Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nihahi Ridge -- July 13, 2008

Nihahi Ridge has been mentioned quite a few times on this blog, but it's simply one of best hikes in the area -- especially if you have a group of people with mixed hiking ability. It's generally a moderate climb that will get you to some pretty amazing views. The hike is reasonably close to the city, sits at the edge of the Rockies, and gets you to places no road can take you. The last kilometer of the hike is a tough grind, but even if hiking isn't your thing, and you choose not to knock yourself out, the rest stop right before that 1k climb will reward you well.

What draws the more experienced hiker back to Nihahi is the ridge walk beyond the official end of the trail. Nat and I have many times wanted to continue up the ridge, but never felt it was the time to do so.

Until this day.

The first nice touch was a more up close and personal view of one of the area's more picturesque peaks, Mount Romulus. To me it looks like the top of submarine. And no matter what time of year it is, there is always that layer of snow along the top. Part of Mount Remus is in the foreground. The mountains were named for the brothers from Roman mythology:

Another shot of Mount Romulus and Mount Remus. The tall pointed peak in the background is Fisher Peak:

We were also given a different perspective of the view to the south/southeast of us, and the unspoiled terrain that makes up part of Don Getty Provincial Park. These are the slopes of Mount Glasgow, with a rocky portion of Mount Cromwell in the distance. I love that amidst a popular campground and backcountry rec area, there are such huge swaths of land still untouched, with only a river running through:

View from high up Nihahi... with Little Elbow River running through. A popular backcountry trail runs along that river, and everytime I'm on Nihahi, I promise myself I will eventually hike that trail.....

Since the trail at this point is "unofficial" and unmarked, Nat and I actually wound up walking along the ridge as opposed to summiting the actual mountain. This gave us a unique view of the terrain along Powderface Road, and the little "bumps" that take up the space between Nihahi Ridge and Powderface Ridge. One of those bumps is Ford Knoll:

We ran into one other hiker along our "unofficial" trail. This is a pretty nice shot of the trail and the type of hike it is:

Looking down at Little Elbow River from higher up Nihahi. This is always a wow shot for me:

As we began heading down from the ridge, we spied a caravan at ground level along Little Elbow Trail. This hike was during the Calgary Stampede, and even from our high vantage point, we could see the caravan was made of chuckwagons, likely in the area for the rodeo. It was quite the distance to shot from, but I managed these blurry shots (nicely salvaged by my extremely talented graphic design guru hubby):

It took us a while to brave the "unofficial" section of Nihahi's ridge walk, but I think we picked the perfect day to do it!


Anonymous said...

O' I love it...So beautiful and breathe taking! I agree with you, it is exciting to see such a wonder untouched by man.
p.s. new follower, linked from 'nature shows and dreams'. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store.

Michelle said...

Hey Nature Lovin' Super Mama (love that name!), thanks so much for stopping by. I'll be reading your blog for sure!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Nahihi Ridge takes my breath away. How inspirational!!!

Beautiful photos and a lovely post.

WOOT for this great start to the day.

Happy Holidays!!!

Hugs, JJ

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Those photos sure make you feel small. What magnificence. And thank you for the explanation of the name of the mountains. They were the twins that were raised by wolves so it's quite appropriate to name mountains after them since they lived in the wilderness.

Michelle said...

JJ - thanks. There is definitely something special about Nihahi that keeps drawing us back.

Suzanne - I didn't know the story of the brother until I looked up the names, and I didn't know they were raised by wolves until you mentioned it. That makes it even more interesting! Thanks!