Wasootch Ridge Trail

HARD 103 reviews

Wasootch Ridge Trail is a 15.4 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
15.4 km
ELEVATION GAIN
1,451 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wildlife

hiking
5 days ago

Did this trail at the beginning of June. Other reviews weren’t kidding; very strenuous from the get-go. I only made it to where the “90%” of hikers make it too, and then I wigged out and couldn’t really go past the point when you’re looking down both sides of the ridge at once! Due to the nature of the ridge it’s uphill both ways pretty much! Still an amazing hike.

hiking
15 days ago

We two did this hike on 28 July, 2018. The hike is great until the base of the Wasootch Ridge Summit, and thats where 90% of the hikers get to and then turn around. The rest 9% will do the summit which is extremely steep and risky but worth it if you have enough water and energy. According to my experience only 1% will try and attempt the remaining trail that will get you to the creek. We attempted this assuming that a little more hard work will pay off once we get to the creek. However, I must say that last section downhill is the most difficult and life threatening. There was no trail or any signs of human activity after the summit. We were forced to carve our own way downhill through steep slopes of loose rock and gravel. May times we slipped, tore our gear, hurt or knees and ankles, ran out of 3 liters of water that each one of us were carrying, met dead ends and cliffs, got cramps and bruises all over etc. etc. Although we finally made it to the creek but it took us 3.5 hours to decent after the summit. Once at the creek, the hike was just a walk on the rocky creek for another 6 kms. The entire hike took us approximately 8 hours. I find ourselves lucky to have made it in time, but I would highly recommend all other hikers to not go past the summit. Please do not attempt the last section of the trail unless you are an expert.

hiking
1 month ago

What a great, challenging, trail! Hiked Monday, July 2nd. The views as you continue along the ridge path get better and better as you get to higher and higher points along the ridge. I started late afternoon and had to turn back at about 4 km in at 6 PM when rain and fog set in. As others have said the wind on the many exposed areas can get cold, and temperature and weather up here can change very quickly, so bring a few different layers. The steep beginning section is challenging on the return descent (particularly after a couple hours of rain to make it muddy and slippery). Going to come back and do this in the morning on a clear day and see it all. Well worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was moderately difficult and definitely worth the effort! We completed it in 4.5 hrs to the summit and back. Some steep ascents in there but lots of moderate up and down for the middle portion. Getting to the summit requires a bit of comfort navigating over boulders while on a ridge but felt quite safe for us as climbers, should be doable for anyone with some comfort scrambling. And the scrambling was definitely the most fun aspect of the hike! The 360degree panoramic view was pretty constant from 2km on. It was quite cold and windy on the ridge so be prepared for being very exposed to the elements. Totally recommend this hike, its a rewarding one that offers a good challenge and some hard-to-beat views!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome views and unforgettable strong winds over the humps!

I'm a truly beginner with only 4 easy hiking experiences. It's not difficult to arrive the summit (the end of the trail) with a normal pace but this was a challenge while doing the last 500m downhill portion even with my hiking poles. (上山容易,下山難)

I'll try it again.

hiking
2 months ago

Tl;dr: bring water, trekking poles, and sunscreen, and prepare for sore knees! But great views made it all worth it.
I have been lightly hiking for 3 summers now, so I am definitely a beginner and not in great shape. The first section of uphill was brutal, but once you’re up, the views are spectacular and the hiking is more manageable. It was hard to feel a sense of progress when there was so much undulation on the trail- you would gain altitude on a hump only to lose it and have to gain it all over again. I also found it hard to find the trail at times, so it was a great opportunity to test my route-finding abilities. Coming back was a little easier until that first uphill grind- my knees and feet were screaming in pain the whole way down and my trekking poles were MUCH needed!! It was about 4 hours up to the small cairn and 2 hours back down. For someone in better shape this hike would not be as challenging and would be a good warmup. The day we went had lots of cloud cover which was appreciated as the trail is fairly exposed and we would have been cooked in the hot sun. Bring lots of water though, it’s dry up there.

hiking
2 months ago

Mt Allan / Centennial Ridge has always been my favorite and after one climb up Wasootch it is now a very close runner up. Lots of steep steep endless I-can-taste-blood-in-my-throat climbing and lot of stellar views that are extra amazing because you worked so hard to see them.

I wish I had paid more attention to the directions from previous reviewers regarding finding the trailhead. I was wandering down the riverbed for ages before suddenly remembering that someone had said you are climbing right away. Even then it took me a bit to find the trailhead in where the sheltered picnic tables are.

Also this is definitely a ridge walk, you are very very exposed up there. Bring lots of clothes and layers even if it is smoking hot down at the bottom. I think it was a pretty hot day when I went but it was very windy and cool up higher and I felt like if something nasty had blown in quickly I probably would have been too cold way too fast.

I got as far as the man-made rock shelter wall and had a nice break and snack nestled in there. The final climb to the summit looked a little too dangerous for me on my own, I didn't have a climbing helmet or anything like that, so I tried to go a bit further and then turned back. Now looking at the mapped route and altitude graph, I think I was probably supposed to go a fair distance downhill, not to the final summit, after the rock wall but wow that would have been a nasty climb back up again! Maybe next time. Beautiful hike, fantastic workout.

hiking
2 months ago

Whoa this hike was difficult! My friends and I had heard different reports of this trail - one said it was a moderate hike, 12 kms, 4-6 hours. Another said it was a difficult hike, 17 kms, and 7-8 hours, and we definitely felt it was more on the difficult side. For context, my friends and I are beginner - moderate hikers, and in pretty decent shape.

To begin, we missed the trailhead and followed a group across the flat rocky area by mistake. To find the trailhead, look opposite from the washrooms and you'll see a few picnic benches, there's a clear trail going straight up into the trees, that's the one you want.

As others have mentioned, it's a steep climb right off the bat. And I mean steep, like test your hiking fitness/lung burner/glute and leg burner steep for about 45 minutes. After that, it evens out a bit and soon after we arrived at the first 'hump' with pretty amazing 360 degree views. From there, the hike gets way more manageable - you basically go up and down over the humps of the ridge, going as far as you'd like. We made it to the third hump from the true summit (with the big rock cairn), because the scramble to the top looked pretty sketchy and beyond our abilities.

Going back was fine until the last three kilometres, it was pretty brutal on the knees going down such a steep incline, and there was lots of loose rocks and it was quite slippery, it took us what felt like hours to get down the last little bit.

Overall, it took us about 7 hours to do that round trip. Definitely bring lots of water, sunscreen, and hiking poles to help with the downhill portion. I wouldn't say this is a good hike for beginners, but it was a pretty good challenge for those who have hiked a few times.

2 months ago

Hiked Wasootch Ridge on Sunday. May 20th. The conditions were spectacular. The ascent is a workout and as you climb the 360 views along the way are beautiful. The trails are clear and the crocuses are in bloom :) a fantastic way to spend the day.

hiking
3 months ago

Really good hike - mostly exposed to the sun so pack for the elements. Made it to the 2nd last ridge where the trail seems to get more complicated. Steep for the first little bit, but evens out for 2/3rds of it.

hiking
3 months ago

A great hike with a steep start and had a few areas of snow where you can fall past knee deep; you can avoid some of it. We only went as far as the cairn prior to the start of the Wasootch peak. Once pass the tree line, wear a hat & apply/re-apply sunscreen as the sun can be intense. Great views all around and I wouldn't mind doing it again.

3 months ago

This is a great hike. It is pretty steep right out of the parking lot. Currently there is still some deep snow that you can fall up to your knees in. I used my traction cleats for some sections of the way down. Great views and a great work out. Trail head is right behind the small green square sign in the parking lot. Bring lots of water and enjoy. There isn’t a ton of tree cover once you clear the trees so bring your sunscreen and hat.

3 months ago

360 degree views the entire time! So beautiful and such a good workout.

hiking
3 months ago

Fantastic hike! Crampons are a must. Steep incline at the onset but views right away. Quite windy along the ridge but some of the best views I’ve got in Kananaskis. Worth every bit of effort, can’t wait to hike it in the summer.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice views quickly after putting in some work! Be sure to wear spikes if there is snow still. Went today and it felt like we were rebreaking trail in some spots! Will be going again in the summer!

hiking
3 months ago

Great spikes trail. Easy to follow trail for the first part, snow had filled in the packed trail in the middle sections of the ups and downs but still could follow. Fantastic views at all times except for the steep part after leaving the parking lot. Great winter trail!

3 months ago

Loved this hike. Little hard to find the trail head but it’s just behind the green map sign. Goes straight into a hectic ascent but eventually ends up in a nice undulating climb. Wore crampons and gators and they were both necessary. Beautiful views

hiking
5 months ago

Love this hike! Views are spectacular!

hiking
5 months ago

Some of the best views you can get so close to the city! If you have the time and patience, scramble all the way to the summit for unreal 360 degree views. The ups and downs are tiring on the way back since its about 16km round trip.

hiking
5 months ago

Physically challenging pretty much right out of the parking lot. A lot of undulating hills along the ridge will have you cursing on the way back. Stunning views in every direction from up top.

hiking
7 months ago

Wasootch Day Use Area is 17 KM south on Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40). The trail head is fairly easy to locate but you are presented with a myriad of trails right at the onset. I found the best route is to immediately bear right towards the picnic bench and then follow the trail up from there. Note: The green trail map sign at the trailhead will tell you nothing of the trail to the ridge. It’s a fairly strenuous climb at first; edgy sections with small exposure, loose rock over slab, ~160m gain in 0.5km. Once on the ridge, it’s a series of up and down to several peaks. . I hit 5 minor peaks and only hiked just over half the trail! This day I just didn’t have the energy. The views all around are what makes this trip worthwhile. Right from the start, just turn around and take in the scenery, it’s breathtaking. I covered around 8.5km total trip, with ~765m elevation gain. The return trip would have been fairly treacherous if it was wet, lucky for me it stayed

hiking
8 months ago

This hike had my favorite ridge walk to date! I regret having my ankle boots on so am excited to tackle this again in 2018 with my salomans!!

8 months ago

Completed the entire ridge yesterday, was in excellent condition. If you walk the entire ridgeline to the true summit (which is much more fun than side stepping the ridge to scramble up some scree to the summit), be prepared for some exposure, narrow parts of the ridge, some downclimbs and climbing up some fun slabs. Always double check foot and hand holds as it is Kananaskis and the rock is not very stable. The true summit is marked with a stick in the rock and a small carin. For decent you can bypass the ridge and go along the south scree, but returning along the ridge is much more fun. If you choose to do the entire ridge, you should be a confident scrambler or climber.

hiking
9 months ago

Ended up needed to turn around after the second ridge due to snow and wind it was a great hike!

10 months ago

nice view the entire way! I didn't know when to stop!

hiking
10 months ago

Tried to do this yesterday. Was forced to turn back from the insane wind gusts a couple peaks before the summit. The original ascent is fairly steep, but then it gets easier once you start going over the peaks.

hiking
10 months ago

Late review-- but did this hike on September 5th 2017. There's a very steep incline that awaits you as you start the hike. I cannot stress enough to bring a hiking pole. Beautiful hike!! although we had limited visibility of the actual colours and uniqueness of the mountains because of the forest fire. You feel really close to the mountains. Bring lots of water and be prepared to be exposed in open environment. No shade up top unlike the others. Would recommend!

hiking
10 months ago

Nice hike! Pretty in fall. A description we read said "start without preamble" - this is a perfect description. Several sections of steep ascent, but nothing too intense. Beautiful undulating ridge walk with short easy scramble to finish. Did not do the very last section with the more technical scramble.

10 months ago

Great views.

11 months ago

Well worth the grief at the start
Poles are a good idea for coming down

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