Sibbald Viewpoint - Kananaskis Country - Hiking Alberta

 

Sibbald Viewpoint offers sweeping vistas in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

For the very young, the elderly, or anyone wishing to find an easy first hike with picnic facilities, Sibbald Viewpoint off the TransCanada Highway west of Calgary, with a turn onto Sibbald Creek Trail South, provides an excellent solution.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Sibbald Forestry Exhibit, Sibbald Viewpoint Interpretive Trail in Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

 

The Sibbald Viewpoint turnoff is clearly marked on Sibbald Creek Trail after a short drive on mixed pavement and gravel road.  The location offers an outstanding view west over beautiful and historical Sibbald Flats.  There are picnic tables and toilet facilities. The labyrinth of trail offers two main components. 

One option is the formal 1.0 KM (⅝ mile) interpretive trail partway along the ridge over Sibbald Flats.  The interpretive trail crosses Sibbald Creek Trail (Hwy 68) so be cautious for occasional traffic.  Alternatively, or additionally, a flat trail continues west along the top of Sibbald Flats to a historical exhibit with a clear view south to Moose Mountain commanding the horizon.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada The view over Sibbald Flats from Sibbald Viewpoint in Jumpingpound

 

Although this site is very familiar and offers outstanding views, there is always one intriguing feature which will finally be explored today.  Just below the east viewpoint over Sibbald Flats there is an old road.  Although its historical use or significance is not known a hike down the short road will lead directly to Sibbald Flats.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Hiking the old road from Sibbald Viewpoint down to Sibbald Flats in Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada The old road narrows into forest about half way to Sibbald Flats.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada The road narrows to trail through deadfall on the approach to Sibbald Flats in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

There is evidence deer roam in the area.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Evidence deer roam in this area.

 

The recent wet weather has created marshy bog at the bottom on the trail.  Careful off-trail navigation and a bit of hopping from one high spot to another creates passage to dry ground which is clearly a cow pasture adjacent to fully flowing creeks running past the east end of Sibbald Flats.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada After navigating the marsh, spring runoff provides substantial water flowing through Sibbald Flats

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada The formidable stone cliff visible from Sibbald Viewpoint

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Heavy water flow around the cliff at the east end of Sibbald Flats in Jumpingpound

 

A stroll upstream encounters several spring runoff junctions.  Many of these water courses are dry throughout the summer and fall.  Creek banks are undercut.  Sibbald Flats is a very relaxing and beautiful place where an entire day could be spent wandering around in the natural surroundings.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Multiple water courses converge at the east end of Sibbald Flats during Spring runoff.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Creek flow is high during Spring runoff at the east end of Sibbald Flats.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada The two summits of Deer Ridge in Jumpingpound, on the horizon in photo right.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada One final view downstream before returning from Sibbald Flats to Sibbald Viewpoint

 

The well-graded hike back to the top at Sibbald Viewpoint provides a bit of exercise.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Back at the top of the road for a final view of Sibbald Flats from Sibbald Viewpoint in Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Sibbald Flats from Sibbald Viewpoint in Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

This short hike is a walk, stroll, wander in a good variety of terrain which requires no special gear.  A running shoe or hiking boots would be a better choice than sandals or flip-flops. and long pants might be more sensible.

A hike from the east end of Sibbald Viewpoint along flat trail at the top of the ridge to the next viewpoint reveals another picnic ground and placards which reveal some of the longstanding and fascinating history of this very interesting location.

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Moose Mountain across Sibbald Flats from the Interpretive Viewpoint in Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country

 

Sibbald Viewpoint, Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada Cox Hill on the horizon across Sibbald Flats in Jumpingpound, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

The Sibbald area is a short drive from Calgary and provides several light walking options, without any need for special gear, into beautiful surroundings which provide the opportunity for a brief, relaxing, inexpensive retreat from the city to a place less well-known and less frequented than popular spots in mainstream Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park.  There are a wide variety of excellent and interesting trails in the immediate area which can be  experienced in a series of outdoor adventures.  Some of these include Ole Buck Trail, Eagle Hill Trail and Deer Ridge Trail.

For the new hiker, Sibbald Viewpoint is an excellent place to begin.  It is important to keep a close eye on the little people, particularly if they are inexperienced around water or forest but, closely supervised, there is a huge opportunity for them to learn and, potentially, for parents to share and initiate lifelong, rewarding passions for adventure in the outdoors.

 

 

 

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Comments

I believe it would be a justifiable diversion. Thanks for the comment, Larry

Will try sometime, to break up the drive to Calgary. Thanks for the suggestion and information. Larry

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