I hope you had a fantastic week and were able to get out and explore a bit over the past week.
This past weekend the group decided to go out and see the Larch Trees turning yellow in Banff National Park on Friday. The plan to go on Friday was born out of hope that the crowds might be less during the week. I don't know if that's the case but the reports I heard were that they were still quite large. Unfortunately I couldn't join them as I had some important meetings on Friday that I had to attend. The Larch hike everyone did was the hardest one the group had done this year so no one was up for going hiking the next day when I was free.
I decided to head out for an adventure that's hard to get others to join. I decided to go for a sunrise adventure in the mountains. Not many people are up for those because they require you get up at around 4 or 4.30 in the morning depending on where you go in the mountains. This past weekend I went to Ptarmigan Cirque on the Highwood Pass for sunrise. I was very lucky to have my parents decided to come with and had a great morning out in the mountains.
We left the city at around 5.15am and headed down south past Okotoks and Black Diamond out towards Longview. We then turned up Highway 541 on the outskirts of Longview which eventually becomes Highway 40 as it passes through Kananaskis. The Highwood Pass is a section of the highway that is actually the highest paved road in Canada. It sitts at an elevation of 2 217m (7 273ft) above sea level. To give you and idea, that's over a kilometer above Calgary's elevation at 1 047m (3435 ft).
The road is beautiful, with some of the most stunning mountain and alpine scenery around. I have heard people say that they prefer the Highwood Pass area to the Icefields Parkway, it just depends on your preferences. Either way, its on par with the Icefields Parkway which is one of the most famous roads in the world.
We managed to get to the parking lot at around 7am so the sky had already started getting light for sunrise at 7.26am. The views were beautiful and we decided to stay around the parking lot. Speaking of which, if you're planning on heading out to the Ptarmigan Cirque hike, make sure you get there early because that parking lot was fill by sunrise and people were parking along Highway 40 for many kilometers. We chose to stay around the parking lot as there were tons of photos to get if you looked at the surrounding peaks. We were there taking photos for about an hour before we decided to take a slow drive home.
We stopped at the Apple Cafe in Longview on our way home. I would definitely recommend stopping there for coffee if you have some free time. I don't like coffee but their Hot Chocolate is quite good too. We picked up some breakfast there too before heading back home.
I love going out and taking photos in the wee hours of the morning. I would definitely make the trip again.
I hope you have a fantastic weekend and I will see you nest week!