Sunday, August 11, 2013

Grassi Lakes

Trip Date: September 2010

The Grassi Lakes Interpretive Trail is a 3.5km round-trip hike with about 165m in elevation gain.  The trailhead is the Grassi Lakes Day Use Area, which is about 1km south of the Canmore Nordic Centre along the Smith-Dorrien Spray Trail.  It is consider part of the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park.  This is an interpretive trail and signage along the hike informs you about the history of Lawrence Grassi, who built the original trail here, as well as many others in the mountain parks.  This is a very nice afternoon trip with great views of Canmore and the Bow Valley, as well as the pristine, shallow, aquamarine lakes.

Overlooking Canmore and part of the Bow Valley
Mt. Lady Macdonald and Grotto Mountain standing over Canmore
Ha Ling Peak standing over this waterfall
Grassi Lakes
This plaque is in honour of Lawrence Grassi and is found near one of the lakes
One of the aquamarine lakes
This spot is a very popular spot with local climbers.  The lakes are located directly below this fossil-filled Devonian coral reef.
The second lake
A trail marker
Looking down on the Grassi Lakes
As mentioned in my Grotto Canyon post, the Grassi Lakes area is also home to some First Nation pictographs.  It is believed that the pictographs at both Grotto Canyon and Grassi Lakes were created by the same band of people, the Hopi.  In one of the pictographs you can see a human figure holding a large ring.  It is believed that this is a Medicine Wheel.  The story with the Medicine Man, which may or may not be the figure found here, is one of the most famous of the Hopi legends.  The Hopi people, along with many other First Nation bands, believe that Medicine Men were not only healers but were also considered to be seers and philosophers of their own tribes.  

Is this the Medicine Man of the Hopi people?
Hopi pictograph
This could be an animal with very large antlers or horns
A smaller figure holding a smaller ring
You can read more about the pictograph sites I have visited by visiting my Western Canadian Rock Art section on the Bradshaw Foundation's webpage.

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