Overview For Old BaldyOld Baldy Mountain's southwestern ridge sees more traffic than countless other mountains in the valley ( Mount Allan being the exception). Aptly named Old Baldy itself, this ridge's popularity is due to low elevation, gentle slopes and close proximity to Calgary, AB. On summer weekends the slopes and trails can be hiked by dozens of summit seekers. Climbing during weekdays will give you a far more secluded feeling if thats what your aiming for.
The Kananaskis Valley is defined by her breath taking scenery and the approach of Old Baldy is just that. Dense forests, babbling brooks, waterfalls and a crystal clear lake all await hikers of any age or species on the lengthy but pleasant approach. Don't be surprised to see a dog or two on this adventure.
Though not noticable from Kananaskis Trail ( Hwy 40 ), a hiker will find a modest valley which eventually broadens to a picture perfect alpine lake. Alpine wildflowers, big horn sheep, mule and white tailed deer are all wildlife you may encounter on your journey.
The bulky grassed summit has enough area to toss a football around ( if winds are low ) with out bothering other hikers who may be having a picinic lunch. Summit views include Mount Kidd, Sparrowhawk, Bogart, Allan and many more of the Kananaskis Valley peaks. Also there is a attractice view of the Kananaskis Village and Kananaskis Country Gold Course. You can presume a longer day on this hike. 8 hours seems to be the normal but can be shorter if just hiking or longer if you intend to stay on the summit for a long period of time.
Getting ThereAs for many of the hike and climb in the Kananaskis Valley you'll take the Trans Canada Hwy 1 West from Calgary, AB for a little over an hour. Around that time the Rockies get quite close. There will be a turnoff from the highway reading Hwy 40 South ( Kananaskis Trail ). Take this turnoff and head south (left).
Another 20 mins up the road you'll see the sign for Evan-Thomas Parking lot. Turn in and park to begin the hike. On the south side of the parking lot there is a trail leading into the woods. Take this trail for roughly a minute or two until you reach a "T" in the trail. Hanging a left here you'll be on the Evan-Thomas Trail. Roughly 45 min later another option presents itself in the trail. Take a left at this junction. 15 mins into this trail a small creek begins to run over the trail. Just before this creek there is a cairn marking the trailhead for Old Baldy. Just stay on this path and you'll be on the summit in no time.
Red TapeThere are no permits needed when hiking in Kananaskis. The Evan-Thomas trail is known for both Grizzly bears and Black bears activity so check with the Barrier Lake Visitor Information Center whenever you plan on hiking/climbing in the Kananaskis Valley.
Mount Kidd RV Park and Campground - offers nearly 230 campsite and year round camping.
Sundance Lodges and Tipis - offers camping and a unique camping experience in tipis.
Delta Lodge At Kananaskis - offers spas, pools, shops and bars. For the hikings who need some pampering.
Ribbon Creek Hostel - for a more simple and inexpensive way to spend the night.
Other Kananaskis Valley Mountains
Mount Kidd - is the back drop too the Kananaskis Country Golf Coarse.
Mount Bogart - the tallest peak you can see in the Kananaskis Valley.
The Fortress - the most noticable peak in the southern skyline.
Mount Lorette - the valley's deadliest mountain.
Mount Allan - one of the most scenic climbs in the valley.
The Wedge - Kananaskis' most unusual looking mountain.