The thing that intrigued Jaryd and I about this day-trip was the fact that various guide books described the hike as, "one of the most difficult hikes in Banff National Park." We both seemed up for the challenge! It is a 12.9km loop over both Cory Pass and Edith Pass with an elevation gain of almost 1,000m, most of which is gained during the hikes first 4.5km! It was definitely a leg burner, to say the least, but one that was well worth it. The trailhead for this hike is the Fireside Picnic Area, which is about 135km west of Calgary along the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A).
|Mt. Cory and Mt. Edith with Cory Pass connecting the two mountains|
|Me trying to comprehend how I'm going to get all the way up there!|
|We made it! The view from Cory Pass.|
|Mt. Edith. If you look closely you can see the trail we used.|
At the summit of Cory Pass (2,350m) is the entrance to the aptly named Gargoyle Valley. The "gargoyles" are unique rock formations that appear to be guarding the entrance to the valley beyond. They are pretty neat to see up close and make for excellent photography subjects.
|The entrance to Gargoyle Valley|
|"Gargoyle" rock formations|
|Standing guard over the valley|
|More gargoyles and a cave on Mt. Cory|
|Walking through Gargoyle Valley|
|Jaryd standing on a gargoyle with Mt. Louis in the background|
|Sitting on a gargoyle|
|Mt. Louis is sometimes referred to as Dogtooth Mountain and it's easy to see why|
|The east side of Mt. Edith as we approach Edith Pass and then our descent back to the truck|