Among the many benefits of my job, which is to organize trips, there is sometimes the opportunity to join a group of travelers. This is what happened two years ago. For a few days, I went with a group to discover the Canadian Rockies. Let me tell you about one of those days: our hike in Peter Lougheed area in Kananaskis Mountains (AB).

If you have not read our last article on how to prepare for a strenuous hike, I invite you to read it now, very practical for walking on intermediate trails.

It is in the Kananaskis Provincial Park that we did our warmup! This protected area is covered with sharp peaks and U-shaped valleys and offers incredible views as far as the eye can see. These valleys were created by the melting of glaciers that were more than a kilometer thick, the landscape is breathtaking!

On a sunny morning in June, we set out on the Burstall Pass trail. A magnificent round trip of nearly 17 km in an environment where grizzly bears rule. We were able to observe from afar a young male at the exit of the trail under the good safety advice of our guide.

The hike started in a rather pleasant way with little difference in altitude, in a forest which skirts the Burstall lakes until the opening on a plain where glacial water flows. We had to take off our shoes a few times to cross several streams before starting our ascent to the pass.

The larch trees accompanied us on our ascent until they completely disappeared to leave room for wildflowers before we climbed the last few meters to the pass.

Once at the top, our efforts were rewarded with magnificent views of Banff National Park and Mount Assiniboine. It was a magical moment as we silently contemplated this protected territory to the sound of the wind. We were all very proud of ourselves for keeping the pace throughout the climb and reaching our goal as a group.

It is important to be accompanied by an experienced guide, especially if you plan to go in May or June. The snow is often still present at this time of the year and the weather at the pass can change very quickly and trap you without warning.

After a well-deserved break and a small snack, we started the long descent through the larches to reach the plain and finally the trail.

It is with tired legs but hearts full of satisfaction that we joined our camp for a good hot meal cooked by our guide. In one day, we observed more than 5 grizzly bears, 1 moose, 2 deer and a red fox – I can tell you that at that very moment we were in paradise!

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