Why go to overcrowded Larch … You want easy larches? Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada. We went 1K further down the road to the trailhead for Arethusa Cirque/Little Arethusa. Then it doesn't open again until mid-June.) I highly recommend it but do go prepared as this is grizzly bear country and everyone should carry a can of bear spray that is under two year’s old. Arethusa Cirque is another challenging hike for kids and a great place to “hunt for larches”. And yes, they are completely peaking. Thanks for reading! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Gorgeous photos, Leigh! The colours and views are spectacular. The surrounding 3218m Mount Rae on the north and 2912m Mount Arethusa on the south are dominating structures that conjoin to create a nice, rugged bowl that helps define the loop feature of the overall trail. Not even 1 km from the trailhead, it's a sea of larches, 2 beautiful streams, and spectacular mountain backdrops. With so many trails in the area, you could easily do this as an extension/addition to another, like Arethusa Cirque, Ptarmigan Cirque, or Pocaterra Ridge The cirque can have snow until well into the summer, so consider bringing microspikes or poles in case the trail is slippery. Not 5 minutes after leaving the car, the first larches appear. I recommend the east ridge since you're right on a cliff face and get some pretty neat views of the cirque and valley. Arethusa Cirque is located just over Highwood Pass on Highway 40 (and the highway is open through the end of November. A post shared by Sienna (@siennaabrown) on Sep 22, 2020 at 8:09pm PDT, Explore Kananaskis All Rights Reserved © 2020, Completely new to hiking or want some local alpine wisdom? Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. These commissions help reduce the ever-increasing costs of keeping this site active. A post shared by Yaz (@yazmine.m.photography) on Sep 25, 2020 at 1:06pm PDT. Topped out at the scree and never saw any split rock, but no matter, because wandering the meadow towards the North Cirque trail is … Mid-October was the first chance I got to revisit Arethusa Cirque with the aforementioned criteria: sunny skies and during larch season. However, I was stunned by Arethusa. Arethusa Cirque: A gorgeous little valley, not far off the highway, excellent for families. When you reach the tarn, you get the first inkling of the visual treat that’s in store. And Ptarmigan Cirque right at the pass is OK larch viewing. Alpine Larches mid September We've explored this beautiful Cirque in the Highwood Pass area a few times, and it is a little gem. Ptarmigan Cirque will be packed with people, this Cirque, right next door, should be less busy. Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards. Learn how your comment data is processed. […] The Fabulous Arethusa Cirque Hike in Kananaskis Country […], […] The Fabulous Arethusa Cirque Hike in Kananaskis  […], […] in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Arethusa Cirque is a 4.5 km hike which brings together many different aspects of nature for you to explore. Crossed the creek & went up the Larch Trail. https://explorekananaskis.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/ek-mainlogo-green-1.png, https://explorekananaskis.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ek-ptarmigan.jpg, A post shared by Bom dia, Canadá! One minute down the road from Ptarmigan Cirque, Arethusa Cirque is another kid-friendly larch hike in Kananaskis Country near the Highwood Pass. It's also a decent option for larch season. This hike attract large crowds during weekends, go midweek or super early morning to avoid! This post includes some affiliate links. Add on the hike to the summit of Little Arethusa – situated northwest of Arethusa Cirque near Ptarmigan Cirque. Best time to see the larches is from the 4th week of September to 1st week of October. The Arethusa Cirque hike under a dusting of snow. Otherwise, follow the draw straight along the meadow for the cirque portion. To reach the Arethusa Cirque parking area, follow highway 40 until you reach the main parking area for Highwood Pass at Highwood Meadows. Read: The 10 Hiking Essentials Everyone Should Carry. Our goal was the easy Arethusa Cirque hike where we’d been told we’d find larches in all their fall glory. The recent near records amounts of snow for early fall would hopefully add to the already amazing scenery in the valley. For the effort and the time, the Arethusa Cirque hike delivers fantastic mountain views. The valley immediately south of the better-known Ptarmigan Cirque is a favourite with connoisseurs of alpine meadows and larches. The temperature at the pass was +18. It’s a short, steep … Read: Tips for Staying Safe in Bear Country. Tryst Lake, Kananaskis. It was a perfect autumn day with a bright sun and a big blue sky. We took one run on the upper ridge, but even with 10-15 cm of fresh snow, the recent winds from the weekend had left the coverage on the upper slopes too thin to comfortably ski. On this day John and I were more interested in capturing the larches in their glory. The trail, located near Highwood Pass, has become more defined with the increase in hikers seeking out the stunning cirque that sits below Little Arethusa. The little girl in a pink tutu we passed was not quite so happy. Another time we’d explore the talus field as its known for it’s fossilized shells. Whether […], Your email address will not be published. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/canada/alberta/arethusa-cirque-route Arethusa Cirque is less popular than Ptarmigan Cirque, likely because a few short, but very steep sections may prevent some from enjoying this fall larch hike. While the hike isn’t marked, it’s easy to follow. The switchback nature of the elevation on the trail make it more accessible than a straight uphill slog would be. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Set out from the lot through Highwood Meadows and the path will take you back across Highway 40 to Ptarmigan (staying left will lead to Pocaterra). The Goat Lake Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, Where to Go Snowshoeing in Banff National Park, Tonquin Valley Hiking Guide – What You Need to Know. Remember to turn around at any moment as the epic view of the valley in all its autumn ‘larchness’ is there whenever you want it. Away from the hordes, on the traverse between Ptarmigan and Arethusa … Up near Highwood Pass in Kananaskis Country, Arethusa Cirque is an easy hike with a couple of options to make it shorter or longer as your fitness or schedule permits. Peeking every so often at the larch view on your way down is a reminder why you chose this path, even with the promise of crowds packing the trail at this time of year. Because of the snow, the trail was muddy and slippery in areas but still very manageable. Love, love, love this hike! That’s Little Arethusa behind us to the right, with some not very golden larches in the valley between. Get a guided tour of the. So if you’re with children or a slightly older dog, don’t think you’ve read mistaken advice, the trail will level out in no time! It…, Yoho National Park in British Columbia isn't very big compared to its next-door neighbour -…, For a take-your-breath-away beautiful multi-day hiking trip in the Canadian Rockies, you must put the…. We ended up with peak-a-boo mountain views over the course of our two hour hike as the snow competed with the sun and won for about 30 minutes. On the way up to the cirque, pass a tarn and then head for treeline on a trail through talus slopes. It is an informal area, no paved parking, no developed or maintained trail. With little effort, there is still such a variety of payoff – on this hike you can see plenty of wildlife, high alpine meadows, mountains and waterfalls. That’s right! The trailhead is located approximately 1.25 kilometres south of the Highwood Pass parking lot on the east side of Highway 40. While Mr. GeoK came away with some great landscapes and panorama photographs, I was happier with my photographs of some smaller details. Hikers will encounter small wildlife and waterfalls and can even choose to scramble up the base of Mount Rae. The trail is really obvious in here as it weaves through open areas and then alongside the creek itself. Breath in the air and drink in the sights on the easy descent; the ‘Golden Larches’ are a treat for nature lovers, but they’re only available for 3-4 weeks every year. Arethusa Cirque Larch Hike. Up on a bluebird day to Arethusa Cirque for a larch pilgrimage. Larches tend to grow in cold climates and mountainous areas and need a lot of moisture so the Canadian Rockies are perfect for them. But you don't have to walk to far or too high up to get away from the highway and its noise, and on… Arethusa Cirque, Kananaskis Country: See 6 reviews, articles, and 27 photos of Arethusa Cirque, ranked No.54 on Tripadvisor among 81 attractions in Kananaskis Country. ... Little Arethusa and Arethusa Cirque (Kananaskis) 4.8km rt. Alpine Larches mid September - See 6 traveler reviews, 27 candid photos, and great deals for Kananaskis Country, Canada, at Tripadvisor. You want easy larches? Arethusa Cirque with Little Arethusa on the horizon Most folks who visit Arethusa Cirque follow a circuit but for those a little more adventuresome, there is the option to climb Little Arethusa which in my opinion looks a lot taller than it did in 2012 when we scaled this hill. More touring in the upper cirque with Mt Arethusa in the background. Not 5 minutes after leaving the car, the first larches appear. Instead, we decided on the completely doable Little Arethusa peak, which is an outcrop of the main mountain. At the apex of Highwood Pass – the highest paved mountain pass in Canada– is the parking lot servicing both Ptarmigan Cirque and Pocaterra Cirque trails. Arethusa Cirque – a family-friendly larch hike For a short, relatively easy outing from the Highwood Pass area you would do well to choose Arethusa Cirque. I’m actually glad we got some snow now. @Cindy The good news is that the snow really didn’t last for more than a day and it sure added a different dimension to the hike. How about adding on a hike to the summit of Little Arethusa? We did and the dusting of snow added a beauty to the hike – without causing any extra appreciable difficulty. Ptarmigan Cirque might be the most well known hike in Kananaskis– and highly trafficked– larch viewing hike in K-Country. To extend the trip, I’d need to add in a peak. The area typically has colder weather patterns than the city so be prepared for snow. Arethusa Larches 2016 Read More. This storm blew in quickly and her parents were obviously completely unprepared. There is a wee bit of boulder hopping just before you reach treeline. We were thankful that we came prepared with all the right clothes (always take extra warm clothes for the mountains) despite the fact that the weather had been warm and sunny in Calgary. Arethusa Cirque is one of the best larch hikes in the Canadian Rockies. Larches are in many areas of Northern Europe and Asia as well as, and this is the part that is important for me, in northern parts of North America. a little too late for full larches but still beautiful. So obviously in Canada! However, I was stunned by Arethusa. And Ptarmigan Cirque right at the pass is OK larch viewing. For the first 0.7 kilometres the trail climbs through the woods at a pretty gentle grade. Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta, The Goat Lake hike in Waterton Lakes National Park reopened in the summer 2020. (@bomdiacanada) on Sep 22, 2020 at 11:21am PDT. Your email address will not be published. It’s best to have a GPS app on your smartphone to help you follow the route. Route finding on this trail can be challenging, and it seems we regularly meet other hikers who are lost. The base of the Cirque marks the apex of the Ptarmigan Loop trail, so if you’re not doing the scramble up Mount Rae, continue along the path. Pick up a copy of the Gem Trek Kananaskis Lakes map here. Looks gorgeous – although I don’t think I could ever be ready for snow in September!! once back on the cirque route, followed the flagging tape with a keen eye. If you make a purchase via one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Arethusa wins, hands down. It’s about a kilometre from treeline to get into the cirque. ... to view the stunning Alpine Larches as their needles go yellow, most of the groups in the valley were families with little kids. On this trail, you can look forward to vibrant larches, a picturesque alpine meadow and sweeping vistas with dramatic peaks. Image Credit: Amanda McNally, Life in Alberta. This will be your initial dose of what you came to this trail at this time of year for. ... to view the stunning Alpine Larches as their needles go yellow, most of the groups in the valley were families with little kids. Bring your kids, husbands, friends, and pets to celebrate a great summer of hiking and share the gorgeous views of the larches turning gold. Bring bear spray just in case. The hike to Arethusa Cirque is neither marked nor maintained but there is one sign at the start of the trail (at the far end of the rough parking lot) and a very easy to follow trail once you’ve found the start of it. Find a good spot for a picture; see if you can get green and gold in the same shot! More hikes that are perfect for fall you might enjoy. A couple of trails head up the mountain - one in the centre and one along the east ridge. While the overall gain in elevation is moderate on this hike, the bulk of it occurs within the first kilometer of the trail. There’s a small creek to the east of the tarn you want to follow to reach Arethusa Cirque. Leigh McAdam is an award-winning, Calgary-based writer, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. © 2019 Hike Bike Travel | All Rights Reserved. Coupled with the explosion of ‘Golden Larches’ at the end of September and into October, its popularity is easy to understand. Trail directions for this unofficial trail: Start from the same parking lot as for Ptarmigan Cirque at Highwood Pass on Highway 40. Highwood Pass larch hikes with Kananaskis Outfitters. Any earlier they will still be turning color, any later it will start getting chilly! Chester Lake. Located 1.3km south of perhaps the most popular hike in K-Country, Ptarmigan Cirque (68km south of the TransCanada/ Highway 40 junction), this hike delivers much the same thrills but with a greater sense of untouched wilderness and fewer crowds. That hike is now on my list for next summer. If it’s a nice day or a weekend there is a good chance you’ll see other cars parked in a large informal dirt parking lot. On a cold, snowy September day – the sort of day where a good book, a hot drink and a fireplace has appeal, John and I found ourselves driving Highway 40 towards Highwood Pass in Kananaskis Country. Want to spend more time enjoying the beauty of the mountains? Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada. Arethusa Cirque is an unofficial trail located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. incredibly windy atop little arethusa. You can find the trailhead for this hike about 1 km south of the Highwood Pass Day Use Area. The fossils you can see on this short hike are astounding. Good weather brought the crowds to Highwood Pass. Once through the larches, you just need to manage your way up a little rock rib and the summit push will be right in front of you. Peak larch in Kananaskis on September 25. The path through the meadow will lead you to Ptarmigan Cirque (a bowl-like structure created by surrounding mountains) itself. I briefly considered Mount Arethusa, but it’s a full-on committed scramble for people with a lot of climbing experience. The Kananaskis Valley in all its glory is your feast for the eyes, with the golden splash of larches in the autumn creating a unique vista, as you quickly forget the taxing initial ascent. On September 30, 2018 we’ll be celebrating the end of our Strive for 5 series with a hike to Rummel Lake. This is … I have never seen anything like it. had trouble navigating down little arethusa. A post shared by Hunter Scrimshaw (@hscrimshaw) on Sep 23, 2020 at 6:41pm PDT. Here’s what to expect on the Ptarmigan Cirque trail. Arethusa Cirque hike is one of my favorites and highly recommend this hike best in summer in full bloom from the wildflowers or in fall when the larch trees are turning color before dropping their needles for the winter. My store contains affiliate links. Encounter the Cirque The path through the meadow will lead you to Ptarmigan Cirque (a bowl-like structure created by surrounding mountains) itself. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. (@bomdiacanada), A post shared by Yaz (@yazmine.m.photography), A post shared by Sonja Kolstad (@doulainthewild), A post shared by Hunter Scrimshaw (@hscrimshaw), Check out the 0.1 km interpretive trail at the beginning or end of the hike to learn more about unique alpine meadows and high altitude larch trees. The hike covers over 4.2 km of trail and 330 m of elevation. The initial ascent of the hike will take you through a coniferous forest containing many larch trees. The view is stunning all around, but turn to the south and the panorama laid out before you is truly breathtaking. Arethusa Cirque is one such hike in Kananaskis. Last week we hiked up to Little Arethusa and decided to return and check out Arethusa Cirque today, knowing that the larch trees should be turning by now. You’d want to take the left fork of the trail when it crosses the creek and work your way to the western part of the lower slope where from all reports there is a good trail to the top. Larch season in the Canadian can be unpredictable in timing and short lived given our tumultuous weather patterns but typically they start to turn from green to yellow the middle of September and (barring no heavy wind, rain or snow storms) will last until mid-October. From there you can wander towards the cirque – and decide how far up you want to travel. ... Arethusa Cirque. Once at treeline the trails go all over the place so look up and to your right (east) and start making your own way up and over a couple of talus filled hills to gain the high point. It is a favourite for us with more larch trees than Ptarmigan Cirque, a gorgeous pond, and fewer crowds. Arethusa Cirque is a moderate 4.5-km hike with gorgeous autumnal views located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. It's a good choice for wildflower season, since the trail crosses an expansive meadow that erupts into bloom at just the right time of year. A post shared by Sonja Kolstad (@doulainthewild) on Sep 23, 2020 at 4:18pm PDT. As the initial climb subsides, the trail empties hikers out into a sublime alpine meadow. Storm/Arethusa Ridge from the larch forrest. Photo Credit Karen Ashraff Closed: December 1st … Not even 1 km from the trailhead, it's a sea of larches, 2 beautiful streams, and spectacular mountain backdrops. This post includes some affiliate links. Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures, The Ptarmigan Cirque Hike in Kananaskis Country - Hike Bike Travel, The Grizzly Ridge Hike in Kananaskis Country - Hike Bike Travel, Your Winter 2020 Bucket List: 3 Reasons to Vacation In Canmore This Year. Its popularity stems from it being a relatively short hike with less of an elevation change than many area trails, making it ideal for families and leisurely hikers. Arethusa wins, hands down. Once across the trail, start the loop in a clockwise fashion as you initially make your way through another alpine meadow dotted with wildflowers. Our goal was the easy Arethusa Cirque hike where we’d been told we’d find larches in all their fall glory. A post shared by Bom dia, Canadá! On September 22, 2018 we will be hosting a Family Hike at Arethusa Cirque. Minimal effort, larches just beginning to turn golden, and a great view. So make sure to get enough of it to last until next September. Turn north into the larch forest for the south summit of Mount Arethusa (aka Little Arethusa). Required fields are marked *. Arethusa Cirque is only a few kilometres with mild elevation gain. ... Arethusa Cirque, Kananaskis . Visit in summer to see wildflowers and splash in the creek, or autumn to enjoy the golden larch trees. Arethusa Cirque is a beautiful, less travelled trail that takes you to a lovely alpine meadow ringed with larches. We did and the dusting of snow added a beauty to the hike – without causing any extra appreciable difficulty. Bear sightings are not uncommon in this area. Gina and I decided to spend our Sunday afternoon with a gentle hike through Arethusa Cirque – famed for its larches in the fall season. Tryst Lake. @Mandy And I have you to thank for telling me about it. Fossils and little waterfalls await at the far end of the meadow, watched over by dramatic, jagged peaks. Mr. GeoK set the 12 second timer on his camera to photograph the two of us in Arethusa Cirque. Arethusa Cirque, Kananaskis Country: See 6 reviews, articles, and 27 photos of Arethusa Cirque, ranked No.51 on Tripadvisor among 80 attractions in Kananaskis Country. The juxtaposition of golden trees against the ever-green of their cousins is stunning up close. Spend more time enjoying the beauty of the main mountain a Family hike at Arethusa Cirque hike we. 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Last until next September open again until mid-June. parents were obviously completely unprepared is stunning all,... Cirque is only a few kilometres with mild elevation gain hike attract crowds! 1:06Pm PDT between Ptarmigan and Arethusa Cirque hike where we ’ d find larches all...

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