Hidden Trail - Kananaskis Country - Hiking Alberta

 

Hidden Trail leads to Coal Mine Scar in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

The Ribbon Creek area of Kananaskis Country, Alberta is a central reference point for a large variety of excellent hikes.  This day's chosen hike is Hidden Trail from the Ribbon Creek parking area near the confluence of Ribbon Creek with Kananaskis River near Nakiska in the shadow of Mount Kidd and Mount Allan.  

There are many options to choose from at the Hidden Trail trail-head.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Mount Kidd from the Ribbon Creek parking lot in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Ribbon Creek in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Hidden Trail is an old coal mining road which begins at the kiosk near the Kananaskis Wilderness Hostel.  Quite frankly, it is not all that well hidden.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

The trek heads west and north up gentle, consistent grade road to the junction with the Centennial Trail heading left (west) to the Coal Mine Scar.  The decision to continue straight on less used road includes a short off-trail foray into meadow, and a bushwhack back to the trail, prior to arrival at the location of an old mining cabin.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Nearby, trees host evidence wildlife has recently been active here.  A short walk from the old, metal-clad cabin the sparse remnants of the water well remain, littered with debris from decades past.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

The trail leads to Coal Mine Scar, a reclaimed coal strip mining operation.  Although many hikes have culminated here, the lifespan markings on a smooth boulder near the top of Coal Mine Scar have previously remained unnoticed.  From this vantage point, there are spectacular views of the Kananaskis Valley.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Coal Mine Scar is a grassy field created after the open-pit coal mine closed in 1952 and was filled in to create the large meadow which is a landmark on the southeast flank of Mount AllanCoal Mine Scar is a welcome, homeward-bound marker on the descent from Olympus Summit on Mount Allan which hosts Nakiska and the incredible Centennial Ridge Trail in the shadow of 3,107 m (10,194 ft) Mount Lougheed.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Coal Mine Scar is a grand place to enjoy lunch in the sun.  Scrambles to explore the face of the ridge and solo walks down the slope of the grassy plain wile relaxation time away in the presence of spectacular vistas across mountain-surrounded Kananaskis Valley and Mount Kidd.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

Scrambling the upper wall at Coal Mine Scar in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Cheyenne returning from a solo hike at Coal Mine Scar with Mount Kidd in the background.

 


Click here to enjoy a brief video of the panoramic sweep across Coal Mine Scar on the flank of Mount Allan in Kananaskis Country west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada


 

This brief video will share the panoramic view of the Kananaskis Valley from Coal Mine Scar.  The expansive panorama brings back fond memories of many hikes, over many years in this spectacular area of Kananaskis Country in Alberta, Canada.  Following lunch, the decision to increase altitude on the Centennial Trail  climbs aggressively on rocky trail through forest onto steep, grassy slopes.  Time is taken to relax and absorb the incredible scenery.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, CanadaOn the ascent of South Mount Allan with Mount Kidd behind.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Studying the surrounding topography of Kananaskis Valley

 

From this day's high point on Mount Allan, the huge meadow of Coal Mine Scar is minimized below us.    Rest and appreciation of the sun, the fresh breeze, good company and good fortune are easy to enjoy in close proximity to the natural wonders of Kananaskis Country in Alberta.

 

Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hidden Trail - Ribbon Creek - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

The return to Ribbon Creek parking is achieved via a similar route taken in for the return drive to Calgary after a grand day and a pleasant departure from the customary mode of hiking solo.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

Tags: 

Comments

Thanks for your comment, Bill. The snow pack is heavy and lingering in this year's weather patterns and there are increased bear encounters at lower elevations because the bears are waiting for the snow to melt so they can gain altitude and feed higher on the mountains. The patch on Mount Cornwall has not yet begun to take shape. There are signs the pace is increasing and runoff is heavy. Kananaskis Country is an incredible natural resource and well managed for preservation, human enjoyment and commercial development, in my opinion. Not everyone would agree but everyone never agrees with anything. Thanks for your kind words. Glad you enjyed the photos. I thought many times of our Mount Allan traverse on this hike with Justin and Cheyenne.

Great pictures. This brings back good memories of our Mount Allan traverse. It seems there is still quite a bit of snow at higher altitudes. Do you notice any difference this year? I would like to hike the Centennial Ridge again one day. This area of Kananaskis is very beautiful.

There are a labyrinth of trails in the area but the hike up the south side of Mount Allan is particularly scenic. In summer, the hike across Centennial Ridge is a special experience. Thanks for your comment, Leigh.

That looks like an especially pretty hike Barry - especially with new lime green foliage. What a hike for expansive views. I had planned to cross country ski here in the winter but someone never made it - next year.

Yes, that would be a character builder. The day we were on Hidden Trail recently, there were many signs of bear activity including marked trees and a lot of poop in offtrail meadows, but we had no visuals with bears. Today I had an excellent black bear encounter on the return hike from Hummingbird Plume Lookout. I popped out of the forest into a clearing at one of the trail junctions and the bear was scracthing in the ground for food about 10 m to my front right. The bear was not aware of my presence because of nearby rushing water drowning out the sound. I did a 'Yo bear' and the bear and I looked at each other for a few seconds. I spoke softly and took two slow steps backward and stopped. The bear accepted this as an invitation to retreat. Normally the bear runs away in the opposite direction. This adult and very beautiful black bear ran across the trail in front of me and disappeared into the forest on my left. I waited for half a minute then proceeded with my descent hike. I hollered 'Yo bear' several times over the next few minutes so the bear would be aware of my location and return to the feeding area when comfortable. It was a good sighting. We all got along. There are several good books on the market and I think everyone should read one. Like you, I did not, at the beginning and I have been lucky. Now, because I hike solo most of the time, I make sure the animals are aware of my presence. In my experience they will stay out of the way. Today was special. A very good experience.

Hiking along Hidden Trail a number of years back, heading to find the coal mine, was the first time I ever had a grizzly encounter. We were only 30 minutes into the hike when the bear crashed out of the bushes onto the trail about 25 feet ahead of us. We were new to hiking and did not have a clue about anything bear related. We did everything we should not have done but thank goodness we lived to tell about it. It even made the newspaper. The following morning, I had about an hour phone call from a park warden who told me everything I need to know for the next time it happens, and he pretty much said there will be a next. Well, there have been many more encounters but now I know what not to do! I have only been up that trail one time since and that was to hike Mount Allan.

Add new comment