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McLean Hill
Kananaskis, Alberta
July 5, 2012

Taking advantage of some free time on a summer afternoon I settled on a short hike up McLean Hill. I thought it would take two hours, but it took longer than I expected, maybe because I often had to check the guidebook to make sure I took the right turn at the numerous junctions. Or maybe the ups and downs slowed me down. My net elevation gain – 251 m – was much lower the book's 320 m, although my gain was in keeping with the contour lines on the map. But the undulating trail more than made up for the difference; in total elevation gain, my GPS showed nearly double the climbing effort: 497 m.

Combining routes 1A and 1B from the book, I made a small, clockwise loop that included the summit. Travel was pleasant enough save for a dearth of clearings in the trees and a few persistent mud holes from last month's deluge. Only on the summit did I find expansive views to the west, but they took in recognizable mountains such as Banded Peak and Mount Romulus.

On another positive note, I had the entire hill to myself. I didn't share the path with anyone (unless you count moose) and the forest silence wasn't broken by dirt bikes, even though this is an OHV area. I'd like to visit McLean Hill again, when the ground is frozen and blanketed with snow and I will be assured of solitude.

KML and GPX Tracks

Starting up the trail

I encountered several muddy sections

One of several junctions

The trail rarely opened up

A road runs over the summit

Banded Peak, Outlaw Peak, Mount Cornwall and Mount Glasgow

Mount Romulus

On the return route, the Priddis East Trail drops down a cutline

Western Wood Lily

Mercifully, a road circumvents this big drop in the cutline

Huge muddy section

Where the trail intersects another parking lot, I noticed moose ambling towards me

82 J/15 Bragg Creek

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