10 Sensational Hikes from hikingwithbarry - Volume 2


Memorable hiking experiences in Western Canada and the United States.


Sensational Hikes, Hiking with Barry, Canada, USA



1.   Upper Antelope Slot Canyon - Page - Hiking Arizona



To say the Upper and Lower Antelope Slot Canyons are hikes, is a stretch.  They are short guided excursions, but the experience is outstanding.  Try to book times when the sun is shining into the canyons for maximum benefit and greater photographic potential. These slot canyons are near Page, Arizona, USA.

The photography is challenging with long exposure times.  A unipod combined with nerves of steel would be a good idea.  In the Upper Antelope Slot Canyon, photographs must be taken in turn, very quickly.  There may be no time to make shutter and aperture adjustments. Compose and shoot.  The excursions will be forever memorable.



2.   Lower Antelope Slot Canyon - Page - Hiking Arizona



The hike through the Upper Antelope Slot Canyon is a flat  walk through an incredibly beautiful, spiritual place.  In contrast, the excursion through the Lower Antelope Slot Canyon is a more physical endeavor requiring a climb down on steep, narrow stairs.  Terrain in the canyon bottom is uneven.  If there has been rain in the past near term, it would be wise to be prepared for mud and some standing water on the canyon floor.

The formations created by fast, furious water over thousands of years are mesmerizing.  Sound and silence are pure.  The Lower Antelope Slot Canyon is likely to be substantially less crowded, informal and considerably more relaxed with plenty of time to capture excellent photographs.



3.   Rat's Nest Cave - Bow Valley Corridor - Hiking Alberta




Rat's Nest Cave at the base of Grotto Mountain near Canmore, Alberta, Canada is an aggressive and forever memorable experience for participants in relatively good physical condition.  For most there will be host of new experiences and additional  skill sets gained may lead hikers to other adventuresome pursuits including scrambling, spelunking and rock climbing.  Advance booking is important.  This fundamental tour may lead to other more aggressive guided adventures at Gargantuan Caves in the Crowsnest Pass or Nakimu Caves in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada.  These are physical and unique opportunities.



4.   The Pod - Crowsnest Pass - Hiking Alberta



Note:  Check at the Frank Slide Visitor Centre to see if the hike is available.

The Pod is an excellent and unique hike through the fascinating features of historic coal strip mining operations.  The hike may be fenced in so it is important to check at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre or the local Parks Visitor Centre for access and availability.  If The Pod is not accessible there are many other alternatives including Turtle Mountain and the Airplane Crash Site.  Take nothing but pictures.  Leave nothing but footprints. 



5.   Mount Sir Donald - Rogers Pass - Glacier National Park - Hiking B.C.




Mount Sir Donald looms over the Vaux Glacier in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada.  The aggressive climb begins near the A. O. Wheeler Hut at parking for Illecillewaet Campground.  Quality hiking footwear is advisable for the steep rustic trail to the toe of the Vaux Glacier and/or the base of the classic, mountain climb. 



6.   Highline Trail - Garden Wall - Glacier National Park - Hiking Montana




The Highline Trail from the Logan Pass Visitor Centre begins on the north side of Going-To-The-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.  This outstanding hike, also referred to as Garden Wall or Highline Loop, offers an extravaganza of unique features and fascinating terrain.  Hikers with vertigo may experience some discomfort near the beginning.  Just hang onto the hose.  It is more than worth the challenge. 



7.   Grandview Trail - Grand Canyon National Park - Hiking Arizona




The name of the Grandview Trail is self explanatory in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA.  The old mining route hosts a fascinating history and the current hiking trail reveals some of the original mining trail features.  From the top of the South Rim the Grandview Trail descends to Horseshoe Mesa where further exploration is possible past old ruins and mine shafts and to Page Spring (Miner's Spring).  There are other trail alternatives.  Check with the Visitor Centre and the Backcountry Office for advice and trail conditions.  Desert heat requires respect.  Carry plenty of water and electrolyte.



8.   Butch Cassidy Trail - Red Canyon - Hiking Utah




Red Canyon in the Dixie Forest of Utah, USA hosts a wide variety of unique and colorful canyon hiking opportunities.  The Butch Cassidy Trail is an adventure with historical connections to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when their notorious connection with the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang required frequent retreat into this anonymous maze of canyon corridors.


9.   Mount Burke - Cameron Fire Lookout - South Kananaskis - Hiking Alberta


Mount Burke Cameron Lookout



Mount Burke hosts the remains of long-abandoned Cameron Fire Lookout in the Highwood Region of Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.  The summit hosts  magnificent views over south Kananaskis Country and there is an exciting, very short, ridge crossing which grab a hiker's attention.



10.   Stanley Glacier - Kootenay National Park - Hiking British Columbia




The Stanley Glacier in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada is a popular hike with a well-signed trailhead on Hwy 93 south between Castle Junction and Radium Hot Springs.  From the official trail end viewpoint a more rustic trail continues which loops past caves, Stanley Glacier and over a headwall hosting spectacular waterfalls.  Quality hiking boots are mandatory to avoid injury.

Remember to be prepared for fickle mountain weather and carry everything you may need for contingency.  Tell someone where you are going and let them know you have returned safely.

Happy Trails.  Stay safe.








Rat's Nest Cave is a special experience. The entrance is gated and locked. Access is by guided tour only to the best of my knowledge. Just as well, it can be a dangerous place anyway. New sections of the cave are still being excavated by dedicated volunteers. It is a fascinating and unique experience. Lifelong memories. There is an opportunity to experience absolute silence, perhaps for the only time in ones life span. A lot of credit goes to the dedicated people who make the experience accessible for others to enjoy. It was my first underground rappel and I will always remember the bottom of the Laundry Chute. Very special. Thanks for your comment, D. Perhaps you should have another go at it.

Hi Barry, It has been many years since we did the Rat's Nest. I think a guide is needed now too. Your pictures remind me of it so much. They also remind me how I discovered that 'enclosed' anxiousness that I never knew I had. That was a very challenging adventure. D

Thank you, Laurel. I believe you would navigate the Laundry Chute without difficulty. It looks more intimidating than it is. It is just a short channel but the interesting part is at the bottom of it (about where the photo was taken) the chute makes a 90 degree turn to the right onto a wet slab angled 45 degrees down and 45 degrees to the left. It is an exciting slide down while you hang onto an anchored cable to prevent the horizontal slide. Just a short distance. Easily done. The photo of me near the bottom of the post is in a tight squeeze where body contortions and timed breathing are necessary to get into the chamber behind. Probably not worth the effort but a bit of fun. The photo was taken during my exit. In the Nakimu Caves at Rogers Pass in British Columbia, there is a fairly tight squeeze called 'the birth canal' which leads to an impressive chamber made largely of mica schist. The Upper Antelope Slot Canyon is short with a flat sand floor, but very beautiful and spiritual with sunbeams from overhead. The Lower Antelope Slot Canyon is substantially deeper and longer. I did not experience the entire length on my trip because I was shut down by standing water too deep for safety. And by then, I was scrambling solo. Everyone else had the sense to turn around sooner and go home.

Great list. I didn't realize the Antelope Slot Canyon was so short, that's a lot of beauty in such a short place. I also like Rat's Nest Cave, although the "laundry chute" was a bit too small for my liking.

Thank you, Caitlin. You are too kind. I am going to make an attempt to get a few of my favourite images up on Flickr at some point. Right now, I am focussing on trying to better understand the software I am currently using. My primary intent is to give readers a taste of the wilderness grandeur. Maybe someone will be motivated to give it a try. I understand it is not for everyone.

Again, truly outstanding photography. Are you sure you don't want to start selling your images? They're breathtaking! Great post!