Heart Creek Mountain – Heart Creek Trail

About 40 minutes or so from Calgary, this is not a long or hard hike at all.  It is pretty level (and short) but it is a really beautiful walk.  The parking lot is at the junction of Lac des Arc exit off Highway #1.  On the south side of the highway.  You can park about a kilometer further east off the shoulder of the highway but at the parking lot are bathrooms and it is a nice walk the 800 meters to where the trail makes a turn to the south up the creek.  There is a for real hike that goes around Heart Mountain but that is for a different day. 

The walk-hike takes you over several bridges and on the way you are likely to see quite a number of rock climbers. More on the weekends.  It is open enough that you can see up the cliffs and rocks and mountains as you are walking.  It is not that far to the falls at the top end – a nice space for a picnic or to relax for a while.  You can climb up onto a rock there (you’ll see) to get a better look at the falls. 

On the other side of the river in this beautiful grotto is a steep trail leading to the top.  I put a couple of 200 pound rocks in the river to make crossing a little easier and as I wanted a little more of a challenge climbed to the top of that trail.  There are a lot of loose rocks at the bottom section.  And it is steep enough that any rain at all would make it all but impossible to go the rest of the way as it would be too steep and muddy.  One does have to think about getting back down.  I have no idea how really to estimate heights but I figure it was a 200-300 foot climb.  I was not sure at first if the trail would go anywhere or if it would be one of those that petered out or just kept going and going on forever.  But it did get me to the top and it was, except for the trees, quite the view. 

Numerous paths at the top that would take you in almost any direction that I deigned not to take. 

We hung around for a while in the grotto – ate our lunch – it being a weekday was not terribly busy. 

This is a great walk if you have smaller kids or are looking for an easy or short hike with some very nice scenery.

The ‘clearing’ at the end of the trail

Heart Mountain

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