Calgary Daytrips: The Highwood Pass Loop

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The Highwood Pass is the highest paved road in Canada. At more than 2200m above the seawall in Vancouver, the road travels through Kananaskis Country, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and the Highwood Public Land Use area.

For 6 months of the year (Dec 15 – June 15) the road is closed because of big horn sheep migration patterns. Actually, the sheep own the road all year long, a herd of 7 tied up our trip for a few minutes near the summit.

The Highwood road itself is just 147km long, but when you combine it with the drive from Calgary to K Country, south through Longview, and back home it quickly becomes an entire day’s trip.

My son and I stopped and did the Troll Falls hike at the base of Nakiska. We went down to the Peter Lougheed Information Centre to check out the wildlife. Then we tossed rocks into Lower Kananaskis Lake for a while before the rains chased us back into the car.

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I wanted to stop and do the hike up to Elbow Lake, Ptarmigan Cirque, Rawson Lake, or Rock Glacier, but the weather was nasty. Eventually we stopped at the Trout Pond picnic area, lit a fire and roasted some marshmallows to make s’mores in our uncamping ritual.

The scenery is not as spectacular as the equally high Going To The Sun Road (2026m at Logan Pass), but it’s a daytrip loop from Calgary that needs to be done.

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