Distance: 17 km (Varying distances depend on route taken)
Elevation Gain: 600 m
Special Considerations: route can be significantly shortened by going back down the way you came up. Poles help with the decent. You will share this path with cyclists. Partially on access road. Popular so going earlier in the day might beat crowds.
Trail head is just off the Highway 40 at Barrier Lake. The walk in is a steady incline but not steep, and the road is wide. You are in the woods for the first bit but when it opens up for the first view there is a wow factor. Its a nice place to take some pictures and rest. From here to the next lookout is a shorter stint and a little steeper with a short easy scramble at the top. Here you are on a cliff that jets out and get a beautiful view of the mountains on your right and the prairies on your left. You can go a little higher here to the fire watch house or you can head down the other side (the rocks look a little treacherous but are easily navigated with poles) You will enter the woods at the bottom of the hill and travel for a little while in the trees, fairly flat here or descending. You will come across a few junction points with directions and you will want to be heading back to the lake. The last bit is around the lake and part of it is road, not as scenic as the rest as parts are under power poles. Still you have the lake :) Overall this is a lovely hike.
Reviews aimed at beginners on trails in Banff, Kananaskis, Vancouver Island and beyond