Landslide Lake - Bighorn Backcountry - Hiking Alberta

 

Landslide Lake is accessed via David Thompson Highway in Bighorn Backcountry.

 

Landslide Lake, David Thompson, Bighorn Backcountry, Alberta, Canada

 

The hike to Landslide Lake, along the David Thompson Highway south of Kootenay Plains, is longer than can fit into the remainder of this day following short missions into Crescent Falls and Bighorn Dam. 

At the front end of the 15.8 KM (9⅞ mile) return hike to Landslide Lake, there is a shorter 2.8 KM (1¾ mile) hike on the Landslide Lake Fire Trail which is within our reach for the time remaining.

This August day has warmed up considerably as a late packed lunch is enjoyed at the trail-head.  Picturesque mountains rise above the forest remains.

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada The trailhead for the Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada A grassy draw to the left of the Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail provides an excellent mountain view in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

The trail is simply a path through the deliberately-set, 2009 prescribed burn whose purpose was to replenish and renew forest, alleviate pestilence, and reduce risk from unplanned forest fire.

This worldwide practice, with precedence from thousands of years ago, proves the benefit of the process.  The technology for fire prevention and control has improved substantially over the past several decades. 

Along the path there are benches at each of the interpretive plaques.

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada The first interpretive plaque along the Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Landslide Lake, David Thompson, Bighorn Backcountry, Alberta, Canada  

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

Embers from charred trees provide nutrients to new growth along Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Pink fireweed is abundant.  Later day sun provides a beautiful stark contrast between new plant growth and burned trees.

Boardwalk bridges to nowhere illustrate there have been past changes in landscape and trail location due to shifting drainages when ground cover was eliminated.

There is a very ethereal and timeless beauty to this altered environment.

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada An abandoned boardwalk along Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada An old wooden stairway along the Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

On the return hike to the trail-head, a shallow draw hosts a crystal-clear stream.

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta

 

On the home stretch, the option to hike the beginning short loop which will pass through an Indigenous People's Ceremonial Site where trees are draped with colorful prayer flags.

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada A small stream in the forest at Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada The final trail junction on the short loop back to the trailhead along Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada Prayer flags on trees at a sacred Indian Ceremonial Site along Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada Prayer flags on trees at a sacred Indian Ceremonial Site along Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada A final view back to the trailhead for the Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada The excellent biffy at the trailhead for Landslide Lake Fire Interpretive Trail in David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada

 

For a longer, full day, the hike to Landslide Lake is about 20 KM (12½ miles) return.  A relentless elevation gain is required.  It is possible to continue along the east shore of Landslide Lake for another 2.5 KM (1⅝ miles) one-way, to camp at the Landslide Lakes Provincial Campground.

A highly recommended continuance is an additional 7.8 KM (4⅞ miles) one-way to the Lake of Falls beneath Purple Mountain for a potential overnight at Lake of Falls Provincial Campground.

The entire round trip from the Landslide Lakes trail-head would be about 40.6 KM (12⅞ miles) with significant elevation gain.  Not a season opener for most but many good comments have been made about this wilderness hike experience.

Landslide Lake Interpretive Fire Trail is a very interesting, informative, easy, short hike readily accessible from the David Thompson Highway east of Saskatchewan Crossing on the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. 

On this particular day, smoke from a prescribed burn on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River casts a haze over distant mountains and provides a hint of pungent smoky odor which enhances the reality of this experience.

Pictures for this hike on the Landslide Lake Interpretive Fire Trail were taken on August 18, 2014 in the Job/Cline Public Land Use Zone of Bighorn Backcountry in David Thompson Country east of Saskatchewan Crossing and Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

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