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Kananaskis Lookout
Kananaskis, Alberta
August 1, 2020

Distance: 9.0 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 296 m

There's no way to sugarcoat Kananaskis Lookout: it's basically a walk (or a bike ride or a ski) up a forested road to a high point with limited views. The active fire lookout is off-limits, so the top is unattainable. However, they have rolled out a welcome mat. There's a bike rack, a visitor book, and a viewpoint with a bench and a railing. There's a spacious meadow next to the lookout, although few peaks can be seen above the treetops.

Dinah and I chose this quick trip because we wanted to be back early. We started our hike from Highway 40 after the seasonal gate. For a winter ascent or for a longer hike, you can start at Bolton, but both approaches share the final 2.4 km road to the lookout. After starting up the road from Highway 40, you need only to keep left at the first two junctions and right at the third. Also be bear aware. In the first 1.5 km, we came across bear scat on the road several times. Not only did it raise our vigilance, but it also raised our voices as we yelled bear warnings.

After arriving at the lookout, we walked around, took photos, and had lunch at the viewpoint bench. Aside from the observer who kept close to the lookout, we saw no one. Only on our way down, did we pass bikers and hikers going up.

Our trip to Kananaskis Lookout was neither exciting nor challenging, but it was pleasant. Perhaps we'll come back someday and try the longer trail from Bolton.

KML and GPX Tracks

Starting up the road

One stretch of road looks much the same as the next

A trail camera watches the road

I wonder if the picnic table (centre) ever gets used

Keep right for the lookout

Through the trees we could see Mount Indefatigable

Coming to the lookout

Finally we escaped the trees

Fireweed and Indian paintbrush prevail over other wildflowers

A mailbox holds a visitor book

Visitors are requested to respect the observer's privacy

The scene from the viewpoint

Taiga Viewpoint in the foreground

On the way back, Mount Roberta appeared above us

82 J/11 Kananaskis Lakes

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