Topping out at 2,437 meters (7,995 feet), Moose Mountain in Kananaskis Country offers some of the premier vistas in the area. It’s a popular day hike for those living in the Bragg Creek and Calgary area.
Moose Mountain can be approached by a number of routes; most hikers do it via the trail that is accessed from a seven kilometer dirt road that takes off from Highway 66 just after the Paddy’s Flat Campground.
The hike starts off on a fire road with the first few kilometers offering only the odd peek-a-boo view.
But in roughly three kilometers the landscape opens up and the destination becomes obvious.
It’s a bit of a slog to the top as you switchback 473 meters (1,552 feet) up the mountain in fairly short order. Fortunately the views just get better and better the higher you go. The landscape also changes, becoming rockier and more desolate the higher you climb. Don’t forget to include warm, wind-proof clothes as you may need everything you’ve got near the summit.
At the top of Moose Mountain there’s a working Fire Lookout – that is also the home to the fire lookout ranger. He or she is tasked with looking after 5,000 square kilometers of forest. Everyone is asked to respect their privacy though I do understand that on occasion they will give a tour of the lookout.
This area is no place to be caught in an electrical storm, with so much exposure and nowhere to hide. If a storm is threatening, either turn back if you’re on your way up or descend very quickly.
Sitting and eating lunch on the helicopter landing pad or at one of the picnic tables with a 360 degree view is the reward for the two to three hike to the top.
Be sure to bring lots of water as there is nowhere to top up a water bottle along the way. Some people might like hiking poles on the steep sections as well.
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