Yamnuska Loop (Difficult)

Difficult – technically
Elevation Gain: 990m
12 km
4-6 hours
Summer, Spring, Fall

Well lets just say this is not for the faint of heart!!! Although extremely thrilling and rewarding for experienced hikers and outdoorsy folks. There were some first time hikers  out there that were in way over there heads.

This is a technical trail, with a variety of elements! From simple switch backs, some scrambles, some scree skiing and even this chain linking section that will make your heart skip a beat!

This beautiful trail is highly recommended in my books and I can not wait to do it again. The trail is super easy to find as there are signs located right off the 1a, with bathrooms and a trail head sign right in front! After a km or so there will be a fork in the road with a sign pointing to the hikers scramble route or the rock climbing route. Clearly.. choose the scramble route heading in a counter clockwise direction.

The first section is pretty easy, steady elevation through the tree-line. This section is called the shoulder. Which offers pretty good views, so if your in the area it would be an easy hike up and than you can turn back the same way. Its about 350m elevation and 4km ish (taking only a couple hours)!

The next section through the cave like portion is just an intro. Coming up the back side of   Yam I recommend trying to keep a steady uphill trail thats gradual crossing over to the right. There are tons of paths, but there are blue squares to guide you along the route! Watch for them! They are the recommended paths.

After reaching the chain link section, which is usually the most fearful portion, there is still a little scramble to the top with some exposure sections to be careful on. The worst part being that the rocks are so polished from the heavily used trail it makes it difficult to get a good secure grip. So take your time, and make sure your stable before making each step!

Insert the summit! Whoo hoo!

But this isn’t the part people come for. Apparently, its the scree! Which comes on the descent/front side of the mountain. There will be too long sections of scree for you to run down. And I do mean run! I was extremely nervous for this part as I have fallen on rocks before and it isn’t fun! But once you get your footing, your basically running down a rock slide! And its a total thrill!

There was a few people that turned back and did the trail as an in & out, but Im not sure why. Once you get to the summit its quicker to finish the loop.

Some recommended gear: ankle supported boots, poles, high socks, light pack, snacks,  water and of course your camera! (the views are break taking)


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Valhalla Pure Outfitters – Red Deer, AB

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