I am really enjoying getting out and going on these adventures every weekend. This weekend we decided to try a relatively easy hike - Karst Spring Trail. It's a fairly flat, out and back trail that is about 9 kms according to Alltrails. We thought it would be a bit of an easy stroll, hopefully some views I could get photos and a good picnic spot at the end. Everything Alltrails had said was correct. I cannot fault them on that. What was at fault though was our assumptions.
The trail had recently received a snowfall, which, when compounded with the warmer weather we had lately, the underlying snow was slushy and the top layer was loose. This made hike incredibly tough even though there was minimal elevation and fairly short (only 9ish kms).
We left at our regular time around 10.30 in the morning and took both Sybil and Oliver. The drive is a long one from Calgary, half way down the Smith-Dorian trail near the Mount Engadine Lodge. I believe its the longest trip Sybil and Oliver have been on but they handled it really well for being two very shy pups.
When we got there the sky was quite cloudy and looked like it might start snowing at any point. Deciding to risk it we started down the trail when the sky started clearing and the sun poked its head out. The trail was sunny for most of it, which didn't help the difficulty of walking through as the snow was more slushy and slippery on the way back than on the way there.
I was able to get some great shots of the surrounding mountains half hidden in clouds which was really enjoyable...it also allowed me to take a breather from walking through all that slushy snow too. Of course I didn't admit that at the time though lol.
We made it to Watridge Lake and the sun had just disappeared but you could see weather forming around the peak of the mountain on the far side. Since none of us had been up to Karst Springs, we attempted to follow the tracks into the snow of other people who had made the hike but the tracks quickly disappeared. I had fallen in the snow up to my hips so it was quite deep at some points. In the end we decided to head back to Watridge Lake and have our lunch. It was likely the best idea at that point. We had our lunch while sitting on a log on the edge of the lake. Always a great experience although this time the lake was still frozen. While we were eating, the weather continued to get worse and by the time we left after lunch it was snowing again. Luckily the snow didn't last long and didn't really affect us while we were in the trees.
The way back almost felt longer than the way there but that's likely because everyone was exhausted by that point.
Would I do the hike again? Absolutely! In the shoulder season, so basically Spring, not likely. I would love to try it in the summer though.
What did you think? Have you done Karst Spring Trail?