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Hikes we Like: Wasootch Ridge

If you’re looking for a hike with early rewards, Wasootch Ridge is the trail for you (it’s pet friendly, too!).

Wasootch Ridge is classified as an intermediate hike as it begins fairly steep for a few kilometers. The views appear almost instantly and you can admire gorgeous vistas for the rest of the hike once you hit the top of the ridge where the trail levels out.

This hike gives you the luxury to choose how long you want to spend on the trail. It can be anywhere from about a 3-hour day to a full day, depending on how far along the ridge you travel. We recommend sturdy runners or proper hiking shoes so you don’t go slip-sliding down the mountain.

To get to the trailhead from Kananaskis Village, head out to Highway 40 (Kananaskis Trail) and go north toward the Trans-Canada Highway. About 10 minutes down the road you’ll see a blue sign that says Wasootch with a picnic bench symbol on it, pointing to the trailhead parking lot.

After you’ve parked, locate the picnic benches. There are multiple trails that start behind the benches; all are steep and head to the same spot. Choose whichever suits your fancy and start hiking! As soon as you clear the treeline, you’ll be surrounded by mountain peaks and (hopefully) blue sky. (Note: there is a trail at the parking lot that goes down into the Wasootch Creek bed, which is an easy hiking option, but it does not lead to Wasootch Ridge).

Once on the ridge, follow the path for as long as you want but make sure to pick a high point with nice views to stop for lunch. There is a rock cairn that marks the end of the official trail and if you want to go further you must be prepared to do some scrambling with exposure on both sides of the trail. Addin on the ridge walk bumps this hike up to expert level. Most people do not go this far as there is no need because the views are already spectacular at earlier points.

The trail is well-traveled and obvious in most places; I have yet to hear of anyone getting lost (please don’t be the first!). It is a rolling path with about 650m elevation gain. There are multiple ‘summits’ along the ridge, and you can choose to turn back once you feel you’ve had your fill of mountain scenery.

If it has rained during or before your hike, prepare to get muddy. The ridge is pretty exposed, so keep the weather in mind as there is little to no cover. Bring sunscreen and lots of water on a hot day, and rain gear if it looks like you might get wet.

Happy hiking!

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  • Phone:

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    1-279 Mt. Sparrowhawk Crescent,
    Kananaskis, AB, T0L 2H0

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Cancellations or changes made to bookings more than 72 hours away: We will fully refund your purchase, less a $10 admin fee, onto the card that was used for payment. You can cancel your booking by calling 403-591-7000 or emailing info[at]kananaskisoutfitters.com . Please allow 3-5 business days for the refund to process.

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Do I need a reservation?
While reservations are not necessary all the time, we do advise making them as we frequently book all of our gear out in a day. With a reservation, you will know that your gear is here waiting for you. Payment is taken in full when the reservation is made.
How do I rent gear?
Come into the shop and fill out waiver; we will then take a credit card imprint (Visa and Mastercard accepted) as a damage deposit until you return with the gear, at which point we will check it over and then you may pay for your rental with credit, debit or cash.
Do I need bear spray?
If you are going to be hiking, walking, biking, running, camping, or pretty much anything else outside in Kananaskis, you should definitely carry bear spray. We do. It's more effective than a gun, and doesn’t require a special permit to carry.
What kind of tours do you offer?
We offer hiking, mountain biking, stargazing, snowshoeing, canoeing (and voyageur canoeing) tours as well as XC ski and stand up paddleboard lessons.
Can I book a private tour?
Any of our activities can be booked for a private group. Click here for more information.
What if I have a big group?
We regularly host large corporate or family groups; we can book individual activities for you or we can plan out a full day or multi-day adventure. Click here for more information, or give us a call: +1-403-591-7000.
Are there trails near you?
On foot, you can access mountain biking, hiking, XC skiing and snowshoe trails from our shop (season dependant). If you want to drive, then the options in Kananaskis are endless.
How do I rent a canoe/kayak/SUP?
During peak Summer season, we offer lakeside rentals at Barrier Lake. Hourly rates are in effect when a staff memer is present. During this time boats can not be reserved they are rented on a first come first served basis.

During quieter times, the boats will still be located at Barrier Lake, however you will need to come to the shop to fill out waivers and pick up the safety gear. Gear will also need to be returned to the shop when you are finished. For self serve boat rentals, full day rental rates apply and reservations are possible.

Paddles, PFDs and safety kit are included in the rental rate. Should you need to transport a boat, tie down kits are also available.
Do you rent downhill or touring equipment?
No, sorry we just rent XC skis.

Nakiska is a great place to rent downhill ski stuff. Go to Gear Up in Canmore or MEC in Calgary for touring gear.
Can we take the gear that we rent somewhere else?
Yes, you may transport the gear elsewhere as long as you can do so safely. We have tie down kits available for boats. Ask about our multi-day prices.
When do you sell off your used rental gear?
At the end of every season, we sell off select gear. So in the Fall, we sell off bicycles, in the Spring we sell off fat bikes, XC skis, and snowshoes, etc. Want to know all the details and get notified when the sale is happening? Join our email list. Sign up on our home page.
Where can I buy groceries, firewood, propane, etc.?
Some groceries and camping supplies can be bought at the Mt. Kidd Campers Centre, or at Fortress Gas Station. Hours are seasonal, call before you go.
Where is the closest gas station/liquor?
Fortress Gas Station (20 km south on Highway 40) is the closest place for gas and liquor/beer, although offsale beer is also available at Woody’s Pub at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis.
Are there lakes near you?
Yes; Barrier Lake is about a 15 minute drive north on Hwy 40 and is where we keep our boats for summer rental. There is also Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lake a 40 minute drive South on Highway 40 in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs must be on a leash at all times in Kananaskis; dogs are allowed on all trails except groomed cross country ski trails. If you are confident paddling with your dog you are welcome to do so at your own risk.

Dogs can be brought on tours only it all of the other participants on the tour are agreeable. We can not determine this until right before the tour departs.
What is the meaning of life?
We’re still trying to figure that out, but Kananaskis is a great place to look for it. No wait…it's 42.