Most hikers have heard of Vancouver North Shore Baden Powell (and if you haven't, here
is detail report in several parts -- I might be partial, but IMHO every Canadian outdoors person should make an attempt at some point of their life to taste this iconic trail).
Geographic areas change but overall topography of terrain remains similar; trails that head straight up following drainages or ridgelines, and trails that traverse lower slopes horizontally from one end of the valley to the other. On north side of Bow Valley there is one such trail -- it is called Montane Traverse, and just like Baden Powell links Horseshoe Bay with Indian Arm, Montane links Harvey Heights with Cougar Canyon. It is mainly used by trail runners and mountain bikers, but it can also be hiked either as approach to other targets or on its own. It is also on sunny side & in December when most of the valley gets only a handful of hours of sunlight, north side has at least a couple more. I never hiked entire trail end-to-end & thought it was about time to do so. It is quite undemanding, but large parts were bare ice & it made me put on / take off microspikes several times. I started at Cougar (Lady Mac and Cougar Canyon are closed, it seems forever, but Montane is still open). Here are some pictures:
[Lovely section of trail above residential area ~30 min past Cougar Canyon, traversing stand of bare aspen trees below Lady Mac]
[Silvertip Golf Course Pond -- it is below Montane, but well worth a visit & I've been enjoying photography here for several years]
[Section of trail above Silvertip Golf Course; soon it starts losing elevation and remains in shady forest till Stoneworks Drainage]
[Crossing of Stoneworks drainage; if you turn up now, you end up in Stoneworks Canyon in ~30 min and then further along on scramble route of Charles Stewart SE (huge slog)]
Stoneworks is also strategic crossing; maybe a bit like Lynn Canyon on Baden Powell. Good trail runs down the drainage, it's called Johnny's Trail & it's been favorite of mine, very scenic eventually linking back with Douglas Fir ridge & Silvertip road. Soon there comes a junction; low branch is called "Meander Trail" & it descends to "Ridge Traverse" and eventually Harvey Heights. High branch continues traversing below Bald Eagle Peak (formerly "The Tit") to Tibbits Quarry. This can also be used as loop if returning the same way.
[Crossing drainage below Bald Eagle Peak. It was so nice and sunny so I made me a nest & enjoyed lunch. It would be interesting trashing up this drainage though, then up forested climber right; one might intersect rugged ridge linking Lady Mac and Charles Stewart, or at least get high enough for some nice views]
[Tibitts Quarry. Alcove climber trail climbs up here on left side of drainage & I had great scramble there this spring to "Tibitts Ridge" -- see this
Dropping down Tibitts trail now, soon I took a right to only bit of trail I've never seen before -- and it was spectacular! Great 20 min or so ridge traverse with open views south to Rundle Range and Banff area. It is apparently quite popular with Harvey Heights locals I presume, as there were several spots with wood chairs
Eventually I looped down back to Tibitts trail; looking now at Daffern guidebook (Vol 3 orange, 4th edition) there is clear error as she claims this trail to be only 800 m but it was over 2km! Simple walk down to Harvey Heights residential and numb walk back along the highway ended the day. Here are some stats:
1-way, Cougar to Harvey Heights: 8.8 km, +285m, -338m, 2:45. Detail report with GPS track here
Finally what are main differences between Montane Traverse and Baden Powell? BP is much longer (46km or so), and although there are Iron Man challenges that do it in a day, most people will hike it in parts; Montane however is much tamer with less than 10km end to end. Forest on BP is much, much nicer with all the old growth North Shore is famous for, but it does not have such sweeping views across Bow Valley Montane has. If you live in Bow Valley, you have most likely hiked (or ran or cycled) Montane; and if you visit, and have few hours to spare, it will be worth your time for undemanding but still scenic hike.