Albertawow

Black Rock Mountain Hike

  Ratings:    Ratings 5 Star
Level: Mod to Diff Time/Dist: 5 to 6 hours / 7.5K return Elevation Gain: 963m

Trailhead: From the 1A highway west of Cochrane, follow the #40 Forestry Trunk road north for approximately 25.5km’s. Turn west on the Ghost River TransAlta dirt road, continue on another 15.5km’s passing several red neck looking random campers until you reach a road side parking lot located above the Ghost River Valley. Park here if you don’t have a 4x4 or an all wheel drive vehicle without proper height and suspension. Expect to add another 2 hours/6km’s to the hike time shown above. Follow the not so bad 4x4 road down towards the river valley, turn right driving or walking 2.5km's along the washed out TransAlta dirt road until you reach road marker sign #37. If it’s gone or full off bullet holes, aim towards Black Rock Mountains centre drainage on your right. The trail head is located at the bottom of this drainage. There is a short (200m) flat section of dirt road leading straight ahead to the trailhead. Park here then cross the river bed aiming for the centre of a log jammed washout, locate the trailhead on the left side of the washout. Riverbeds were all dry early April. Going was careful to easy in a 4runner. Pictures below were taken after the 2013 flood early April.

Description: With a pole in hand, you can hike to Black Rock's summit along an old horse trail that once serviced the abandoned lookout. Those who have classified it as a scramble may have gotten off route. Follow the well worn trail past a back country camp spot and continue ascending through and old growth spruce and fir forest. After an hour or so you’ll pass tree line with spectacular views of the Ghost River valley, mountain ranges,  Devils Head and Mount Aylmer. Continue ascending the talus slope until you reach the cliff base, stay on the trail as it follows the bottom left side of the cliff then turns right ascending again up a moderate gully to an open plateau below the summit.

You can now clearly see the old wooden fire lookout located on the summit and the steep scree trail straight ahead. Meander up the plateau while enjoying incredible views of the cliff edges and the Ghost River valley below. Pick up the scree trail again as it steeply ascends another 225ms or so up the southwest face of Black Rock mountain. Wow, views from this summit are outstanding and it’s somewhat remote location will add another feather in your cap. Black Rock offers a classic transitional view of mountains to foothills to prairies. The old fire lookout has some interesting weathered wood pieces, planks, nails and cables along with numerous signatures of those who came before you. Descend the same way you came.

Near Here: Local campgrounds include back country random camping with a valid permit. Access to Lake Minnewanka Banff National Park via Ghost Lake. You are in bear country.

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Ha Ling Peak Canmore
Black Rock Mountain  
   
Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
Road Marker #37 Turn Right Here Trail Head End Of This Short Section Of Road
   
Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
Trail Head And Washout Trail Head Located Left Side Of Washout
   
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Trail Head Bottom Of Centre Drainage Road In
   
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Back Country Campsite  
   
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  False Summit
 
 
 
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  Mount Costigan
   
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Mount Costigan  
   
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Mount Aylmer Banff National Park  
   
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  Trail Takes A Right Turn Here
   
Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
Trail Along Cliff Base  
   
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Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
  Mount Costigan
   
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Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
Black Rock Mountain Plateau Mount Costigan
   
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Ghost River Valley Below  
   
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  Black Rock Mountain Plateau
   
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Black Rock Mountain Summit  
   
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Old Fire Lookout  
   
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Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
  Devils Head Mountain
   
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  Devils Head
   
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Old Fire Lookout  
   
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Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
   
Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
Devils Head Mountain Devils Head Mountain
   
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Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
Looking Down Towards The Plateau  
   
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Looking Down The East Ridge Southwest Views
   
Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley Black Rock Mountain Ghost River Valley
Southeast Ghost River Valley  
   
Canada