Time: 6 - 7 hours
Distance: 11 km point to point (You’ll need to either have two cars or hitch a ride back to the start point)
Elevation Gain: 730 meters
Access: The trail is best started from the Highwood Pass parking lot, as this way you’ll minimise your up hill walking a little. This parking lot is on Highway 40 approximately 50 minutes south of the Trans Canada Highway. At the north end of the parking lot you’ll see a gravel trail, follow it across the foot bridge and you’ll see a sign asking that hikers keep to the established trails. The trail will be just to the left of the sign.
Pocaterra Ridge has to be one of my favourite trails in the Kananaskis region. In general Kananaskis is stunning but this ridge gives you the best vantage points of some of the most incredible peaks and rock formations you’ll ever see.
Once you’ve found the trail as described above you’ll be able to follow this path until you reach a small tarn. After this point the trail forks; left to Pocaterra Cirque but keep right to continue on to the ridge. The first ascent is the steepest of the trip but you are rewarded with incredible views.
From this point the trail is fairly obvious as you are simply following the ridge line up several other small summits.
Once you’ve followed this ridge line for some time it will slowly start to descend into the woods. The trail is relatively straight forward and the ridge line runs pretty much parallel to Highway 40 the entire way and this is where you are looking to end your hike. If you’ve come out the right way you’ll be across the road from Little Highwood Pass parking lot. If you’ve managed to bring two cars you should look to leave one at each end to save yourself the walk back. If you only have one vehicle you’ll need to either walk the 7km or hitch a ride back to your start point.
This hike is most scenic during the fall where you have fields of larch trees adding even more to the impressive scenery. However at this time of year weather can be even more unpredictable than usual so be prepared for snow, wind, rain, heat and more!