Panoramic views from the Foran Grade and Windy Peak hike in Kananaskis near Canmore
Panoramic views from the Foran Grade and Windy Peak hike in Kananaskis near Canmore

Foran Grade and Windy Point hike

Bragg Creek and Sheep River
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Trail of the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, KananaskisTrail through the forest on the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, KananaskisBirch forest on the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, KananaskisClaw marks on a tree on the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, KananaskisMountain views from the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, KananaskisPanorama from the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, KananaskisForest and mountains on the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, KananaskisStonewall on the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, KananaskisBeautiful hill on the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, KananaskisWhite mountains from the Foran Grade and Windy Point Hike in Sheep River Provincial Park, Kananaskis

Foran Grade and Windy Point hike

Distance: 7.8mi
Elevation: 1,490ft
Time: 3.5-5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
8.9 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

Foran Grade and Windy Point Ridge are two smallish peaks in the front ranges providing great views of the surrounding ranges to the west and the prairie to the east. The views are gorgeous, especially considering the limited elevation you gain at just over 1000ft.

Foran Grade and Windy Point hike Map

Getting there

Closure of the winter gate forced our start at the inter gate closure at Sandy McNab day use area on Highway 546. Take highway 546 west from Turner Valley, and park either along the highway in the Winter or in the day use area in the summer.

I’ve done this 47 people have done this
I want to do this 40 want to do this route

About

When to do

Accessible Year Round - May -October suggested

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

No

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Foran Grade and Windy Point
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Foran Grade and Windy Point

Parking at the gates on the 546 head west along the closed highway for about 0.9mi until you see the clearly signed Foran Grade trail. Follow the trail as you break away from the road and into the trees. Shortly after you will come into a meadow, where you might run into some free range cattle.

As you continue on the Foran Grade Trail you will gain elevation and quickly reach the summit. Leaving the Summit on trail heading WSW you will see our final destination Windy Point. The trail descends through switchbacks down to the saddle between the two peaks.

From the saddle you are confronted with a few options on how to proceed. We recommend that you follow the Windy Point Ridge trail, this route provides as well marked trail. The more adventurous can explore the unsigned but more direct paths to the summit.

After a final steep approach you will reach the summit of the Windy Point. The views from Windy Point make the whole hike worth it (no offense to Foran Grade). Take in the views of the Rockies (particularly Mount Rose, Banded Peak and Threepoint Mountain) towering over the treed foothills to the west.

Returning home, there are many options: You could follow the our out route-back (suggested), or alternatively, at the Saddle head down the mountain on the marked Windy Ridge trail to link up with the highway (shorter). Finally, you can explore the many minor trails down.

Insider Hints

  • In the winter and early spring we recommend bringing microspikes as there may be residual snow and ice in the upper elevations.

  • In the summer you can park higher up on Sheep River trail (park right before the road takes a left heading west) to cut off 0.9mi from the route.

  • If you are looking for more scenery from the off you can walk along the Sheep River from the the Sandy McNab day use area connection withing our trail as the river and road converge.

Comments

TrevorWCline 2 months ago

Nice shoulder season hike. The GPS track provided appears to me to be a snow route after the gate was closed (Open until Dec 1) and does not follow the best terrain features and contours in my opinion. The hike was dry when we did it. We started at Foran trailhead. At the Windy Pt trail sign between the two ridges, we followed the unnamed horse trail approx 1 km north to a low point in the ridge before turning west on open meadow slope instead of the almost immediate ascent of the ridge if you follow the GPS track provided. This gives a longer walk on the ridge top with some good views west.

7.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3h 6m Time Taken
DesireeD. 1 year ago

So we decided to become adventurous and took a different path to the summit, and it was incredibly fun!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
5h 20m Time Taken
PeterHopkins 1 year ago

Windy point gives the best scenery, I somehow wish there are more signage.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
5h 15m Time Taken
MartiniC 1 year ago

The views of the prairies are incredible.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
5h 00m Time Taken
havedogwillhike 1 year ago

add this to the list of underappreciated hikes, it's not very busy so it's great for a day when you don't want to be elbow to elbow with other people. not bad in the shoulder season either.

Paul D. 2 years ago

Great little hike. Parking was a bit of a pain at 10am though. The summit was very beautiful and even though the elevation was minimal

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Jeremy R. 2 years ago

Quite busy but fun. We run into a herd of free-range cattle and they just love humans so much. Oddly satisfying experience.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Willow F. 2 years ago

This hike provides great views of the surrounding ranges to the west and the prairie to the east. The view at the top is enchanting. Will definitely go back again.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
LyleM 2 years ago

Trail was great and easy to find. It has well maintained trail with decent view payoffs. Wonderful views of the Sheep Valley. But mostly enjoyed the wild flowers along the path and in the meadow. It has gradual elevation gain with amazing views.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Sean Kater 2 years ago

Amazing short walk. The prairies and the mountain ranges look magnificent. I highly recommend doing it!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
21 Comments Show all

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