Pocaterra Cirque

MODERATE 26 reviews

Pocaterra Cirque is a 6.9 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kananaskis Improvement, 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.

6.9 km
432 m
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running


bird watching




wild flowers



over grown


washed out

4 months ago

Gold larch and snow mountain! Love the view and crampon hiking.

4 months ago

All the colors of the Fall were m beautiful! When we went it was snowing quite heavily and there was a lot of snow, but it was still a lot of fun and I found it quite easy! My pup loved it! There are amazing views throughout most of it which is rewarding! The only downfall was that there are so many hidden trails through the first set of trees and you have to be careful not to get lost. I got lost but that was part of the adventure and found some great views in the process! Looking forward to trying out this hike during the summer months!

8 months ago

Love this trail, varied areas, amazing view of a valley.

11 months ago

We did see the mama bear with her 3 cubs just before the Highwood parking area, she stayed on the Ptarmigan Cirque side

Monday, October 16, 2017

Great hike! Missed the peak of the golden larches but so beautiful anyway. Almost missed the trail head ( you turn left off the ptarmigan cirque/Highwood meadows trail at the sign which says "Fragile Area, stay on designated trails". Lots of snow on trail at this time of year , mental note to bring trax or crampons next time :).

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Trail and area is currently closed as of September 28/2017 due to a Sow and cubs.
Larch's up top looked beautiful but not worth the risk of running into a protective momma bear.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Not a strenuous hike, can be done in about 3-4 hours with lots of breaks. The larch trees are in their prime right now! Plenty of beautiful places to stop for lunch and admire the scenery. Elevation is gained and lost throughout the trail, minimal scramble to the top for the view.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hiked up to Pocaterra Cirque last Saturday to see the Larches change colour.
It was a great hike. Lots of amazing views and beautiful fall colours. The hike itself was not too hard. Lots of people on the trail but still fun.
Early snow made the trail that much more fun.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Soooo pretty. Great views. Streams, alpine flowers, varied terrain. This hike has it all.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A lot of up and down hiking which is nice as it gives you a break and you are not hiking up hill for x amount of kms. Great views for not a lot of effort.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

This was our second try on this trail. On our first hike on June 21 2017 we found ourselves stomping around on the avalanche slope trying to get across to the tarn. We didn't make it. This time we went in with two old dogs and although the broken scree was kind of hard for them to negotiate overall the trail wasn't really a problem for them. Nice to have running water on a trail for the dogs. We met 10 other hikers on the trail which was OK because more people mean less likelihood of an unexpected bear encounter. It was a beautiful day. Clear skies, light breezes and a high of 15C. Highly recommended.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The hike itself was pretty good. There are plenty of different types of terrain and a lot of uphill hiking. I recommend waterproof footwear because we did end up passing through an area with creeks at the beginning of the trail and a glacier at the cirque, as well as hiking poles due to the incline. The view once you break free of the treeline is incredible, and there are many beautiful wildflowers and streams. The paths were not well marked in my opinion, and we ended up taking a few rather lengthy detours.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

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.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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 !

3 months ago

4 months ago

recorded Pocaterra Cirque

4 months ago

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7 months ago

Saturday, November 04, 2017

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