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 guide book 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 mine 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 did 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 of rain. Only on the summit did I find expansive views to the west, but they took in recognizable mountains such as Banded Peak and Mount Remus.
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.
Starting up the trail
I encountered several muddy sections
One of several junctions
The trail rarely opened up
The summit is actually a road
Banded, Outlaw, Cornwall and Glasgow
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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