Ole Buck – Sibbald Lake – Hiking Alberta

 

Ole Buck is a loop trail over a rise above Sibbald Lake in Kananaskis Country, Alberta.

 

 

The Ole Buck hike above Sibbald Lake begins on a brisk, breezy and predominantly overcast morning with grandson, age 6, heading west from Calgary, Alberta on the TransCanada Highway to the exit south at Sibbald Creek Trail (Hwy 68).

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Sibbald Flat from the viewpoint

 

The first stop is the Sibbald Flat Viewpoint where a short hike to the edge allows discussion about this ancient Indian hunting ground.  Buffalo, grazing on the flat, were hunted for food and clothing in this natural trap surrounded by forested hills.

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Sibbald Flat from the ridge trail viewpoint

 

The next stop is at the Sibbald Lake campground where parking at the hiking area near the shore of tiny, but beautiful, Sibbald Lake provides close proximity to the trail-head for Ole Buck.  The objective for the day is to hike the 'summit' of the 'mountain' on the other side using the 2.4 KM (1½ mile) Ole Buck Trail loop.

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Grandson at the trail-head

 

The day is still cool and breezy so a layer of clothing is added and the hike begins with the one kilometer access along the lake shore to a small bridge crossing a creek onto the Ole Buck Trail.  After heated debate the decision is to tackle the loop in a counter clockwise direction.

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Ole Buck rises above the far side of Sibbald Lake

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada The bridge which links the campground to the Ole Buck Loop trail

 

Initially the flat trail travels through very tall grassland.  Occasionally the grass is taller than Grandson but the bright red coat makes him easy to find.  Occasionally, glancing behind me reveals no more evidence than a small patch of tall grass weaving back and forth.

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Grandson hiking the trail through grass occasionally taller than he is.

 

The trail ascends into forest and the climb begins through old forest beside a deepening forested gully to the evergreen tree surrounded, rocky summit where two rock cairns and a log bench provide a comfortable place to enjoy lunch.  The sun is bright and the day has warmed up enough to allow hiking in shorts and T-shirts.

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada At the 'summit' of Ole Buck

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada The young buck and the old buck at the top of Ole Buck

 

The hike down the other side provides occasional views through the trees of Sibbald Lake and Camp Adventure on the shore.  There are very pretty vistas of surrounding foothills.  Today, the focus is on basic map reading skills, doing a little off-trail hiking and learning the Sherpa step for descent so the knees will be better later in life.

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Hiking through dense vegetation on descent of Ole Buck

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Back at the bridge to return to Sibbald Lake campground

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Sibbald Lake in the afternoon sun with Camp Adventure on the far side

 

Overall the hike is near 6 KMs (3¾ miles) through a wide variety of terrain with an estimated 152 m (500 ft) of elevation on the day. 

On the way home, a stop in Bragg Creek completes the adventure with well-deserved triple chocolate brownie ice cream cones.  This is a special day.

 

Ole Buck – Sibbald Creek, Alberta, Canada Treats in Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada after a great day of hiking

 

 

 

 

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Comments

You are welcome to spread the word about the Sherpa Step. It has helped me a lot over the years. It is a bit clumsy at first and best done slowly with hiking poles until the movement becomes familiar. The Sibbald Creek area from Sibbald Lake contains a lot of great trail. With a map it is fairly straightforward with adequate signage most of the time. Great views of Moose Mountain and the front range of the Rockies. I have not yet been to Sibbald this year but I expect you will need waterproof footwear and the instep crampons. Not sure about the snowshoes but it wouldn't hurt to strap them to the pack. Something tougher than YakTrax will be needed to tackle the terrain, particularly if you include Deer Ridge in your trek from Eagle Hill. Lots of good trail and varied terrain with outstanding views. Have a great hike. Thank you for your kind words. It has been a passion of mine for many decades.

Hi Barry, I have written you before and today, doing some research, your website once again appears. I was doing some research on how I could help new hikers deal with descents and saw your sherpa walk. I would like to include this in a page I'm developing for the group I volunteer/organize. I hope that's ok. And as well I was trying to decide where my next trip would be and I thought it might be fun to do Eagle Hill from Sibbald Lake but I don't know the area. I would take snowshoes, icers and waterproof boots and gaiters. I would like to do about 10-15 kms of the trail. The trail reports aren't very informative on this trail. What do you think? By the way I am again quite impressed with the effort you've made on your website. Your love of hiking comes through and inspires me. There are times I wonder why I organize trips, now I know. Thanks