I was still living in Regina when we decided to make this trip. I had just completed my Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Regina and I wanted to get out of town and go on a bit of an adventure. We decided to head west to the mountains for a camping trip. This marked the first time, since I was a little kid, that I'd been camping in the mountains and little did I know that in only five short months I'd be calling Calgary home and the mountains would become my backyard. I guess this trip kind of kick-started a series of outdoor adventures that have continued right up until present day. Christine, Sarah, Rob, Jayne, and myself packed the vehicles and headed west. We spent the first night in Calgary at Kurtis and Laura's place and then moved on to the Bow Valley Campground, approximately 75km west of Calgary along the Trans-Canada Highway. The campground is located inside Bow Valley Provincial Park, which is actually part of the Kananaskis Country park system. We even ran into Joel and Ashley, who were both working at the Kananaskis Country Golf Course over the summer.
|Bow Valley Campground is located on the banks of the Bow River and overlooked by Mt. Yamnuska|
|Bow Valley Campground|
|Roger the Red Squirrel. Somehow he got this nickname and he stuck around our site the entire time.|
|The girls. Christine, Sarah, and Jayne|
We decided that we should get out and do a little exploring while we were in the area. On the first day we ventured to the nearby Evan-Thomas Provincial Recreation Area, which is also part of Kananaskis Country, in search of an easy hike to Troll Falls. Round-trip, the hike is only 3.4km and the elevation gain is minimal (about 40m), but you are rewarded with a nice waterfall at the end. After we found the falls we followed another side trail up above the falls and did a little more exploring. There's a few smaller waterfalls to be found and the trail is less busy. The trailhead is the Stoney Parking area near Kananaskis Village. When we got back to our camp after the day's adventures we were informed that a Black Bear had been rummaging through the campground and we should take extra precaution in keeping our food and garbage properly stored to limit the chances of it returning!
|The Kananaskis River|
|Rob taking in the surroundings|
|Our first glimpse of Troll Falls|
|Sisters behind the falls|
|Rob and I|
|Christine and I above Troll Falls|
|We stopped at Barrier Lake on our way back to the campground|
|Looking down from the top of the Barrier Lake Dam|
|Christine learning to fish back at the campground. Unfortunately we didn't catch anything!|
|Sun setting over Mt. Yamnuska and the Bow Valley|
Our second adventure was hiking up Prairie View Mountain, which is located in Bow Valley Provincial Park. The hike is approximately 10km round-trip with 500m gained in elevation. At the time we had thought we reached the summit, but I learned later that we gained the false summit and that the true summit actually has the Barrier Lake Fire Lookout on it. We reached the point where the Repeater Station is located. The Repeater Station is used to bounce radio signals around corners and mountains. Nevertheless, the views were spectacular and the effort used was well worth it. Use the Barrier Dam Day Use Area as the trailhead for this day-hike.
|Great views from the hike|
|Christine and Sarah enjoying the view|
|Rob and I on the false summit where the Repeater Station is located|
|Rob with Mt. Baldy in the background|