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Beaverdam Ridge
Bob Creek Wildland, Alberta
October 17, 2021

For something different, we ventured up Beaverdam Ridge. Here, radiant meadows rather than shadowy forests dominated the landscape. But the meadows were home to hundreds of cows when we were there. Dozens blocked the trail, mooing loudly as if distressed. But by the time we geared up, the cows had moved on although not far. Zora, Christine, Dinah and I started up the trail, warily watching where we stepped and reluctantly herding Angus cattle that didn't move aside.

We left the animals behind when we turned off the trail and started up the grassy south ridge. We soon reached the crest. We followed the sparsely treed ridge where we were treated to the sight of majestic limber pines. We passed bow hunters lounging by a spotting scope, looking for elk.

Eventually we reached the summit of Beaverdam Ridge where we had a fine view of Livingstone Range. It was a remarkably warm fall day that invited an extended hike – we had long since stuffed our jackets in our packs where they remained for the rest of the trip. So we turned to the unnamed ridge on the other side of Bob Creek.

Taking advantage of meadows west of the summit of Beaverdam, we dropped down to the valley. After searching, we found a place to cross the creek and climbed the unnamed ridge. We followed the ridge, sometimes through trees but mostly in meadows. We even passed cows grazing on the crest. The short ridgewalk added new scenery to our trip, but mostly it was a great day to be out and an interesting area to explore. By extending our trip, we pushed our total elevation gain to over 700 m.

When we faced a wooded ridge crest ahead, we turned to the open slope on our left. We descended meadows and light woods before crossing Bob Creek to reach the trail. Walking down the trail, we soon encountered cattle. Most cows kept to the side of the trail, but many remained in front of us and we reluctantly herded them back to the trailhead. The lumbering animals were an unusual sight for a hike, but they added to the uniqueness of the area.

KML and GPX Tracks

The trailhead

Less than 200 m from the trailhead, we crossed Bob Creek

Beaverdam Ridge lies ahead

Cows were everywhere along the trail

Starting up the ridge after leaving the trail

Zora climbed an old limber pine

Looking back

After reaching the crest, we were still 2 km from the summit

Looking west at Thrift Peak/Livingstone Lookout (mouse over)

We followed a faint trail

Looking back where the ridge takes a dip

Coming up to a large, dead tree

The summit came into view

Looking back as we neared the summit

The summit is straight ahead. Whaleback Ridge is right.

The girls gathered on the summit

We hiked down the west side of the ridge

We would end up on the ridge on the other side of the valley

Looking back

We aimed for the open slope on the left

Looking for a place to cross Bob Creek

We crossed below a beaver dam

Starting up the slope

Looking back

The ridgetop is still some distance away

On the ridge we came across trees hundreds of years old

Continuing along the ridge

Thunder Mountain

We took a break before descending to the valley

Looking back as we neared the bottom of the slope

Crossing Bob Creek a second time

Back on the trail

We faced a long walk back through herds of cattle

Cows kicked up dust as they fled in front of us

82 G/16 Maycroft

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