Kananaskis Country

O'Shaughnessy Falls, Troll Falls and a hike up the Grotto Canyon

GPS Coordinates are 51.07635021594623, -115.12881267170773.
Link on Google Maps

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. in Canmore Kananaskis Country for us are the mountains and trails. That's what brought us back here for more than just an overnight stop. Looking at the first picture, it is not obvious at first. But getting a nice meal after we spent most of the day on a trail is rewarding. We found the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. in Canmore. If the flatbread looks like a pizza, the difference is in the dough. Flatbread doesn't have yeast. We did eat there more than once, needless to say we recommend the place. A hot flatbread from the oven and a local beer is all part of a day to remember.
The Kananaskis is part of Stoney Country. We learned about the Stoney Nakoda First Nation when we visited the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino. The entrance and the wall are decorated with art pieces. Not the only reason we come here, the food is good and afordable and let's not forget the money we could win ... or not.

YouTubeFollow us @NavigatorAndWheelman. Round trip on Highway 40 south to Highwood Pass at 2,206 meters. Then Lower Kananaskis Lake, Grassi Lakes and Canmore. Day trips to Troll Falls and Grotto Canyon.

Our basecamp was at the Willow Rock Campsite in the Bow Valley Provincial Park. The campground is first-come-first-served and has enough sites to almost guarantee a spot. Like last year, we picked one with electrical hookup. Can you spot our trailer, it is unmistakably the smallest of them all Smile

Willow Rock Campsite

Mount Lorette Ponds
Mount Lorette Ponds These ponds are along highway 40 and were cut off from the Kananaskis River when the highway was upgraded. The ponds were deepened and are stocked with fish every year. By the time we got there, we couldn't see any fish in the cristal clear water.

Bridge Mount Lorette Ponds

O'Shaughnessy Falls
O'Shaughnessy Falls Like the Mount Lorette Ponds, the O'Shaughnessy Falls were engineered. As the story goes, the falls are named after the chief engineer for the construction of Highway 40. We got this information from the Benson Branch Blog.

O'Shaughnessy Falls Trail O'Shaughnessy Falls Trail

Ribbons on O'Shaughnessy Falls In the lower section of the trail ribbons were tied around the trees. We suspected that they are placed by the Indigenous community that have ties to this place. A more in-depth description is at the Jasper fitzHUGH in the Ribbon Trees – A traditional Indigenous practice document.

Ribbons on O'Shaughnessy Falls

Highwood Meadows
Highwood Meadows Parking A short Interpretive Trail with viewing platforms. This alpine environment is at 2206 meter. There is not much to say about this place, so let the pictures do the talking.

View a larger image by clicking a picture with the white frame below.

Highwood Meadows Trail Highwood Meadow Trail

Along Highwood Meadow Trail Along Highwood Meadow Trail

Trolls Falls
Troll Falls Habitat The Troll Falls are a popular attraction. We went there on a Sunday and were early enough to get a parking spot.
As the sign indicates, the Troll Falls is not a troll's natural habitat. Hm, wondering why we were drawn here?

Troll Falls not a troll Troll Falls not a troll

Troll Falls The Troll Falls cascade over several rock formations. One of them is accessible from the back.
Troll Falls
Troll Falls

Troll Falls

Grotto Canyon
Grotto Canyon view from the bottom The Grotto Canyon is close to Canmore. Hiking up the canyon is not extremely difficult, but some passages are very slippery even in dry conditions. The rock faces are smooth from the water and the shoes from all the hikers. Above the Canyon, the path opens up into a valley of boulders and rocks.

Grotto Canyon Grotto Canyon

Grotto Canyon Pictographs On our way back, a young mom inquired about the Grotto Canyon Pictographs. We guessed that they would be on a canyon wall above the water flow. Our research into this trail the day before did not hint to pictographs. Well, the mom was well informed as it turned out. Thanks mom.
PS: We should have read the on-site trail head description.
The Alberta drawings support ancient myth document was published by The Globe And Mail and gives more insight into the pictographs.

Grotto Canyon Climbing Walls We met two rock climbers in the lower section of the canyon. We asked about the area and were made aware of the many routes in the canyon and further up. The ice formation in winter offer opportunities for ice climbing.

Grotto Canyon Waterfall Grotto Canyon

First published on September 02, 2021 Contact Us  Help