An unofficial path close to Burstall Move results in a valley of larches and superior views of the French and Robertson glaciers.
On my quest to discover a less-travelled path with fall colours, I got here throughout Piggy Plus Col on Kananaskis Trails. Nestled between Burstall Peak and Piggy Plus, the col (or move) affords implausible views of the French Glacier, and the path to it leads by way of a slender valley of larches.
Though it’s an unofficial path, the route is pretty simple offered you don’t miss the turnoff from Burstall Move Path. I like to recommend utilizing a GPS or telephone app that may monitor your distance, and carrying a topographic map of the area (affiliate hyperlink). Should you’d wish to shave off a while, you may mountain bike the primary few kilometres.
Anticipate to see golden larches in late September – and snow! The Burstall Move / Chester Lake space is within the snow belt of Kananaskis and as such, has a protracted snowy season. Microspikes and trekking poles are beneficial.
Keep away from this hike throughout winter circumstances – it’s in avalanche terrain!
The path to Piggy Plus Col begins at Burstall Move Trailhead. Go left alongside Mud Lake. After just a few hundred metres, go left on the fork, to remain on Burstall Move Path. Proceed up the hill and to the precise / southwest on the outdated highway for about two kilometres.
3.3 kilometres from the car parking zone, there shall be a slender path in your left. That is the turnoff for Piggy Plus Col. (If you’re biking, proceed 200 metres on the principle path to achieve the bike rack.) Observe the path and cairns uphill by way of the bushes. After crossing the shallow creek, take a superb have a look at it and be aware the cairns. It’s straightforward to blow previous this spot in your manner again!
Hike alongside the creek, and proceed onward and upward by way of larch bushes. Finally the path ranges off and you’ll hike straight throughout the rocky basin to the col, or up the light slope at proper to a scenic lookout (search for the cairn on the precise after the rock wall).
- Detour to the Knoll/Robertson Glacier Viewpoint: Hike northwest alongside the bluffs, previous the sinks (search for lumpy frost heaves) till you attain a grassy/rocky knoll surrounded by larches. From the knoll, you may see Robertson Glacier! Return the best way you got here as there are harmful drop-offs on the north aspect of the ridge.
Permit about half an hour to hike from the sting of the basin to the col. Cairns mark the best way, however since this part is naked of bushes, you may all the time see your goal. Take care on the scree, particularly in shoulder-season circumstances.
From the col, the saddle between Burstall Peak (at left) and Piggy Plus (at proper), you get a implausible view of the French Glacier.
Return the best way you got here.
Piggy Plus Col Path at a Look
- Distance: 13.1 kilometres spherical journey (add 400 metres if parking bikes on the bike rack, and an additional kilometre if going to the knoll)
- Elevation Achieve: 614 metres elevation acquire
- Issue: Reasonable
- Parking: Burstall Move
Know Earlier than You Go
Since Piggy Plus Col is an unofficial path, there isn’t any signage indicating the turnoff from Burstall Move Path. A GPS or health tracker is beneficial so that you don’t miss the turnoff at 3.3 kilometres. You must also carry a topographic map of the realm. Piggy Plus Col is on the Gemtrek Kananaskis Lakes Map (affiliate hyperlink); it’s the unofficial path branching off of Burstall Move Path.
Burstall Move space is prime grizzly bear habitat. There have been a number of sightings of a bear and cubs on Burstall Move Path the week we hiked Piggy Plus Col, and we noticed tons of contemporary bear prints beneath the col. Hike in a bunch, make LOTS of noise (particularly by the creek), and maintain bear spray accessible in a holster (affiliate hyperlink). For extra suggestions, see our Bear Safety Tips for Hikers.
It was +11 in Calgary on September sixteenth, however solely round zero on the trailhead because of the elevation, so deliver additional garments together with a toque and gloves. Traction devices are beneficial when the path is snow coated.
Getting Right here
Burstall Move Parking Lot, the place to begin for Piggy Plus Col, is positioned two hours from Calgary on Smith-Dorrien Path. The easiest way to get there may be by way of Freeway 1 and Freeway 40.
Extra Larch Hikes in Kananaskis & Banff Nationwide Park