Albertawow

Ptarmigan Cirque Hike. Highwood Meadows - Highwood Pass

  Ratings:    Ratings 5 Star
Level: Easy Time/Dist: 2 to 3 hours / 4K return Elevation Gain: 300m

Trailhead: Park at the Highwood Pass summit parking lot on highway #40 just south of the Upper Kananaskis Lakes turn off. 180 kms west of Calgary. Note: Highway #40 is closed at the Upper Lakes and Highwood House Junction from Dec 1st to June 14th for wildlife preservation.

Description: Interesting to note that Highwood Pass at 2206ms is the highest paved point in Canada. Locate the trailhead on the north side of the parking lot. Continue on a short distance through Highwood Meadows then across highway #40. Follow the trail as it climbs towards Ptarmigan Meadows and Ptarmigan Cirque. Several interpretive signs can be found explaining the local wildlife and geology. Ptarmigan Meadows are absolutely beautiful. Wildflowers are blooming everywhere during the summer months. There is a small stream cascading over several rock benches creating beautiful small waterfalls throughout the meadow. Ptarmigan Cirque is a large scree filled bowl created by melted glaciers. The cirque is located further up the meadow towards the bottom of the ridge that connects Mount Rae and Mount Arethusa. An early morning start is recommended to escape the summer crowds. During the highway closure the highway is excellent for early spring cycling. Pictures below were taken in late October.

Near Here: Local campgrounds include Boulton Creek, Lower Kananaskis Lake, Interlake's, Canyon Creek, Elkwood, Mount Sarrail, and Mount Kidd. Trailheads to Elbow Lake, Elbow Lake to Elbow Loop, Hidden Lake, Fossil Falls, Kananaskis Fire Lookout, Tombstone Lakes, Mist Mountain, Mount Lipsett, Robertson Glacier and Rawson Lake are all located near here. You are in bear country.


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Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
  Parking Lot Highwood Pass
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
  Highwood Meadows
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Highwood Pass at 2206ms Highest Paved Point In Canada  
   
 
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Highwood Meadows Mount Rae And Mount Arethusa
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Mount Tyrwhitt  Mount Arethusa
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Highwood Pass  
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
  Highway #40 South
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Ptarmigan Meadows Late October  
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
 Mount Arethusa  
   
 
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Ridge Between Mount Rae And Mount Arethusa  
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
  Mount Arethusa
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Ptarmigan Meadows Late October  
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
   Mount Rae
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Mount Arethusa  
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Ptarmigan Cirque Ptarmigan Cirque
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
  Mount Tyrwhitt
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
  Lookout With Wooden Bench
   
Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country Ptarmigan Cirque Hike Kananaskis Country
Spruce Grouse  
   
Canada