Bow Valley Provincial Park is a mosaic of open meadows and forest. As you explore the park, you'll see examples of both mountain and prairie plants and animals.
oh my, i rode mtbike (and i ride still at this very moment) a lot this summer that really helped me did the loop last Saturday 15Oct2016. Started at 1145a and came back down to the parking lot around 600p because i was slow. with my two buddies who took care almost every step i make especially on those dangerous parts up to that chain grab all the way to the summit. wow, was awesome but so nervous until i landed that trail down the hill. scary folks for beginners like me, not recommended. you need to be fit (if tired, take a rest, you need this), of course food and water, and focused whilst doing these top trails up to the summit but for intermediate plus hikers? oh yeah it is going to be fun and they know what to do. be careful up there! 4 stars from me, difficult.
I have mixed feelings about this hike. We did the difficult route. It started off really boring so I'm glad I did this one with a friend so we had lots to talk about! Once a couple km in the incline up gets super intense and I wondered if it would ever end Iol I am also not in the greatest shape and had major surgery 3 months prior so it really can't be that bad I guess.
There are two viewing points. Amazing. I'm scared of heights so it was a bit out of my comfort zone but loved every minute of it. I'm too much of a scaredy so I stayed back quite a bit but I felt the view was breathtaking.
The hike down was pretty uneventful as well. Through lots of trees and not too much to look at.
Once we were down we may have taken a longer way. Again. Nothing too impressive and it's along the power lines.
Incredible views all the way through and great hike and scramble. Once you hit the T go towards qualite valley connector not heart creek trail. The loop is not labelled on the sign and we took the creek trail at first accidentally. highly recommend!
This is an incredible hike, but be warned it is not for the faint of heart or intermediate hiker, especially to get to the summit. There is a ton of scrambling and scree skiing. Various terrains and lookout points along the way and make sure you are comfortable if you get off the trail. There are blue markers, but not always easy to find. Enjoy this amazing hike but it is not intermediate!
We did Yam a week ago, in the snow that came on the Sunday morning. The blue markers were great guides along the way; we were the first to hit the trail therefore marking the path so without the blue markers (when they were visible), we would have had much more difficulty route funding. As there was no one else on the trail that day, we had to turn back at the chain because we lost the route. We've dissected where we turned back and were told by the Park Ranger (we saw in the parking lot) that we did in fact reach the chain.
There was about an inch to inch and a half of snow and then there was a flash blizzard it seemed! We had timed it so that by the time we reached the chain area the system would have cleared but it ended up hanging around 3 hours longer than radar showed it would.
Anyway, all that to say, the hike was amazing. Route finding was the best part! We will conquer Yam before the real snow comes!!!
Great day hike mostly in the trees along an old forestry road to the fire lookout. Two great viewpoints on the way up to the false summit look down on Barrier Lake. Once you are at the Prairie View false summit turn right, cross the small split a in the rocks and continue up to the lookout tower for great views of the actual prairies (and Hwy #1 of course). It's a busy trail so safer than many others. The last part of the trail is fairly steep, which is why this trail is rated as moderate. Good elevation gain for a short two hour climb up to the summit.