What a beautiful day on the lush green Trout Creek Ridge of the Porcupine Hills!
Orphan well access road is TH for Adair Ridge in Porcupine Hills
The route starts at an orphan well access road at Adair Creek, 24 km south of Chain Lakes.
Lupines and knee deep green grass in the Porcupine Hills
Western Wood Lilies were in their prime
There were even triple and quadruple wood lilies
As was the case on my first trip up Adair Ridge exactly two years ago, the grass was lush green and knee deep and the lupines prolific. The Western Wood Lilies were in their prime. I have seen double headed wood lilies in the Porcupine Hills before, but today there were triple and quadruple headed ones! We marvelled at the gigantic ancient Douglas Firs.
Mike, Carl by giant Douglas Fir (photo by Brian
Last time we overshot the intended climb up Adair Ridge, but this time, trying to follow inaccurate information, we undershot the trail. We started uphill intending to intersect the trail at some point, and succeeding. After a while, though, the trail dropped over the far side of the ridge, so we followed faint game trails to the crest of the Porcupine Hills, hitting good trails along the summit fence line.
Michael, Brian on the crest of the Porcupine Hills
Giant Douglas Firs and Quaking Aspens along the Porcupine Hills crest
Brian on sandstone outcropping with Rocky Mountains to the west
Sandstone arch on the Porcupine Hills crest
Brian, Carl by sandstone boulder on crest (Photo by Michael
We had lunch at a summit with sandstone boulders of pleasing shape, and carried on to the high point with overhanging sandstone outcroppings and even an arch. Views were from Chain Lakes in the north to Crowsnest Mountain and the Waterton area. It was sunny and warm with a brief interlude of dark cloud which raced by and only produced a brief sprinkle.
Wildlife sightings were a deer along Highway 22 and a grouse on the crest.
We walked 16 km with perhaps 500 metres of elevation gain.
GPS track of route up Adair Ridge onto Porcupine Hills crest
Although we heard some motorcycles nearby at one point, we saw nobody all day.
Back to the car by 4:45, we stopped for supper at the Twin Cities Hotel in Longview, where there was entertainment by the Calgary Stampede to celebrate a motorcycle cancer fund raiser.
Participants: Michael, Brian and Carl, coordinator and scribe.