Western Canadian Hikes

I am aware that this space is suppose to be all about recipes and food post but I’ve been taking advantage of the outdoors for the past few weeks. You see, for all 6 years I’ve been in Calgary, there hasn’t been a proper fall season. My experience of fall has been admiring the yellow trees one day and the next day?… All the leaves have fallen off. This year has been different. There is a proper window to admire the fall colours, temperature has been very pleasant and frankly, there was a calling to head outside. The kitchen oven and stand mixer can wait a little while because nature doesn’t.

I did more hikes in the past 3 weeks than the entire summer and came to the conclusion that fall is the best season to hike. Yes, it is a lot more cooler and unbearable at times but the view pays off.

The first hike I did is called Larch Valley Hike. Located at Lake Moraine in Banff National Park, Alberta. Lake Moraine is one of the crown jewels of the Canadian Rockies. The lake is set with 10 mountain peaks as the background and the view is breathtaking and apparently, for a 3 week window in fall, the larch trees around the lake turns yellow, providing a beautiful scenery. Don’t believe? See below. The pictures didn’t require any editing.

After that hike, I was hooked and wanted to do more hikes but my body was being stubborn. I came down with a cold and cough. The original plan was to do another 4-5 hour hike but I knew my body won’t be able to handle so my friends and I decided to check out a cold war bunker which was never completed. It sits at the base of Heart Mountain and it is open to the public to explore. The mountain gets it name from the heart shape looking peak at the top ( see picture below). The bunker is bigger than it looks on the internet pictures with multiple paths and it was really fun walking into a ‘cave’ with much cooler temperatures and your vision is so limited because of the darkness. Eerie yet cool feeling. I have scaled Heart Mountain for my Geology Field School 4 years ago. It was the toughest hiking ever because it was a 12 hr round trip with 45degree inclines most of the way. My legs gave out on the way down and I really wanted to give up so many times and just roll my body down instead. No need to guess where I am not hiking ever again.

Just last week, Pat and I headed to a small town in British Columbia to visit a friend who was moving away soon. The small town is called Wasa and is located in the eastern side of the Canadian Rockies. Part of the trip planned was to do a hike but left the area to hike open to my friend. The hike is called Lakit Lookout Trail. It sits right along the ridge at the top of Mount Lakit and the lookout was used to be a forest fire station back in the day. Today, it serves as a shelter to anyone equipped with firewood, a foam mattress, some cooking utensils, candles and a log book to sign in.

Majority of the ascend was done by a 4×4 off road and it wasn’t a very pleasant trip up. I lost count how may times my head hit the roof of the truck. The trail is a steep uphill for 1.5 hours all the way and with the altitude, I had trouble breathing and felt dizzy. Pat was a sweetheart taking my pack off me so I could feel more comfortable. If you peek closely, the hut says the elevation is at 2354m/7720ft. The view is amazing as you can look across out to the surrounding towns on one side, and the belt of mountains on the other side. It sure looks sunny in the picture but the wind was just unforgiving.

The picture below is Pat and I at the lookout. Pat hates this photo because of his hair but I LOVE it. HAHA!

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