Kovach Pond is a popular picnic and hiking-adjacent recreation area near Ribbon Creek in Kananaskis Country west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
To call Kovach Pond a hike would be a gross exaggeration but the popular picnic spot is certainly hike-adjacent and potentially a good place for beginners, or children, to begin hiking. There is a wealth of possibility within a short distance and it may be an ideal location for new arrivals to the Calgary area to begin hiking in the Rocky Mountains.
On the short drive from Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) towards the Nakiska Mountain Resort, mountain views from the bridge over the Kananaskis River are virtually impossible to resist. Mount Kidd consumes the view south from the bridge.
The early morning view north from the bridge, on Mount Allan Drive over Kananaskis River, captures the prominent profile of Mount Lorrette with Mary Barclay's Mountain peeking out from behind. Water levels in the Kananaskis River are low.
Directly ahead, to the west, Mount Allan looms large against the horizon. The true summit is the rusty brown peak behind, and the nearer Olympic Summit hosts the ski runs for Nakiska Mountain Resort. The bare spot above the treeline on photo left is Coal Mine Scar.
The hiking objective for this day is The Mushroom Garden which is just a short distance shy of Mount Allan's true summit. Access is via Hidden Trail from Ribbon Creek parking to Coal Mine Scar, then on steep trail over Olympic Summit and beyond. Weather appears to be close to perfect.
On a quick detour into Kovach Pond parking area, a large cache of boulders, intended for ongoing flood repair, blocks the cul-de-sac turnabout.
The short trail between the washrooms and the kiosk leads to a half-kilometer (¹⁄₃ mile) flat path looping around the pond on sometimes faint path leading past sheltered, secluded picnic areas. A small wooden bridge leads to a meadow hosting interpretive plaques which reveal some of the fascinating history of this area.
There are memorial benches near the inflow of this pleasant sanctuary where deer are often seen grazing.
Kovach Pond is a beautiful place for a picnic and is likely to be very busy on weekends and holidays. The nearby Bill Milne Bike Path links Delta Lodge of Kananaskis with Wedge Pond. Within close range there are an assortment of hikes from easy and short, to long and difficult in this spectacular recreation area.
Centennial Drive is the paved road to Delta Lodge of Kananaskis for late day refreshment or comfortable accommodation in the shadow of Mount Kidd.
Kovach Pond is the alternate left turn from the turn into the Ribbon Creek Hostel and parking area from Centennial Drive. There are an abundance of hiking opportunities within a few kilometers.
Some hikes could qualify as world class but it is important to start slow and gradually ramp up ability and quality of gear to tackle the more aggressive missions. For a beginner, the summit or traverse of Mount Allan might be too aggressive. Partway could be reasonable, perhaps to Coal Mine Scar.
Troll Falls is a nearby perennial favorite. The opportunities are virtually endless. Volume 1 of the Kananaskis Country Trail Guide, 4th Edition, combined with the Gem Trek 'Canmore and Kananaskis Village Map and Trail Guide' are important support resources to discover and successfully navigate fascinating hiking opportunities in this area.
Photographs for this visit to Kovach Pond were taken on Monday, June 22, 2015, near the confluence of Ribbon Creek with the Kananaskis River adjacent to Nakiska Mountain Resort in Kananaskis Country west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.