Baldy Pass is a classic Kananaskis day-hike and one perfectly suited for early season adventures. There's actually more than one way to access the Baldy Pass Trail, but we opted to start from Baldy Pass Trailhead, which is the same access point for Porcupine Group Camp. From here the trail is approximately 4.5km to the summit of the pass with about 500m gained in elevation, making for a nice 9km round-trip day. The trail allows for additional distance and elevation, which would offer superb views of the surrounding valleys, but we opted to stop at the pass before returning via the same route. The trailhead itself is approximately 85km west of downtown Calgary along Highway 40 (Kananaskis Trail).
The first 700m twist their way through forest covered trail before reaching a junction. You'll want to turn left, as a right-hand turn will lead you to Wasootch Creek. After the junction you'll follow an old fire road for a short time before reaching a dry riverbed. Here the trail follows the rocky surface, criss-crossing the dry river a few times.
|Leaving the fire road behind, this marks the beginning of the rocky dry riverbed|
|The trail offers views of the Nakiska ski runs on Mount Allan|
|This could be the source of the riverbed|
The first 3km are relatively flat with nothing more than a gentle grade, but over the course of last 1.5km the incline increases and you begin to gain elevation at a much quicker rate before reaching the pass.
|I'm guessing this bridge was destroyed in the floods of 2013|
|This rock cairn indicates you've reached the summit of Baldy Pass|
Christine, Rome, and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the summit of Baldy Pass before returning the parking lot via the same trail. The pass was quite busy with lots of people enjoying the views and the spectacular weather we were having at the end of April.
|Looking east from the pass|
|The westward view didn't hurt the eyes much!|
|The Baldy Pass Trail follows the ridge-line on the right side of this photo to the peak|
|You could also venture further south, following this ridge to the summit in the background|
|Christine and Rome descending with a great view of Mount Lorette in the background|
This marked the perfect start to what I hope is an awesome hiking season. Check back often for recaps of our latest adventures.