Cox Hill is a landmark between foothills and mountains west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
There are several ways to hike to the top of Cox Hill. The most common route is from Dawson Trailhead on the Powderface Trail via the Tom Snow trail. This days chosen alternative will utilize the Jumpingpound Ridge trail further south near Lusk Pass with a pullout for parking at the trail sign.
Along the drive west from Calgary, south and west on the Sibbald Creek Trail (Hwy 68) and south on Powderface Trail, there are good views of Moose Mountain and nearby Cox Hill in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
The deceptive trail sign shows a straight line ascent. After crossing the creek, the excellent trail ascends a steep slope on long, broad, well-graded switchbacks.
Near the top of the ridge, the trail levels and straightens over terrain reminiscent of ancient glacial moraine travelling through pine forest on the right and spruce forest on the left with sunlight through trees creating shadows over substantial dead-fall in a mesmerizing and artistic display prior to arriving at the top of the ridge.
To the right is Jumpingpound Ridge which leads to the summit of Jumpingpound Mountain. To the left, Cox Hill Ridge leads to the summit of Cox Hill.
Cox Hill will forever be associated with Memorial Lakes when a plane went down near here on June 14, 1986 in the search for Orval Pall and Ken Wolff who crashed their Twin Otter plane in horrific weather near Guinn's Pass.
The return hike is outstanding in the late afternoon sun. The slog through the valley is predictable as expected and the even, downhill grade on the switchbacks is welcome.
The day has warmed up substantially and a thermos of ice water mixed with Crystal Light Pink Lemonade, carefully kept chilled in the trunk of the car, hits the spot on the drive back to Calgary.