Paradise Lake

July 2, 2019. A short hike to a tiny blue lake in the Castle Wilderness, with a return via Haig Ridge. Distance: 4.9 km one-way to the lake, 9.8 km loop with return via the ridge (quite a coincidence) Total Ascent: 575 m to the lake, 807 m if returning by climbing the ridge Elevation […]

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Haig Lake Loop

June 23, 2019. An enjoyable rainy day hike to a picturesque lake. Distance: 8.3 km loop* Total Ascent: 460 m* Elevation of Objective: 1800 m Total Time: 2h 25m *Due to the fact that I wandered around en route, these figures may vary from the most direct route. Castle Mountain Ski Resort is the closest […]

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Mount Backus

January 13, 2019. A tedious climb to a low summit in the Castle Wilderness. Distance: 6.25 km round-trip Total ascent: 478 m Elevation of objective: 1800 m Hiking time: 3h 13m Steep, uphill bushwhacking. Barbed wire. Copious deadfall. Traveling through trees. Bare ground alternating with thigh-deep snow. These are the features that await on Mount […]

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Southfork Lakes

October 23, 2018. A chilly river crossing followed by a steep ascent to a trio of high mountain lakes. Region: Castle Wildland Provincial Park. Traditional Territory of the Tsuu T’ina, Ktunaxa, and Blackfoot First Nations Distance: 10.1 km round-trip Total Ascent: 745 m Elevation of objective: 2026 m Hiking time: 4h 39m I turned 40 on October 23, […]

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Loaf Mountain

July 15, 2018 – A long hike culminating with minor scrambling to the summit of the highest peak in the Castle Wilderness. Though it lacks the dramatic, rocky profile of Victoria Peak,  Loaf Mountain is actually the tallest peak within the Castle Wilderness with a summit elevation of 2640 m. There are multiple possible routes […]

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Victoria Ridge

June 9, 2018. A bike-and-hike leading to an easy scramble to the summit of a scenic ridge in the Castle Wilderness. (Post updated September 3, 2021 to reflect changes to access. Old access instructions have been deleted but time and distance information below still reflects the old route. The new route can’t be biked easily.) […]

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Carbondale Hill

March 17, 2018. A rewarding snowshoe trip up to a fire lookout in the Castle Wilderness. (see November 2019 update below for a shoulder-season report, and the May 2020 update for a summer hike with kids report) Distance: 9 km round-trip (winter distance due to road closure) Total Ascent: 496 m Elevation of Objective: 1798 m Total […]

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Table Mountain

June 24, 2017. Table Mountain is in the Castle Wilderness area in Alberta, overlooking Beaver Mines Lake. It’s a challenging hike/easy scramble, with variable options to get to the top. Ambrosi describes the on-trail approach in his Southern Rockies Trail Guide, and Nugara describes a scramble route in More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies. Since this was […]

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