Arethusa Ridge hike
Arethusa Cirque is a gem of a hike, being an overlooked neighbour to nearby Ptarmigan and Pocaterra Cirques. The views are especially spectacular in larch season, which takes place in
From the Stoney Nakoda Casino on the TransCanada, take Highway 40 south for roughly 42.9mi. Drive past Highwood Pass and roughly 1.1mi past you’ll see a dirt track on your left which leads to a dirt parking lot. This is the Arethusa Cirque Parking lot.
|When to do|
Yes - On Leash
Route Description for Arethusa Ridge
Arethusa Cirque is a great hike, but it has poor signage, and it steep in places, so while often recommended for children and families, it is a challenging hike.
From the parking lot head off into the forest on a clear path. This hiking trail meanders through the forest while gaining altitude.
Eventually you come to a small creek, and you want to go to your left. We prefer going clockwise around the cirque, as the challenging hill is easier to go up then come down. It can be tricky to get on the right path here, but the path will become clear quickly.
The path goes over another creek and then start to rise, at one point up a very steep hillside where you’ll want to hold your children’s hands.
Once at the top of this hill, you are above the tree line and you have fine views in all directions. This is a good place for a break, and if you look out you can see a faint trail going through the boulder field in the distance.
Follow the path as it curves around to the right. The views are spectacular, though the trail can be hard to follow at times.
Follow the trail as it goes into the boulder field and continue heading east. Eventually you come out of the boulder field, and come onto a small plateau. It’s easy to get mixed up here as the path is really hard to see, and some people have ended up on challenging terrain here. There is a clear path down from this little plateau and it takes you to a narrow creek bed.
Follow the narrow creek bed beside a steep scree slope and cross and recross a small stream, until you come out into a little grassy area. From this grassy area continue ahead and you’ll soon rejoin the route you came in on.
Arethusa Cirque is one of the best larch hikes in the Canadian Rockies. The colours and views are spectacular.
Route finding on this trail can be challenging, and it seems we regularly meet other hikers who are lost. It’s best to have a GPS app on your smartphone to help you follow the route.
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