.

 

Fossil Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: The base of Fossil Falls

 

 

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 Fossil Falls 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! 

 

Gem Lakes is a small grouping of deep, beautiful lakes in central Saskatchewan named after precious stones. A 5.5km hiking trail winds around the lakes providing spectacular views and access to fish, camp, canoe and kayak at the various lakes.

 

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Location: 148km Northeast of Prince Albert

Distance: 5.5km round trip

Difficulty: 3/10 – Some steep sections along trail

Season: June to September for camping

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

Gem Lakes - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Gem Lakes

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Prince Albert: Head northeast on SK-55 E for 41km to Meath Park and then take a left onto SK-120 N.  Take the 120 53 km and then turn left on SK-913. Follow the 913 for 50km and take a left to the Gem Lakes parking lot.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Comfortable sneakers are sufficient for this hike but if you prefer hiking shoes bring those.Bring a pair of flip flops or comfortable sneakers for the evening.
  • Water: Bring enough water for camping and hiking as there are no facilities with water at Gem Lakes.
  • Food: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy during the day as well as food for dinner and breakfast.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Camping Gear: Tent, hammock, sleeping bag, axe/hatchet and fire-starting tools.
  • Fishing Rod: The lakes are stocked and a great place to enjoy some fishing.
  • Kayak/Canoe: Gem Lakes is a perfect place for paddling.
  • Toilet paper: The only outhouse is at the parking area and there is no guarantee there will be toilet paper.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. Bring some warm clothes to change into in the evening.
  • Swimming attire: The lakes are chilly but it can be nice to take a refreshing dip.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking/camping experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: The lakes are beautiful and there are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be camping 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

 

 

CAMPING/HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Gem Lakes is a fantastic place to camp but can also be enjoyed as a leisurely day hike.  The trail winding around the lakes is 5.5km with some short steep sections. There are three camping areas along the trail with a fire pits and picnic benches.

 

Gem Lakes Adventure Map - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Gem Lakes Adventure Map

 

There are three official camping areas.  One at Jade Lake (Route Marker #1 on the map), one at Diamond Lake (Route Marker #2 on the map).  and one at Opal Lake (Route Marker #3 on the map). They are 150m, 1km and 1.5km from the parking area respectively. We would recommend camping at Diamond or Opal lake as they are less busy and trafficked than Jade Lake.  That being said, if you have a lot of camping stuff to carry in, Jade Lake is very close to the parking area so you won’t have far to carry your gear.

 

Gem Lakes - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The Diamond Lake Campsite
Gem Lakes - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Starting our fire

 

Other Tips:

  • Check if there are any fire bans. If there are you may have to adjust your meal plan.
  • The only outhouse is at the parking area. Be sure to use it before heading out to hike and camp.
  • If camping over the weekend get there early Friday so you can get a camping spot before they are taken.
  • When hiking around the lakes there are signs with interesting information and history on the area

 

Gem Lakes - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson enjoying the view
Gem Lakes - Saskatchewan - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: A Loon at Little Jade Lake

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 Buffalo Pound 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! 

McCloud Falls is a fun place for the whole family and is only 30 minutes east of the town of Mount Shasta. It’s a great daily getaway location for locals, and it’s not too far off the main drag if you’re driving through. McCloud Falls is a short 4 mile hike along the stunning McCloud River. It includes three different waterfalls and there is a campground if you plan to stay for more than a day. If you’re driving south on the I-5, you have to make the stop at McCloud Falls and enjoy the scenery.

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2 Hours

Location: 25 miles east of Mount Shasta

Distance: 4 miles return trip (can be hiked or driven)

Highest Elevation: 300 feet

Difficulty: 3/10

Season: May to October are ideal, but McCloud Falls can be visited year-round

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

Mattson at Middle Falls - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Mattson at Middle Falls

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Mt Shasta: Head south on Mt. Shasta Blvd, take a left on CA-89 (Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway) and follow that highway for 15.5 miles. Take a right off that highway onto Fowler’s Public Camp Rd. You will see a sign saying “Fowler/Lower Falls” on the highway. Follow it for about a mile down to the Lower Falls parking lot. There will be signs directing you to the Upper and Middle Falls if you want to drive to them from Lower Falls.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Always nice to have comfortable footwear.
  • Water: In the summer months this area can be very warm. It is important to stay hydrated.
  • 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: If it’s a hot day, bring a swim suit. If you like cliff jumping, bring some water shoes to break the surface tension of the water. The Middle Falls is a great location for cliff jumping and usually quite popular in the summer.
  • Beer: Beer and a lawn chair. It isn’t uncommon to see people unfold a lawn chair and crack a cold one on the rocks at the Lower Falls. It’s a great place to relax and spend time with friends and family.
  • 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.
  • Camping Gear: If you plan on camping, bring a tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear etc.
  • 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.

 

Camping Permits: Fowlers Campground has a ton of very well kept campsites with lots of activities and amenities in the area.  Here is a link if you’d like to book a spot.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/fowlers-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=149640

 

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: McCloud falls is a very straightforward hike easy enough for anyone to enjoy. Our guide outlines the hike starting from Lower Falls, and continuing to both Middle and Upper Falls.  Alternatively, there are roads with parking lots at each falls, so another option is to drive to each of the falls separately.

 

McCloud Falls Adventure Map - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: McCloud Falls Adventure Map

 

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

This hike is very easy, straightforward and can be done by almost all skill level of hiker. Starting at the Lower Falls (Route marker #1 on the map), follow the paved trail up along the river. You will pass the Fowler’s Campground Area and the paved trail will end and turn into a dirt trail.  The distance between the Lower and Middle Falls is roughly one mile. Depending on your adventurousness/skill level, you could also rock hop your way along the river from the Lower Falls to the Middle Falls.

Lower Falls - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Lower Falls

In our opinion, the Middle Falls (Route marker #2 on the map) is the most exciting of the three. At about 50 feet high and twice that in width, Middle Falls is the biggest by far. This is a great location for a swim on a hot day, or to go cliff jumping if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush. Always make sure to check the depth of the water before cliff jumping! In the winter months it is too cold to swim but the falls are still very worth checking out.  Middle Falls can be viewed from the lookout point up top, or you can make your way down a steep trail to view the falls closer up. Both areas provide spectacular vantage points.

Middle Falls - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Middle Falls
Bird's-eye View of Middle Falls - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Bird’s-eye View of Middle Falls

Upper Falls can be reached by following the railing from the lookout point at Middle Falls. Along the way you will hike through some trees and be treated to views of the McCloud River Canyon below.  As you hike, look back towards the Northwest and you may be able to catch a glimpse of Mount Shasta poking through the trees.  After about 10-15 minutes, you will come to the Upper Falls pouring out of a narrow gorge into a pool below (Route marker #3 on the map). The pool is surrounded by immense rock walls on either side. The Upper Falls and river gorge can also be viewed from above as you continue following the trail.

Upper Falls - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Upper Falls

This is a very straightforward hike easy enough for anyone to enjoy. There is also the option to drive to and from each of the falls, and there are wheelchair accessible paths from each parking lot to the waterfall lookout points. In the summer months the falls can be busy and it can be difficult to find parking.  This makes making the hike between the falls the more attractive option.

Whichever way you choose to experience McCloud Falls, we hope you enjoy it, and we hope this guide helps you along the way!

 

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 McCloud Falls adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

The Four Peak Challenge, also known as the Canmore Quad, consists of running/walking up the 4 main peaks surrounding Canmore. The peaks are Grotto Mountain, Mount Lady MacDonald, East End of Rundle, and Ha Ling Peak.  To add to the difficulty, you must start and finish in the town of Canmore and can only travel on foot between the mountains! In total, this amounts to around 57km with 4800m elevation!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: Must be completed in one day

Location: Canmore, Alberta

Distance: 57km

Highest Elevation: 2706m

Elevation Gain: 4800m

Difficulty: 10/10 – Extreme elevation gain and distance!

Season: June when there is the most daylight

Additional Requirements: Serious physical and mental preparation

 

4 Peak Challenge Rules

To officially complete the 4 Peak Challenge you must follow the below rules:

  • The start and finish point is at the Georgetown Inn in Canmore
  • The challenge must be finished before midnight (completed in one day)
  • You must summit and take a photo at the top of Grotto Mountain, Mount Lady Macdonald, East End of Rundle and Ha Ling Peak
  • You can only travel by foot between the mountains

 

Our Route

Although there are no rules on which order you must complete the summits, most people begin with Grotto Mountain and end with Ha Ling. In total the 4 Peak Challenge took us 18 hours and 24 minutes.  Our goal was simply to complete this challenge but if you want to go for a record the fastest time recorded is 9 hours and 14 minutes…. which is insane!

 

4 Peak Challenge Adventure Map - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: 4 Peak Challenge Adventure Map

 

Starting from the Georgetown Inn (Route marker #1 on the map) we ran through town and along the Horseshoe Trails to the Alpine Club of Canada.  From there we headed up Grotto Mountain to the summit (Route marker #2 on the map).

From Grotto Mountain we descended the same trail we went up and cut back through the Horseshoe Trails to the Lady Macdonald Trail Head.  There are many trails between the two mountains but to shave off a few kilometres we took the furthest west one. The hike to the top of Lady Macdonald is a well beaten trail until the top of the ridge where there is a very sketchy ridge walk to reach the true summit of Mount Lady MacDonald (Route marker #3 on the map).

After completing Lady Macdonald we ran back through town, stopped for lunch, and then began the long trek to the East End of Rundle. We cut through downtown, across the Bow River on the Canmore Engine Bridge, and up to Three Sisters Parkway (742) near the Canmore Nordic Centre. From there it was a long run/walk along the Three Sisters Parkway to reach the trailhead to the East End of Rundle.

Note: We cut through Grassi Lakes on the way up, but it probably would have been faster to just stay on the road.

Both the East End of Rundle (Route marker #4 on the map) and Ha Ling Peak (Route marker #5 on the map) are popular well trodden hikes.  We did EEOR first and then Ha Ling Peak as our last summit of the day.

After Ha Ling it was a long jog back down the Three Sister Parkway (742) and through Canmore to the Georgetown Inn where we completed the challenge with 6 minutes to spare!

 

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.

If you’ve attempted the 4 Peak Challenge, we want to hear about it. 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 hike into Waimanu Valley is nothing less than exhilarating and is by far the most challenging hike we have done on the Big Island. Waimanu Valley is incredibly lush with waterfalls cascading down its green slopes and ocean waves crashing on the rocky shore.  Sleeping in Waimanu is a camping experience well worth the grueling hike to get there!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2 days+

Location: Kohala Forest Reserve, 50 miles northwest of Hilo

Distance: 19 miles (30.5km) round trip

Highest Elevation: 1394ft (425m)

Elevation Gain: 5250ft (1600m) round trip

Difficulty: 9/10 – Rapid elevation gain, long and exhausting, can be very slippery if wet.

Season: Year Round

Additional Requirements: DLNR Camping Permit

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Kailua-Kona: Take the Hawaii Belt Rd North for 53 miles to the town of Honokaa. Turn left onto Plumeria St, follow it for 0.7 miles and then turn left onto HI-240/Honokaa-Waipio Rd. This road will take you to the parking lot at Waipio Lookout.

From Hilo: Take the Hawaii Belt Rd North 39 miles to HI-240/Honokaa-Waipio Rd. Take a right onto the 240 and follow it to the parking lot at Waipio Lookout.

 

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 running shoes but this trail can become very slippery with the slightest rain so some hefty hikers might be your best bet. Pack an extra pair of light shoes or sandals for when you arrive at your campsite as you will want to get out of your hikers and walk around a bit. You may also want to consider bringing water shoes/sandals. There are two large streams that must be crossed by foot. You can either remove your shoes and go barefoot, or pack some water shoes/sandals. Be aware that the streams are full of slippery rocks and it can be hard on your feet if you choose to go barefoot.
  • Water: This hike is long with intervals of very intense elevation gain. If the sun is out, you will sweat a lot so bring plenty of water. It is also important to bring water purification tablets or a water filter pump. There are plenty of places to refill water along the trail and there is a freshwater stream near the campsites but you MUST purify the water!
  • Food: Plan your meals based on the amount of days you will stay in Waimanu Valley. There are campfires at each campsite or you can bring a camping stove to cook your food. Don’t forget to bring snacks to enjoy along the hike as well.  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. Waimanu is in the rainforest so there is a good chance you will be rained on at some point. Bring tarps, rain coats, and possibly a few changes of clothes. If you get a sunny day, light breathable clothing is your best bet as it is Hawaii and it can get pretty hot. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Games/Entertainment: Bring playing cards or other small compact games for entertainment at the campsite in the evening.
  • Lighter/matches: If you want to have a campfire make sure you remember to bring a lighter or some matches.
  • 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.
  • Headlamp/Flashlight: Once the sun goes down in the valley it gets very dark! be sure you have a flashlight or headlamp to find your way around.
  • Toilet paper: Overnight trip… enough said
  • 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: This area of the Big Island receives over 100 inches of rain annually. Heavy rains can cause flash floods in streams and rivers. If there is flooding and fast moving water, attempting to cross streams and rivers can be very dangerous and potentially fatal.

 

Parking: Cars parked at the Waipio Valley Lookout for more than 24 hours may be towed.  Parking is available at Waipio Valley Artworks for $20 a day. Call them ahead of time at 808-775-0958.

 

Permits: All campers must register for and purchase a camping permit to stay in Waimanu Valley. Permits can be reserved up to a month in advance and cost 18$/night for up to 6 people (12$/night for Hawaii residents). There are nine campsites to choose from. They are labelled 1-9 running east to west. We would recommend campsites 6-9 as they are closer to the sandy section of the beach and are more private.

Purchase a permit at the Department of Land and Natural Resources camping permit website (https://camping.ehawaii.gov/camping/all,details,31720.html).

 

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 19-mile round trip hike to Waimanu Valley begins at the Waipio Valley lookout and starts with a steep, short walk down into the valley. The trail to Waimanu Valley, also known as the Muliwai Trail, begins across the black sand beach at the west wall of Waipio Valley. The Muliwai trail ascends the steep west wall of the valley and then traverses 13 gullies before descending into Waimanu Valley. Waimanu Valley has 9 designated camping spots that are just off the beach. Once in Waimanu you can take a bonus side trip into the heart of the valley to check out Wai’ilikahi Falls.

 

Waimanu Valley Adventure Map - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Waimanu Valley Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Take a couple of minutes to soak in the views at the Waipio Valley Lookout (Route marker #1 on the map) before you begin your trek down the paved road into the valley. The road down is very steep and walking down it can be hard on the legs. Stick your thumb out as you descend and maybe if you’re lucky someone will let you jump in the back of their pickup. Once you get to the bottom of the valley turn right and follow the dirt road to the beach.

 

Waipio Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Waipio Valley
Waipio Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The descent into Waipio

 

Once you reach the beach, head west across the valley.  You will have to cross a large stream blocking your path as you head west. We recommend taking your shoes off to keep them dry, or switching to water shoes if you have them. Be careful as there are large, slippery rocks in the water that make the footing difficult. After you cross the river, the warm sand on your feet feels nice as you walk along the beach to the west wall of the valley.

 

Waipio Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Anderson crossing the river

 

From the beach you can see the large Z pattern cut out of the west side of the valley in front of you. That is the first part of Muliwai Trail (they call this part the Z-trail) that takes you out of Waipio Valley. There is a trail just south of the beach that runs parallel to the ocean that will take you to the start of the Muliwai Trail.

 

Waipio Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The west wall of Waipio Valley
Waipio Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: The trail parallel to the ocean

 

Walk on the trail behind the beach until you reach a sign and gate. Do not go through the gate. To the right of the gate is a sign and the trailhead for then Muliwai Trail (Route marker #2 on the map).

The first section of the Muliwai trail is the most challenging part of the entire hike.  You will ascend about 1200 feet of elevation up long steep switchbacks. Take your time as you ascend and enjoy the spectacular views. On a clear day, you can see deep into the heart of Waipio Valley and catch a glimpse of a massive waterfall called Hi’ilawe Falls.

 

Waimanu Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The beginning of the Muliwai Trail
Waipio Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: View from the top of the switchbacks

 

Once you’re at the top of the Z-trail and out of Waipio Valley the hike gets much easier. It is about 5-miles to Waimanu Valley from here and along the way there will be boulder hopping, stream crossings, and gully dipping. There are 13 gullies that you will dip in and out of. Some are big, some small, some have waterfalls, and some are dry. Gully number seven is our personal favorite because it has a nice spot to stop for a refreshing swim.  Try to keep count of the gullies so you know approximately how much futher you have to go. There are also some State of Hawaii mile markers along the trail.

 

Waimanu Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: A waterfall along the trail

 

After 5 miles you will reach the final descent into Waimanu Valley.  Take extra care on this section of the hike as the trail is narrow and can be VERY slippery! Once you reach the valley floor you will have one final stream to cross before you reach the camping area (Route marker #3 on the map). There is a rope running perpendicular to the river that can be used for guidance and stability. Once again, be careful when crossing the river as the rocks are slippery.

 

Camping:

The campsites are labelled 1-9 from east to west. There are also two outhouses that you can use.  If you need to refill water the trail continues past campsite 9 to a small waterfall on the west wall of Waimanu Valley.  Be sure to purify this water before drinking it!

 

Waimanu Valley Camping Map - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Waimanu Valley Camping Map

 

Waimanu Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Setting up our campsite
Waimanu Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: The water source

 

Wai’ilikahi Falls:

If you’re eager for more adventure and have time to spend in the valley, you can hike to Wai’ilikahi Falls (Route marker #4 on the map).This hike is about an hour each way but isn’t very well marked or maintained. There is a lot of bush whacking and trail finding necessary, plus you will be walking through tons of spider webs.

The trail to Wai’ilikahi Falls heads from campsite 9 inland along the west wall of the valley. Follow the trail to the small water source near the campsites and then keep going. There are colored markers tied to the trees marking the best way to the falls but they can be difficult to find. If you get lost, the valley wall should be on your right and if you follow that wall long enough you will eventually reach Wai’ilikahi Falls. When you’re about ten minutes from the falls you will come to a stream on your left. Keep it on your left and follow it upstream to the falls.

 

Waimanu Valley - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 13: Markers showing the best path to the falls
Wai'ilikahi Falls - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 14: Wai’ilikahi Falls

 

After enjoying your stay in Waimanu Valley it is time for the challenging hike back to the Waipio Valley Lookout.  Follow the Muliwai Trail back to Waipio Valley the same way you came.  Be sure to leave some extra energy in the tank because the hike up the east wall of Waipio Valley  is brutal!

 

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 Waimanu Valley 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! 

 

Valencia Peak Trail is located on the central coast of California in Montana De Oro State Park. It is a doable hike for most skill levels and rewards successful hikers with panoramic views of the coastline. If you look north from the summit, you can see all the way to Morro Bay and catch a glimpse of Morro Rock.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2-3 Hours

Location: 5 miles south of Los Osos, CA

Distance: 4.5 mile (7.2km) round

Highest Elevation: 1347ft (410m)

Elevation Gain: 1275ft (388m)

Difficulty: 5/10 – elevation gain

Season: Year Round

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Los Osos: Head West on Foothills Blvd. Turn right on Los Osos Valley Rd and follow for 8.5 miles. At mile 7 you will need to stay left to remain on Los Osos Valley Rd. Continue onto Pecho Valley Rd for another 3.8 miles. You will reach a parking lot at the Montana De Oro State Park. Park 100 yards further in a small lot at the Valencia Peak Trailhead.

 

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 running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long, exposed to the hot sun and has lots of elevation gain. Be sure to bring enough water for 2-3 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 summit.  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.
  • 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

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 starting point for this hike is in Montana De Oro State Park near Spooner’s Cove (Route marker #2 on the map). The trail to the summit of Valencia Peak is well maintained and marked so there will be no issues finding your way to the summit.

 

Valencia Peak Adventure Map - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Valencia Peak Adventure Map

 

Morro Bay:

We highly recommend making a pit stop at Morro Bay (Route marker #1 on the map) on the way to Valencia Peak. Morro Bay is about 5 minutes North of Los Osos and is a quaint little fishing town that is worth checking out!

 

Morro Bay - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Morro Rock
Morro Bay - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: A small seafood restaurant in Morro Bay

 

Valencia Peak Step-By-Step Guide:

The Valencia Peak trailhead is at a small parking lot just south of Spooner’s Cove (Route marker #2 on the map)and the Montana De Oro State Park Visitors Center. From the parking area, the trail heads inland towards a large pyramid shaped peak. This trail is well trafficked, well marked and should be easy for you to follow.

 

Valencia Peak - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The Valencia Peak Trailhead
Valencia Peak - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The trail up Valencia Peak

 

After following the trail for about a half mile, you will begin gaining elevation up a series switchbacks. There is a consistent elevation up this leg of the journey. You will come to a junction with Badger Trail at 1.15 miles but the intersection is well signed to direct you onward to Valencia Peak. Once you reach the summit, relax at the picnic table and enjoy the coastal views.

 

Valencia Peak - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Mattson and Noelle at the summit of Valencia Peak

 

The hike down from the peak is substantially easier and the view out to the ocean is beautiful. Once you reach the parking lot at the bottom, be sure to check out Spooner’s Cove (Route marker #2 on the map). It is a small bay at the entrance to Montana De Oro State Park with big rocks and bluffs to walk along. Spooner’s Cove is a great place to watch the sunset and we recommend planning your day to be here at that time.

 

Spooner's Cove - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Anderson in Spooner’s Cove
Spooner's Cove - California - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Spooner’s Cove

 

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 Valencia Peak 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! 

 

Tent Ridge is one of our favorite hikes in the Kananaskis area! It’s an 11km loop trail that is both challenging for beginner hikers and difficult enough for those with more experience. This hike has it all, from ridge walks and forest trails to scrambling up rocks and sliding down snow. To top it all off, the views from the summit are absolutely breathtaking.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 4-5 Hours

Location: 100km west of Calgary

Distance: 11km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2540m

Elevation Gain: 615m

Difficulty: 7/10 – Scrambling in areas, snow most of the year.

Season: June to October

Additional Requirements: Snowshoes potentially

 

Tent Ridge - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Tent Ridge

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Canmore: Take Smith-Dorrien (Hwy742) south from Canmore for 35.5km. There will be a turn off to your right for Mt Engadine Lodge. Turn right and follow this road for 1.8km. Follow the road past the Lodge and at 1.8km you will see a parking lot on your right.

 

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 running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water:This hike requires some effort to reach the summit.Be sure to bring enough water to stay hydrated. A couple liters per person minimum.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the summit.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing:This hike is very exposed as most of the ridge is above the tree line. Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.
  • 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: Tent Ridge is a loop that can be completed in either direction. Our recommendation is to begin at the more southern trailhead and complete the loop in a clockwise direction.  We believe this direction provides the easiest route and best views!

 

Tent Ridge Adventure Map - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Tent Ridge Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

There are two trailheads for this hike that are both accessible from the parking area (Route marker #1 on the map). The trailhead farthest to the south is our recommended route as you get the best views of Spray Lakes when traveling the ridge clockwise. The beginning of the well beaten trail from the south trailhead is quiet and easy to follow. You’ll remain in the thick forest for about 45 minutes before you cross a creek and the trees open up into a big meadow. From here you will see the entire horseshoe of Tent Ridge.

 

Tent Ridge - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Following the well beaten trail
Tent Ridge - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Enterting the meadow surrounded by Tent Ridge

After you cross the creek and get a nice panorama view of Tent Ridge, the trail veers off to the left (east) and through a little bit more forest. Once you cross the tree line, you will ascend up some scree and have to scramble up a few ledges. This part is challenging as the elevation seems to keep going and going. Be cautious in the early and late summer months as ice can build up on rocks and it can be dangerous. If it’s unsafe, do not proceed.

 

Tent Ridge - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Scrambling towards the top of the ridge

 

Once you reach the top of the ridge, follow it south to the weather station (Route marker #2 on the map). Be cautious as there are some narrow portions of the ridge with exposure on either side.  Take your time on this section while enjoying the stunning views to the East. The weather station is a great spot to stop for a snack break and shelter yourselves from the wind if needed. From here, you can see the route you’ll follow, along the ridge, for the rest of the hike.

 

Tent Ridge - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Following the ridge to the weather station
Tent Ridge - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The weather station

 

From the weather station, continue along the path to the west that heads downward and then up to the highest point on Tent Ridge (Route marker #3 on the map). At the Summit, you’re treated to 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and lakes. From the summit, follow the ridge North towards Spray Lakes. The view of the lakes as you traverse the ridge is an absolute highlight!

 

Tent Ridge - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Mattson at the summit

 

At the end of the ridge (Route marker #4 on the map), you’ll turn right and head down into a path through the forest cleared by a large avalanche. When we hiked this trail in June there was lots of snow so it was difficult to identify the trail. If you cannot find the trail, follow the avalanche’s path where the trees have been cleared until you reach the lower forest. Once you reach the lower forest you should be able to pick up the trail that will take you northeast back to the parking lot.

Tent Ridge - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: The route down the avalanche slope
Tent Ridge - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Having some fun descending down the snow

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 Tent Ridge 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 stunning visuals provided by Akaka Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in Hawaii, are well worth the short hike to get there. The paved concrete path has easy to manage stairs with hand rails, and can be accomplished by children and adults of all ages.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 45 Minutes

Location: 17 miles (27km) north of Hilo

Distance: 0.4 mile (0.7km) loop

Highest Elevation: 800ft (300m)

Elevation Gain: not noteworthy

Difficulty: 2/10 – Paved path

Season: Year round

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Hilo: Take the HI-19 (Hawaii Belt Rd) 11 miles north of Hilo. You’ll come to a small town called Honomu and take a left onto Honomu Rd just passed mile marker 13.5. Very shortly after that, take another left onto State Hwy 220. Turn right to stay on State Hwy 220. Follow that road for 3.3 miles until you reach the Akaka Falls State Park.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear:Hikers or runners will do just fine. You could probably get away with wearing sandals on this one.
  • Water:This is a short hike, but it is always smart to bring water. It is hot in Hawaii and you don’t want to get dehydrated.
  • 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.
  • 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

Fees: The parking lot near the falls charges $5.00 per vehicle but if you wanted to park just outside the parking lot, it’s free and will only add another 200ft to your hike. There is also a $1.00 per person admission fee to enter the trail.

Time of day: The view of the falls is a little bit brighter in the morning hours when the sun is in the east. The falls are beautiful at any time of the day but there is more direct sunlight on the falls in the morning making this the best time to visit.

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 starting point for this hike is at the parking lot just off Hwy 220.  The trail is a large loop that will take you to view points of both Kahuna Falls and Akaka Falls.  We recommend travelling counterclockwise around the loop as Akaka Falls are far superior to Kahuna Falls and make for a better climax to the hike.

 

Akaka Falls Adventure Map - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Akaka Falls Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

The trailhead (Route marker #1 on the map) is on the west side of the parking lot and the washrooms at the north end. There is usually someone at the trailhead collecting the $1.00 per hiker fee. Follow the trail down a short set of stairs down until you reach a fork. There will be signs marking left to Akaka Falls and right to Kahuna Falls. This is a looped trail so you will see both, but we recommend heading right to Kahuna Falls first.

 

Akaka Falls State Park - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Akaka Falls Trailhead

 

Follow the path to the right through beautiful lush green ferns and orchid trees. The elevation is very minimal. This is a very nice trail for the families.

 

Continue following the loop until you reach the Kahuna Falls lookout point (Route marker #2 on the map). Although Kahuna Falls is nearly the same size as Akaka Falls, it doesn’t receive the same fame and attention as it is more difficult to view. Kahuna Falls can only be viewed from the side so it can be difficult to see with the lush vegetation growing around it. On a day when the water is high and flowing fast, Kahuna can shoot out passed the trees and be very pretty to look at. Although the view of Kahuna falls isn’t spectacular, it is a nice walk through the bamboo trees and a good pre-cursor to the spectacular Akaka Falls.

 

 

Kahuna Falls - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Kahuna Falls

 

After continuing around the loop from Kahuna Falls the trail leads to the more famous and spectacular Akaka Falls (Route marker #3 on the map). The immense 442ft waterfall pours into a stream-eroded gorge. Akaka falls is one of the most famous waterfalls on the Big Island.

 

 

Akaka Falls - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The Akaka Falls viewpoint

 

Enjoy the view of the spectacular falls before continuing along the trail counterclockwise to return to the parking lot where you left your vehicle.

 

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 Akaka Falls 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! 

 

Troll Falls is a short, easy hike that takes no more than two hours. It is located in Kananaskis Country near Nakiska Mountain and can be quite busy in the summer months. The hike starts on an easy trail through the forest with minimal elevation and ends at a series of large heavy flowing waterfalls, the first of which is Troll Falls. This hike can also be completed during the winter months (some say the falls are more beautiful this time of year), but you will likely need snowshoes.

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2 Hours

Location: 100km west of Calgary

Distance: 2-4km round trip

Highest Elevation: 1500m

Elevation Gain: 50m

Difficulty: 3/10 – Good for all skill levels

Season: April to November

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

Troll Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Troll Falls

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 70 km to Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) and follow that south for 25 km to Nakiska Ski Area.  Turn right onto Mt Allan Dr. and follow it for 1 km. Take your first right onto the gravel road that leads to Stoney Day use parking area.

From Canmore: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) east approximately 30 kmto Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) and follow it south for 13 km.  Turn right onto Mt Allan Dr. and follow it for 1 km. Take your first right onto the gravel road that leads to Stoney Day use parking area.

 

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 running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water:This hike requires some effort to reach the waterfall. Be sure to bring enough water to stay hydrated.
  • 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:Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Long pants/high socks:The final two km of this hike are through dense brush. Having long pants or high socks for this portion of the hike will save the skin on your legs.
  • 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 starting point for this hike is at the Stoney Day Use Area. From there you will travel the short easy to follow trail to Troll Falls. Those looking for a longer adventure can continue upstream from Troll Falls to discover more waterfalls.

 

Troll Falls Adventure Map - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Troll Falls Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

At the end of the Stoney Day Use parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map), follow the big power lines and to your left you’ll see a sign with a trail leading into the forest. This is the trail to Troll Falls.

 

Troll Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The trail to Troll Falls

 

As you continue along the trail the forest will open up from time to time and you’ll get a nice view of the mountains. Keep your eyes open for a teepee to the left of the trail.

 

Troll Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Scenic views of the surrounding mountains
Troll Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: A teepee built near the trail

 

The first falls you find are Troll Falls (Route marker #2 on the map). The path follows a U shape over rocks and around the back of the falls. In order to find the falls further upstream, take the trail to the left up and around Troll Falls.

 

Troll Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Troll Falls
Troll Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The trail to the top of Troll Falls

 

The trail to Troll Falls is very well trafficked and easy to follow, but past Troll Falls it becomes slightly more difficult to stay on the “right” trail. There are many different routes, but they all run along the river and lead to the next set of falls. We found the trail on the left side of the river easy to navigate but if you lose the trail, stick near the river and you will run into the next set of falls. (Route marker #3 on the map)

 

Troll Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: The second large waterfall
Troll Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: The third large waterfall

It is a short hike from Troll Falls to two different large waterfalls that are slightly different and unique.  Both make a great spot to stop and enjoy a picnic before heading back. Once you decide to head back, follow the same trail you took to get there. Enjoy!

 

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 Troll Falls adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA