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Old Dutch Man Peak
Dutch Creek Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta
July 18, 2023

Distance: 7.3 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 664 m

It's hard to paint a pretty picture of Old Dutch Man Peak, but I'll try. It’s a straightforward hike: climb the south ridge through shady forests and expansive meadows to a rocky summit with fine views west and north. There's even an ATV trail to kick-start you up. But the devil is in the details. I quickly grew weary of plodding through the vegetation on the sloping meadows. I tried following the ridge crest, but the tangle of trees and boulders that line it proved arduous.

My trip began at a pullout that's more likely to see fishermen going down to Dutch Creek than hikers going up Old Dutch Man Peak. I walked 200 m up the road to the ATV trail. I hiked up a track so steep that it must have challenged ATVs. The trail eventually disappeared into a meadow. I continued up the ridge, alternating between forests and meadows. It was growing warm, so I welcomed the cool forest. The mountain has few blessings, but the forest trails were one.

Before the summit, the crest degrades into a rocky, treed spine. I tried following it, but travel was slow and tedious, and I decided to avoid it on the descent. On the final few hundred metres, I pushed through a trailless forest rife with deadfall and popped out onto a tiny rocky point: the summit. Unfortunately, haze marred the far-reaching views, so I didn't linger. I started back, sticking to meadows when it was practical. I skipped the ATV trail, but it meant prolonged bushwhacking that I don't recommend.

Returning to the pullout, I met a fisherman preparing to head out, and we exchanged experiences. I told him about my hike, and he apprised me of the fishing conditions. Fishing, he told me, has been poor in recent years because streams are overfished. It reminded me how crowded the mountain trails have become. That brought to mind one advantage of climbing Old Dutch Man Peak: you're almost certain to find solitude.

KML and GPX Tracks

From the pullout, I started up the road

After 200 m, I reached the ATV trail

Most of the trail comprises a steep climb up the ridge

Looking back. Fly Hill fills the background.

After the trail disappeared, I continued hiking through meadows

The ridge was a mix of forest and meadows

In one meadow, I came across a delightful explosion of purple wildflowers

When I could, I followed trails in the forest

I came across a rock that looked like a head poking out of the slope

A startled grouse flew to a tree

Rocks and trees complicated a long stretch on the ridge

I tried following the ridge, but it was more trouble than what it was worth

Eventually the rock band faded

The final few hundred metres to the summit lacked trails

On the summit

Manystick Peak lies north

Twin Peaks is farther north

Sugarloaf Lookout west. Mouse over to view buildings on the summit.

Also west is Gould Dome

On the way back, I stuck to meadows when I could

82 G/16 Maycroft

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