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

Sand Bluff

Porcupine Lookout and Sand Bluff
Porcupine Hills, Alberta
June 2, 2022

I read winter trip reports for Porcupine Lookout and Sand Bluff, but of course there are advantages to doing these hikes in the spring. On Porcupine Lookout, I welcomed the sight of wildflowers, and instead of postholing in snow off track, I easily followed the road to Sand Bluff.

I parked at a fork in the road that gives easy access to both trips. For Porcupine Lookout, I took the trail that Sonny Bou used. It begins 300 m from the fork. I climbed the short trail and quickly reached the road where it enters the lookout grounds. A sign warns that only authorized persons are allowed. Respecting their wishes, I turned around without reaching the highest point. Given the hike's brevity and the lack of views, Porcupine Lookout is probably meaningless to anyone but a peakbagger.

Instead of returning on the trail, I trotted down the road. I passed my car and continued up the other road: the dirt road to Sand Bluff is less than 100 m from the fork. The maintained road was pleasant but is lined with trees, devoid of scenery. Only on reaching Sand Bluff did I have a viewpoint, mostly of an undulating forested landscape; snow-covered mountains were too distant to appreciate. The sand-coloured cliffs were a nice sight, although encroaching trees made it awkward to reach the edge. But there was no chance for me to get comfortable here. I was blasted by a strong wind, so I headed back.

I parked at the fork: left for the lookout, right for Sand Bluff

A few minutes of walking up the left road brought me to the trail to the lookout

The trail showed signs of recent maintenance

The trail soon enters a clearing

Shooting stars

Jacob's ladder

Looking back

The trail ducks in and out of trees

Thanks to Amy Johnson of Edmonton for identifying this Townsend's Solitaire

Respecting the sign (Authorized persons only beyond this point) I didn't venture closer

I zoomed in on the lookout

Not much in the way of views

The dirt road to Sand Bluff begins less than 100 m from the fork

One section of the road looks much the same as the next

The right side is fenced off

Other than a sink, the area was free of refuse

The road was recently cleared

Arriving at Sand Bluff

Standing by the edge

82 G/16 Maycroft

Hikes | Canada | Home