Pocaterra Cirque

MODERATE 4 reviews

Pocaterra Cirque is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kananaskis Improvement District, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1692 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

bugs

over grown

scramble

washed out

5 days ago

I didn't think there was a lot of information about this trail online, so hopefully some people will find this review helpful. My boyfriend and I did this hike on June 17, 2017. There is still a ton of snow on the trail so if you're planning on going in early summer be aware of that. I expect some of it never quite melts given the altitude. We even met some snowboarders, if that gives any indication of the snow situation.

The trail is unmarked. Park at the Highwood Meadows parking lot and follow the trail out. After a few minutes you'll see a sign that says "Fragile area: please stay on designated trails" and a trail that veers off the path you came from and goes beyond the sign. This is the trail to Pocaterra Cirque. Once you get into the forested area, it is fairly well-marked by orange ribbons at the moment. (Many thanks to those who went before us and blazed a trail through the snow.)

You'll be in a forested area for roughly 20-30 minutes. Very soon you will pop out of the tree line into some fantastic views. This is where the snow started getting fairly problematic for us. The only way to the cirque was across the snow-laden slopes. We stuck to where people had crossed before and left a trail, but the snow was soft and we kept sliding and falling, sometimes stepping thigh-deep into it in some areas.

It took us about 45 minutes to cross to the cirque. We would have loved to climb up to Grizzly Col but unfortunately our feet were soaked and starting to get quite numb, so we didn't think it was wise.

All in all it took us about 3 hours to do the hike, would've been less without the snow but more if we could have managed the extra climb. This is a great short and easy hike, though. Not a lot of effort for a great pay out. It was quiet as well. Other than the snowboarders we only saw two other hikers.

I'd love to come back when the snow has melted more. If you're attempting this in late spring/early summer bring water-proof shoes, an extra pair of socks, and gaiters if you have them! Your feet will thank you.

hiking
8 months ago

A nice hike for family. Not crowded. You loose the elevations at the beginning of the hike then you catch it up at the last 2 km. You can also extend your hike to Grizzly Col.

9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

This trail is cool, perhaps not quite as cool as its neighboring Ptarmigan Cirque - but much quieter and less traveled. Its a moderate hike, only a few steep uphill parts. Some nice views of meadows, flowers, the peaks of Highwood. Took us 4 hours return with a 45 minute stop at the cirque for lunch. You can scramble up the cirque to Grizzly Col if you wish for better views and to extend your hike a bit. Theres more about this hike on our facebook group Hike Alberta !