Kananaskis Lakes Off The Beaten Path Tips by madamx Top 5 Page for this destination
Kananaskis Lakes Off The Beaten Path: 8 reviews and 15 photos
Beautiful Lower Tombstone Lake
Tombstone Lakes are located in some of the most beautiful Kananaskis Country imagineable. After a fantasy-like walk through a valley shouldered by mountains and through fields of nodding wild asters, valerian and buttercups, you arrive at an emerald green jewel, which is Lower Tombstone Lake. Most likely you will be totally alone, and the silence only broken by the hum of insects and the splash of a fish jumping. The Upper Lake is set in a rocky cirque 15 minutes above the lower lake, but is not very scenic.
Tombstone is accessible from Elbow Lake, and is for serious hikers only. It is a fairly easy hike, but at 20 km round trip, it's a long day and beginner hikers may find it too much. For directions, please feel free to e-mail me.
If you have an avid interest in botany like I do, and don't mind doing a little hard work, Fir Creek Point around mid-July will dazzle you with a wildflower display. The trail is quite rough as it is a packhorse trail, but it will climb up to fields of wildflowers as far as the eye can see, surrounded by a beautiful vista of the mountains. You can also see some very old Limber Pines; sadly, though, they are slowly dying and not as picturesque as they once were. Though Kananaskis is certainly itself "off the beaten path" for most visitors to the area, at Fir Creek Point our only company has been a very large female spruce grouse and her family for the last couple of years.
Drive along Highway 40 until Sentinel Day Use Area, there is a large parking lot. Cross the highway, and walk southeast past the large "Sentinal" road
sign. There, a small trail begins. If you do plan to go, please e-mail me for specific instructions.
This national historic site is located near Longview (see Must See tips). Established in 1991, it is relatively new and celebrates the importance of ranching history in Alberta. The current site is 367 acres, but the original ranch was double or more that size. The ranch was established in 1882, and has it's ties to royalty, as HRH Edward Prince of Wales was a regular visitor.
Using the original buildings, the Parks staff recreate what ranching life was like "when the west was young". Unlike other historic recreations, the Bar U doesn't have what can sometimes end up being a slick and cheesy atmosphere. For the most part the site is self-guided, with maps being provided. There is a free wagon and horse shuttle for those who are less mobile, as it can be a very long walk back to the visitor's centre.
If you are an explorer with a sense of history, this place is highly recommended. Some of the buildings have not been restored yet, and you get a true sense of what it must have been like to live and work on the ranch.
It is open from May to October, and has a small concession area and gift shop. There are also scheduled activities that recreate early ranching life. Bring water and a hat, as you can soon feel that authentic hot prairie sun on a summer day.
Water the color of sparkling blue paint
Forget-me-not Pond is actually more of a tiny, perfect, little lake, with a mountain background. The color is an incredible blue, and is named after the forget-me-not.
There are maybe just three picnic tables and firepits scattered around the lake, so go early to get your table.
Head west on the Transcanada Highway from Calgary, and turn off at Highway 22, towards Bragg Creek. Head south on Highway 22, past the hamlet of Bragg Creek, and turn onto Highway 66 or the Elbow Falls Trail. The pond is located at the Little Elbow Recreational Area.
Mr. Toad of Toad Hall--retired to Marl Lake
Even though this lovely lake is located by a campground, for some reason, there's hardly anyone there. Follow an easy walking 3.6 km interpretive path; it will loop through marshland and forest and lead you to a pretty green lake with a spectacular backdrop.
If you look carefully while you are walking by the marsh, you can see big fat bullfrogs lazily sunning themselves.
For location, ask at the information centre on Kananaskis Lakes Trail; it is not too far from there at the Elkwoods parking lot.
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