Ptarmigan Cirque, Alberta

I was born in Calgary, Alberta close to Banff. If you asked me to recommend the best day hike out of the city it would be Ptarmigan Cirque.

Hike Bike Travel:

It’s a 3.6 kilometre loop (if you include the interpretive trail) with 210 metres of elevation gain. There is the option to hike a section of the scramblers trail that heads for Mt. Rae.

For a short hike it delivers a tremendous variety of scenery – including coniferous forests, high alpine meadows, mountains and waterfalls. It’s the perfect hike to take your out of town guests who want a taste of the mountains without spending a full day in them – and it’s a great one for families too. …

Ptarmigan Cirque Hike In Kananaskis Country

The trailhead is off Highwood Pass (2,206m), getting you to elevation easily.

8 and 9 year olds complete the Appalachian

… David Kallin, husband, father, and outdoor adventurer describes his family’s extraordinary adventure trekking the 2,185-mile Appalachian trail. In his talk, David describes the challenges and tremendous rewards of watching his young children (ages 8 and 9) navigate the arduous five-month long hike from Georgia to Maine. …

Click PLAY or watch the TEDx Talk on YouTube.

Amanda Zeisset:

Key Takeaways From This Video:

1. Early on, the kids needed help with everything but by the end they had grown and matured.

2. At the beginning, sometimes the tough climbs were too much for their young legs, so their parents would take their packs. But by the end, they were carrying all their own gear – clothes, sleeping gear and even their shelter.

3. Everyone faced challenging conditions – cold rain then sleet then snow then hail. There were freezing nights. At first, it was the adults who would get up early to set up a fire to warm up the socks and shoes so they could get them back on their feet. By the end, their daughter was wringing out her own wet socks the night before, stuffing them into her own pockets. The kids had truly become self-sufficient.

I hope you have been as inspired by David’s story as I have.

The Perfect Hike – Joffre Lakes B.C.

Pemberton’s most popular day hikeJoffre Lakes — is famous for 3 stunning turquoise glacier-fed lakes.

  • 11km round trip plus scramble above the highest lake
  • elevation gain 350m
  • access from high elevation, paved highway 99

Seems to me Joffre Lakes is the perfect hike. Let’s say you want to take non-hikers or small children to wilderness. The first lake is only a few minutes from the parking lot on very good trail.

Groups that turn back here have a good experience in a rich, temperate rain forest.

Most hikers continue on to Middle Joffre. The trail gets increasingly rugged. It’s a challenge, actually.

Still, everyone looked extremely happy here.

The bravest venture out like gymnasts on the “fallen log”.

English is not the first language of the trail. I heard more Mandarin and German.

A surprise. I bumped into Canadian Olympic gymnast Scott Morgan. He and his girlfriend had come up to Whistler for a couple of days getaway.

Holloway Falls

The climb to Upper Joffree is a scramble at times though some sections have been improved. A hike you’ll not forget.

I carried a tent up the mountain despite the trailhead sign saying the campground was permanently FULL. (Worst case scenario I planned to wild camp.)

As expected, campsites were not nearly full. Many who book online for $5 later decide not to go. 😦

Only a few continue to scramble up the scree above the lake to the face of the cliff.

I left a Summit Stone on a large boulder.

At this point it was about 2pm. Too early to set up the tent, I thought. Should I circle Upper Joffre and then set-up?

Finally I decided to pack my tent back down to my rent-a-car. Get ready for tomorrow’s hike. (I tented for free on the river from the Wedgemount turn-off, a cyclists hangout.)

Still, I highly recommend Joffree to everyone.

See my high resolution photos on flickr.

Guidebook – 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia


day 1 – Parque Inglés to El Bolsón campground

trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles 

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | info Condor Circuit  

High season on a mid-summer weekend, Valle las Catas campground was full.


We were in no rush. Enjoyed the morning.

Sendero Los Cipreses (Cypresss Trail) is free entrance from Valle las Catas campground leading to the Siete Tazas (7 cups). Pedro, Victor and myself did the famous tourist attraction as a day hike.


seven consecutive natural pools with their respective waterfalls along Claro River. These waterfalls range from 1 to 10.5 metres. There are also two high waterfalls called El Velo de Novia (The Bridal Veil) and La Leona (The Lioness), with single vertical drops of 40 and 20 metres respectively. …

7 cups

On return to the campground I enjoyed one last restaurant meal – 4 eggs.


By far the most popular back country campground in the area is El Bolsón. I planned an afternoon start. Tried to get organized at the Ranger station.



In fact it was 4pm before I reached the trailhead.

Christian and his family had been there before. I followed them from the Park office and we stayed together for much of the 12km. All uphill.


Many groups ride horses up here. Or take pack animals.


Very pretty.



On the steepest section, I dropped my heavy load and went back to carry the 10yr-olds pack for about one km. However, when we finally got to Bolsón, she looked less tired that I did.

The sun going down, I set up my tent in a gorgeous spot. And went to sleep.


day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | info Condor Circuit  

3 Moms take their kids hiking

Adventure moms Brooke Froelich (30), Morgan Brechler (25) and Shannon Robertson (28) share their love of the outdoors with their kids through rock climbing, camping and hiking.

The trio is set to be the subject of the first film in the Born Wild project, which will bring the adventures of parenting into the testoserone-heavy genre of adventure film. …

Bored Panda


Thanks Betsy.

hiking Mineral Ridge, Idaho


Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail is a backcountry hiking area near Lake Coeur d’Alene

Construction began on the trail in 1963 and the area was designated as a National Recreation Trail in 1982. There is a self-guided interpretive tour along the 3.3-mile (5.3 km) trail.

Summit of Mineral Ridge, 2,400ft (730m). Elevation gain is 600ft (180m).


We hiked it January 3rd after a snowstorm. With a 5yr-old. Late in the afternoon, slipping and sliding back to the trailhead in the dark.

Mineral Ridge

A bit more adventurous than usual. 🙂

Here’s a more typical lake view from the ridge.


Each winter from November through February a migrating population of up to 150 bald eagles visit the area to feed on spawning Kokanee salmon. An interpretive viewing program is offered annually from Christmas through New Years during peak migration.

We saw two bald eagles. 🙂

official Bureau of Land Management page

Simien Trek – Ethiopians

Photographers know that some of the BEST photos from the developing World are of local people.

I’m always reluctant to ask to take these kinds of photos, but Joshua and Nadine have been living in rural Africa the past two years. They have a good feel for whom to ask, whom to leave alone. Here are a few of their photos from our hike in the Ethiopian highlands.


Simien - Josh and Nadine-5

There seems to be some invisible line off the hiking trail behind which the kids must stay.

Simien - Josh and Nadine-8

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more photos

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