Adventures along the Highline trail

by Bob Truman on June 4, 2017

in Canmore, Highline trail, Hike

The above video shows the beautiful, cascading secret waterfall which is about a 2-minute walk from the Highline trail.

Message in the geocache

I came across a geocache today, and in the box was a notepad with a message from someone who wrote “Happy Love Walk.” That was an apt description for this wonderful trail which was full of surprises. It’s already late in the spring for my first hike on the Highline above Canmore, but today was the perfect time to check it out.

The ice flow on Ship’s Prow creek

The creeks are at full throttle. The Stones Canyon secret waterfall was magnificent. The window of opportunity to see it is limited to about four weeks and I hit the perfect day. Good luck trying to find it. 

Highline trail

Ship’s Prow creek had the most unusual ice flow I’ve ever seen. It intersects the Highline about 100 metres above the east connector junction, and there’s always a large ice flow across the trail in the spring. This year it’s huge, and sports a large crevasse. You can still get across it with care and caution. As I was taking pictures, two hikers arrived and crossed the ice flow. One put grippers on his boots and leaped across the crevasse, the other went about 50 metres downstream where it was easier to cross with the help of a deadfall which spans the creek.

Luna the friendly, happy puppy

You don’t encounter the ice flow unless you are doing the eastern leg of the Highline trail which travels towards Three Sisters creek. 

The main loop of the Highline is about 6K in length with a net elevation gain of 200 metres. Most people start at the Quarry Lake off-leash dog park, but you can also access it from the extreme east end of the Peaks of Grassi residential neighbourhood on Wilson Way. 

A nice view of Quarry Lake and Canmore from the Highline trail

The trail was busy with bikers which is par for the course. I’m happy to say they are all courteous and if they are screaming downhill, well, they are usually screaming so you can hear them coming. 

The Stones Canyon waterfall from a distance

Right now you can see many patches of Calypso Orchids and lots of Purple Clematis. The Highline, being on a north- facing slope, is ideal habitat for flowers which prefer shade. 

I don’t know which to pick as the ultimate highlight of the day, however. The spectacular secret waterfall or the rambunctious puppy named Luna. Luna’s owner had to indulge me for quite a while during which time I played with the sweet little dog. 

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