AB Cen = Alberta Rockies Central (Banff & David Thompson) Siffleur Falls and Kootenay Plains Ridge - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 6Likes
  • 2 Post By zeljkok
  • 3 Post By zeljkok
  • 1 Post By zeljkok
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-19-2021, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,879
Default Siffleur Falls and Kootenay Plains Ridge

I don't know much about David Thompson area & tired of cold and winter decided to head out and explore a bit dry montane environs with warmer temps. With no particular plan in head, pulled over at Siffleur Falls Staging area, some 15-20 min from Icefields Parkway junction at Sask. River Crossing. This is very popular family hike in summer months, but on this day I had it to myself. Trail with board signs leads to fantastic suspension bridge crossing over North Saskatchewan River, then across Kootenay Plains on boardwalk and then after icy stretch across Siffleur River bridge. Turning upstream trail climbs a bit then settles on great traverse above deep canyon below & reaches Siffleur Falls within an hour (~3.5km). Ice gorge was very impressive. Spikes were necessary.



Click image for larger version

Name:	saskbridge1.jpg
Views:	154
Size:	727.0 KB
ID:	284642
[North Saskatchewan River crossing. Bridge sways a bit, probably even uncomfortable with traffic jam, but I was on my own]


Click image for larger version

Name:	cliffsign.jpg
Views:	31
Size:	823.8 KB
ID:	284656
[Table signs as trail emerges to open escarpment above deep canyon. There is potential for serious fall in case of slip, and further above near the falls there are several railings]


Click image for larger version

Name:	siffleurcanyondownstream.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	861.8 KB
ID:	284640
[Looking down Siffleur River canyon; trails runs on right side at edge of forest. You can appreciate serious consequences in case of fall]


Click image for larger version

Name:	siffleurfallsice.jpg
Views:	30
Size:	813.6 KB
ID:	284638
[Main Siffleur Falls; almost like Johnston Canyon, but nowhere so much of a tourist gong show]


Above the falls trail continues (with table by AB Parks warning about backcountry, and trail not being maintained). I followed for ~30 min and it was great hike, springtime conditions, always by the river alternating with iced areas and small pools. Couple of fire rings and eventually I nestled at sunny and flat overlook and had lunch.

Click image for larger version

Name:	abovefalls.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	698.4 KB
ID:	284660
[Above the falls; without ice in summer probably very refreshing. Note ridge on other side; it is possible to get there too, as I will explain lower down]


Where does this trail end up? Digging a bit at home I learned there are second and third falls further up, but nowhere as impressive as first one. Eventually one comes to Siffleur Wilderness boundary; I am quite sure backcountry routes continue from there leading in multi-day adventure. Here is bit of interesting read with photos


On return after reaching Kootenay Plains boardwalk I decided to explore a bit. Ridge above just begged to be hiked up. With sunny exposure it was almost dry and I easily clambered up to delightful montane meadow interspersed with trees and low shrubs. Beautiful views and I took another break down to T-shirt in warm afternoon sunshine
Click image for larger version

Name:	kootenayplainspano.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	508.1 KB
ID:	284652
[Pano across Kootenay Plains as I hiked up the ridge. Note boardwalk lower center of photo -- this is Siffleur Falls Trail]


Click image for larger version

Name:	kpridgestitch.jpg
Views:	24
Size:	1.08 MB
ID:	284648
[Point where ridge dips a bit and where I turned back. By dropping down and then re-ascending to other side one could easily reach other side of Siffleur Falls. (There was also faint trail on valley floor just before Siffleur River bridge on main trail)]


Click image for larger version

Name:	kpridgeabraham.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	750.5 KB
ID:	284650
[View east across Kootenay Plains towards Abraham lake, seen in the distance]


Click image for larger version

Name:	northsaskriver.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	954.9 KB
ID:	284644
[North Saskatchewan River on return by what seemed like old wagon trail. There is lots to explore here]


Still had some time after coming back to parking, so drove for another 15 min or so towards Nordegg, wanting to take some shots of Abraham Lake. It is still solid ice & crossing is more than safe (but won't be for much longer!). Couple of shots:
Click image for larger version

Name:	abrahampano.jpg
Views:	109
Size:	602.2 KB
ID:	284658
[6x2 matrix photo stitch, aiming to capture entire lake. Cline Fire lookout across; now is probably optimal time for that one as lake is still frozen, but there is very little snow / postholing on other side]


Click image for larger version

Name:	jeepride.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	594.8 KB
ID:	284654
[Proof that lake crossing is still safe]


Click image for larger version

Name:	michener1.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	701.8 KB
ID:	284646
[Mount Michener, as prairie meets the foothills. Moderate scramble, also with short season because of lake crossing - best done about now]


David Thompson is gem of an area and I can see the appeal it has to people I spoke to over the years. There are some businesses along the corridor too, now closed. Great early spring destination!


Detail report with Map and GPS Track as usual here
solo75 and ColdBrook like this.

Last edited by zeljkok; 03-29-2021 at 01:39 AM.
zeljkok is online now  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2021, 10:29 PM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: NorthVan
Interest: I enjoy hiking
Posts: 2,957
Default

Great pictures, nice to have so much scenic area around that isn't covered with snow!
Sweet looking bridge in that first pic. I could think of a couple of places that could use such a bridge.
martin is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2021, 10:55 PM
Super Moderator
 
KARVITK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Abbotsford, B.C., Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Photography. Enjoying the outdoors fresh air and fitness experience.
Posts: 17,919
Default

Striking beautiful photos of the landscapes, your pictures are always superb.

That Siffluer Canyon such is an interesting "straight" landform. Must be a huge crack in the upper rock crust that resulted in this formation.

K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
KARVITK is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2021, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,879
Default

Thanks martin; bridge is definitely a high. In general I find provincial parks have better facilities than national parks; BC Parks in particular

This is very sweet area as marks the end of Siffleur River as it merges with North Saskatchewan River. It originates way up at Clearwater Pass in eastern BNP, then merges with Dolomite creek & Escarpment River

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siffleur_River

Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2021-03-20 at 7.53.38 PM.png
Views:	22
Size:	1.87 MB
ID:	284828
Upper left where it says "Kootenay Plains ecological reserve" is where Siffleur flows into North Saskatchewan and where I was. Lower right is Clearwater Pass and origin of Siffleur River. Beyond Dolomite creek junction (just left of lower center) is untouched wilderness that sees no human presence, with side valleys, lakes and peaks to explore
martin, KARVITK and ColdBrook like this.
zeljkok is online now  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2021, 09:33 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fraser Valley
Interest: Photography, Nature Observation, Health & Fitness, Nutrition, Shinrin-yoku
Posts: 1,671
Default

Those panos are nice....so is the waterfall. It would be nice to catch it during a thaw where some water is flowing. Abraham Lake...I think that's the lake with those nice trapped gas bubbles that I've seen photos of before.
solo75 is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2021, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,879
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by solo75 View Post
Abraham Lake...I think that's the lake with those nice trapped gas bubbles that I've seen photos of before.

Yes. These are methane ice bubbles. It's quite well known. Found this pic on reddit
Name:  Screen Shot 2021-03-21 at 12.58.01 PM.png
Views: 146
Size:  718.2 KB


Planned to go see it, but there was fairly wide strip of snow covered surface & I'd have to walk prob. a kilometer to reach the ice from where I stopped (pic with jeeps). Next time I'll plan on crossing to other side & hike up Cline Fire Lookout. Prob. need crampons though, I hear it gets very slippery & spikes might not be enough.
zeljkok is online now  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2021, 02:30 PM
Super Moderator
 
KARVITK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Abbotsford, B.C., Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Photography. Enjoying the outdoors fresh air and fitness experience.
Posts: 17,919
Default

Quite a picture to see those bubbles below the mountain, interesting how methand is such a much stronger green house gas than carbon dioxide. Warmer it gets, we should see more methane escape, ... hence the prevailing thought this is a feedback loop which is self-reinforcing as the artic continues to heat up


K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
KARVITK is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2021, 08:34 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Chicago
Interest: Hiking, backpacking, kayaking
Posts: 109
Default

zeljkok,
Thanks very much for photos and description of your outing!
David Thompson Highway is a new place for me to explore.
The mountain folds in southern CAN Rockies (and environs; not sure exactly where the Rockies end) are visually stunning.

The ExploreNordegg link mentions hiking from Abraham Lake to Lake Louise. It must be done infrequently; I haven't seen mention of it elsewhere.
ColdBrook is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2021, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,879
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdBrook View Post

The ExploreNordegg link mentions hiking from Abraham Lake to Lake Louise. It must be done infrequently; I haven't seen mention of it elsewhere.

Neither have I. Made me go look a bit. While I haven't found explicit mention of the route, this is how one would go about it:


Click image for larger version

Name:	ll2al.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	937.7 KB
ID:	284892


1 - 2: Lake Louise to Pipestone Pass. Well known trail, 38km, #51 in Patton Robinson guidebook
2 - 3: Pipestone Pass to Clearwater Pass/Devon Lakes. 51/87 in Patton; one of most beautiful parts of BNP I've seen
3 - 4: Clearwater River to Indianhead / junction with Whiterabbit Pass and up to the Pass. 87/88 in Patton
4 - 5: Whiterabbit Pass to Abraham Lake. #88 in Patton. Quote



Quote:
Whiterabbit Pass (2270m). Park boundary. Trail descends to Headwaters Cabin, 6km beyond the Pass, and Whiterabbit Creek. It eventually emerges at the North Saskatchewan suspension bridge at Kootenay Plains and David Thompson Highway, 36.8 km from the Pass

So there you have it. All official BNP trails + section from Whiterabbit Pass, as quoted above, finishing at very suspension bridge at Pic on top of this report. How long would this take? I'd say 6-7 days, with all wilderness bivouacs (no regulated campsites). I've hiked part of this traverse from Lake Louise to lower Martin lake (Clearwater River trail), but not the beyond to Indianhead/Whiterabbit Creek/Pass and onward to Abraham Lake.
ColdBrook likes this.
zeljkok is online now  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-24-2021, 03:05 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Chicago
Interest: Hiking, backpacking, kayaking
Posts: 109
Default

Thanks, zeljkok!
That looks super. I have the Patton-Robinson guidebook and will give it a read.
ColdBrook is offline  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 03-24-2021, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
zeljkok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anywhere but social media
Posts: 4,879
Default

This is quite interesting & that bridge is more important than just convenience for Siffleur Falls hikers. Looking again at Google Map:


Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 1.26.55 PM.png
Views:	19
Size:	1.33 MB
ID:	284894
Two valleys converge (roughly center of photo). Bottom center, Siffleur River drainage, eventually leading to Dolomite Pass in BNP and top, above "Stan Waters Peak", which leads to Whiterabbit Pass and Clearwater River.



Looking from North Saskatchewan Bridge:
Whiterabbit route valley is center left, while Siffleur drainage is extreme right (right of pointed peak hidden by bridge pillar, which is Rhine peak I think). Whiterabbit trail must branch somewhere to the left after crossing Siffleur River further up. Amazing enough there is Google Street View of Siffleur Falls trail! This is capture from Siffleur River Bridge:
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 1.29.06 PM.png
Views:	20
Size:	1.17 MB
ID:	284896


After crossing this I remember I saw spur to the left, but didn't pay attention, though this was just people wondering around. This is the capture right after the bridge:
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 1.29.56 PM.png
Views:	18
Size:	1.28 MB
ID:	284898


This could be where Whiterabbit trail branches. Reason it is not marked is probably because Siffleur Falls trail is so popular & not to mislead casual weekend hikers.


Last question is, could one follow Siffleur drainage all the way up to BNP & Pipestone Pass? There is obviously Dolomite Circuit once inside BNP, but what about loooong valley leading to it? All I know is that on Dolomite Circuit, after one crosses Dolomite Creek coming from Pipestone Pass and turns up, faint trail leads downstream for 1.5km to BNP boundary, marked by large cairn. Is there anything after? I don't know, but I'd expect animal trails at best and several days of bushwhacking.

Last edited by zeljkok; 03-24-2021 at 04:59 PM.
zeljkok is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1