Sure, Heart Creek is only a 2.5km stroll one-way, but load it with at least a foot of snow and a cold day and it becomes a choice hike for a casual Sunday.
It was rumored the temperature was going to hit plus 4 in this part of the mountains, but it wasn't anywhere close to that when N and I got to the trailhead near Lac des Arcs. Thankfully there was little wind, but we bundled up and hit the trail, which for the first 20 minutes or so runs excitingly along the Trans-Canada highway, has a few inclines and views, and plenty of snow:
However, once it turns along the creek and into the canyon, everything changes for the better: the highway was left behind, the trail became a lot quieter and within a couple of minutes, the temperature seemed to jump by at least 5 degrees. Or that could have been from 20 minutes of shuffling through mid-calf deep snow (at times).
We encountered these ice climbers about 2/3s of the way through the hike -- the only other people we would see on the trail that day:
Heart Creek has lots of bridge crossings -- I believe the trail crosses the creek 7 times -- and the deeper we went into the canyon, the more creek was exposed, with the snow melting away and the clean, crisp (and probably very cold) water running underneath:
It's a short hike, but it was a nice wintery change from the usual winter hiking and still gave us some good exercise and great photos.