Quaite Valley - Bow Valley - Hiking Alberta

 

Heart Creek start to Quaite Valley in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

This day's objective is to observe flood-related trail alterations at Jewell Falls, past Quaite Campground, on the far side of Jewell Pass.

Quaite Valley Road in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park begins from the TransCanada Highway at a gate east of Heart Mountain about 75 KM (47 miles) westof Calgary, Alberta. 

Some of the 2014 hiking agenda will be examination of June, 2013 flood damage. 

Old trails have become new trails.

This hike begins at the Heart Creek trail-head and proceeds east past Heart Creek and Quaite Creek on the 2.9 KM (1¾ mile) link trail to Quaite Valley Road.

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Heart Creek Trail east to Heart Creek and on to the Quaite Valley Road in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada A view of Heart Mountain from the link east to Quaite Valley Road in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Heart Creek is badly damaged and one of many upstream bridges is now part of the huge volume of rock and timber debris.

Heart Creek trail has been restored with simple board crossings, to provide access to Mount McGillivray rock climbing walls and the end of the valley.  There seems to be trail access on both sides of Heart Creek.

The trail head to the Heart Mountain scramble and summits is open.

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Ribbon Creek has been substantially altered with rock, bridge and lumber debris in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada A view upstream at Heart Creek on the east link to Quaite Valley in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada The Heart Mountain trail is the same with unofficial access from the highway and Heart Creek trail is via boulders at beginning in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Trail east of Heart Creek is typically good.  Log walkways remain secure to allow passage along the rock edge of beautiful marsh which seems to have survived relatively unscathed.

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Trail linking Ribbon Creek to Quaite Valley in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Log walkways skirting the marsh on the link trail from Heart Creek to Quaite Valley in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada The marsh on the link trail between Heart Creek and Quaite Valley road in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada June, 2013 flood damage at Quaite Creek on the link from Heart Creek to Quaite Valley Road in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada
 
 
The right turn at the trail junction heads south on Quaite Valley Road which initially
appears unaffected by June 2013 flooding.  This illusion is shattered soon when the
hike reveals significant and increasing flood damage.
 
The road has been torn apart. Trees have been downed.  Giant troughs have been
cut into the landscape.  Timber and rock debris litter the valley.  Landslides have
stripped forest from valley banks which include large sections from the limestone
slabs at the base of McConnell Point.  Trail crews have been busy removing
obstacles and creating a narrow trail. 
 
As elevation is gradually gained, there is minor snow coverage in sheltered areas
from recent mid-May snowfall.
 
 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Initially Quaite Valley Road appears to be relatively unaffected by flooding in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada A short distance along Quaite Valley Road significant and expanding flood damage from powerful water in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Flood water has swept slabs clean, felled trees, created landslides and deep troughs at the bottom of Quaite Valley in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada A narrow trail winds its way around and through Quaite Valley in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Warming sun starts to enter the valley and snow melt begins.  Running water invades low spots along the trail.

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Sun begins to enter Quaite Valley in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Water begins to run in Quaite Valley as snow melts in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Trail alternates from one side of Quaite Valley to the other in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada A recently fallen tree blocks upright passage along new trail in Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The road is restored on the final approach to Quaite Campground which is a 1.6 KM (1 mile) gradual climb from the Heart Creek link trail junction.  Depth of snow is increasing as elevation increases but the open meadow which hosts Quaite Campground provides some relief.

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Snow depth increases as elevation increases on the approach to Quaite Campground in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Quaite Campground in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Quaite Campground is on the TransCanada Trail in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Past the uninhabited Quaite Valley Backcountry Campground, muddy but clear road and trail, will travel the additional 2.0 KM (1¼ miles) to Jewell Pass.  Optimism is short lived when, within a short distance, tree-lined path is covered by deep snow.

Pressing on with stubborn determination continues on thinner edges, or off-trail

where possible, but after a kilometer I concede defeat when there is no alternative to post holing in a meter (3 feet) and more of snow.

With snowshoes the hike could continue but they are safely stowed in the trunk of the car back at the Heart Creek trail-head.

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Wet road and trail leaving from Quaite Campground in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Hiking the edges where possible in deepening snow past Quaite Campground in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada A photo record of last footsteps before conceding defeat on the hike to Jewell Falls in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The return hike provides a new perspective of flood damage on the descent through Quaite Valley.  On the approach to the TransCanada Highway, an old, unmarked and well-hidden trail-head is discovered after years of failure.

This years late spring delay of new leaves, and a chance glance to the edge of the trail at precisely the correct moment, reveals the old trail.  This may create a future hiking opportunity to the top of McConnell Point.

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada The west flank of McConnell Point on the descent through Quaite Valley in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Water flow is increasing in the large flood troughs through Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Discovery of an old trailhead along the Quaite Valley Road in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada A view of Yamnuska past the Quaite Valley Road gate near the TransCanada Hwy in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

For variety, the south apron along the TransCanada Highway will serve as an alternative to returning via the Quaite Valley to Heart Creek link trail.  A few of the outstanding views follow.

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Mount McGillivray looking west along the TransCanada Highway in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada McConnell Point looking east from near Heart Creek at The TransCanada Hwy in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Heart Mountain past the new Heart Creek from the TransCanada Hwy in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Grotto Mountain across Lac des Arcs and the TransCanada Hwy from Heart Creek in Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

 

  

Photos for this hike through Quaite Valley were taken on May 14, 2014.

 

 

 

 

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