Hiking Heart Mountain in Kananaskis, Alberta

If you hike this trail when it is 30 plus degrees(C) make sure that you have lots of water and maybe some extra salt.  This is an absolutely stunning hike but a bit longer than I had planned.  Didn’t do my research properly before I went. If you are coming from Calgary exit at the Lac des Arcs near Exshaw and cross over to the south side of the highway(#1).  There is a parking lot with a bathroom there – park there and walk to the trail head for the scramble or drive back along the highway just pass the first wash.  As you are going back onto the highway, you won’t have to leave the merge lane. There are normally a few cars off the side of the road on the grassy part, especially on weekends.

Walk up toward the wash and in on the trail.  You will see a sign at the trailhead that warns that parts of the hike are a ‘scramble’.  If you go this way, you are going to do some rock climbing.  I always find the first 20 minutes the toughest.  Like when I swim – takes a bit to get the muscles etc warmed up.  This one is all up hill.  And pretty steep.  
If you go the whole loop, depending on what kind of shape you are in, could take 4-6 hours.  If you are doing this hike counter-clockwise, you will be exposed for the first 80%.  If it is a hot day….
There are three or four peaks along the top – depending on how you count.  The views are spectacular.  
This looking back down the trail on the way up:

That’s Yamnuska way over there:

Looking down onto Heart Creek Trail:

Looking down to Heart Creek again:

These next two are looking back along the trail:

Me at the main peak:

This looks southward from the  peak – where I’m not going:

That’s Barrier Lake down there – seen from the peak again:

…and now for the trek back… :

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