|  Home |  Canada Trips |  US Trips |  Hiking |  Snowshoeing |  MAP |  About

Panorama from Channel Ridge North Summit

Wolf Creek Hill and Channel Ridge North Summit
Kananaskis, Alberta
March 26, 2024

Distance: 12.0 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 490 m

With the arrival of spring, I wanted to climb Wolf Creek Hill before the thaw set in. It's easier to cross Sheep River when it's frozen and to hike the paths before they become muddy. Doug Robson, Harry Raymaakers and I set out on a cold, cloudy morning with the area covered in snow.

From the parking lot, we followed Wolf Creek trail down to Sheep River. We crossed solid ice to the opposite bank. The snow was packed down on the trail, and we easily followed it. After passing two kilometres of dull forest, we broke out onto a vista just as the sun poked through the clouds. Wolf Creek Hill was just around the corner. Its grassy west slope held little snow, and we soon reached the hilltop.

With the sun shining and less snow cover than we expected, we turned our attention to the north summit of Channel Ridge seen across a valley. We quickly dropped down the open south slopes of Wolf Creek Hill to the forest at the bottom. After crossing a frozen creek, we started bushwhacking up the northwest slope. Partway up, we passed through a clear-cut granting us views before plunging back into thin trees. As we ascended the north summit of Channel Ridge, the weather deteriorated. Clouds rolled in, and the air grew chilly.

Calling it a summit is a stretch. It lacks a discernible prominence, and the ridge keeps climbing. But it was a fine spot to sit on a log and take a break. Trees blocked views east, but west, beyond the foothills, we recognized peaks in the Highwood Range.

Instead of retracing our steps back down, we continued up the treed ridge. We weren't keen to hike 3 km to the viewless south summit, the highest point on Channel Ridge, but we liked the idea of doing a loop back to Wolf Creek trail.

We followed the ridge for 500 m before dropping down a spur on our right. Most of the spur was open so we welcomed a relief from the treed ridge. At the bottom of the spur, we easily crossed flat, open ground. But the last 400 m to the trail proved complex, and we encountered ridges and ravines. In our downhill rush, we got off-route at times. At one point, we started dropping down to a creek only to realize we were off-track and had to climb back up. But the navigation errors were minor, and we soon reached Wolf Creek trail. We followed it back to the fork at the base of Wolf Creek Hill. As we cruised back to the parking lot, we discussed the hike. At a time of year when we often repeat trips, this was a welcomed diversion.

KML and GPX Tracks

Going down the trail to Sheep River

Crossing the river

The trail was packed down

Other than fencing, there's nothing to see on the trail through the forest

Halfway through the forest, there's an odd fence

The lower slope of Wolf Creek Hill appears ahead

The trail continues on the right, but we left it here to ascend the hill

Looking back as we ascended the slope

On the summit with Harry and Doug

View from Wolf Creek Hill

Doug and Harry started down. Channel Ridge North Summit appears left.

We followed a clearing most of the way down

We crossed a creek at the bottom

We soon started up the slope

After going through trees, we hiked up a clear-cut

Looking back at Wolf Creek Hill

We continued to the summit

The final stretch to the top was through aspens

On the summit

Northwest are Windy Point Ridge, Gleason Ridge and Forum Grade. Allsmoke Mountain appears in the background.

Also northwest, Mount McNab is just 6 km away

From the summit, we continued south to descend the open spur ahead. Blue Ridge appears in the background.

Hiking was easy along the ridge, but there were no views

Starting down the spur

Going down the open spur

Wolf Creek Hill looks far away, behind the trees on the right

Coming to the bottom of the spur. Mount Dyson on the left.

We followed the flats into the trees

We reached Mount Dyson trail

We followed the trail back to the fork. Ahead is Wolf Creek Hill.

82 J/10 Mount Rae, 82 J/6 Turner Valley

Hikes | Canada | Home