We saw the big grizzly bear about 1.5K from the trailhead at the Deadman’s Flats end of Skogan Pass.(This trailhead is commonly referred to as the Banff Gate Mountain Resort). It’s the trail which hikers also take to Pigeon Mountain. The bear was about 100 metres away when I took the photo, but was only about 50 metres away when first spotted. We turned around and went back, but what a fantastic sight to see! The bear saw us but did not show any interest in eating us, as it seemed quite content to continue foraging along the side of the trail. I wish I had a better camera for occasions like this.
Wind Ridge trail opened today, so we headed in that direction, since it’s accessible from the same trailhead. (Centennial Ridge trail is closed ’til June 21). There was some bear scat on the trail, but it was at least a day old, and who knows, it might have been from the grizzly.
Hard to believe, but I’ve never hiked the Wind Ridge trail before and I didn’t realize what I was missing. We didn’t go all the way to the top, but reached the area where you can see spectacular views in all directions. Total distance to the top is 7.2k, but we only did about 5.6K one-way with a net elevation gain of 400 metres. Going all the way would mean another 2K and 350 metres elevation.
What I’d really like to know is the name of the tree we saw which had the red flowers. It looks like some kind of a spruce tree. Leave a comment if you can enlighten me.
The wild flowers are starting to bloom with Forget-me-nots, Clematis, and Shooting Stars being very prevalent and very beautiful.
The trail is in good shape and mostly dry despite all the rain we’ve had. All the creeks are high, but the bridges are all still intact.
Thank you to Sher, my hiking companion, for the wonderful photos of the wild flowers.You can click on any photo to see a larger image.