Ptarmigan Cirque is one of my favourite hikes for young families. It is easily accessible as you drive to the Highwood Pass in Kananaskis to start the hike. The Highwood Pass is the highest drivable mountain pass in Canada. The road that leads to the pass is, in my opinion, one of the nicest drives in the Canadian rockies. It is always less busy than anything in the national parks, but the views are easily comparable. It opens for the year on June 15th and closes in December. It is one of our favourite Sunday drives. More than once, we have stopped at the pass and quickly done this hike as part of the drive. It is an easy loop which makes it great for kids. The views are phenomenal. The summer months bring amazing wildflowers and the fall brings the gorgeous yellow of the larches. Anytime of the year, my kids have been able to find fossils in the rocks there. So, when this family asked for a session among the larches, I knew exactly where to go!!
This year, with the hustle and bustle of free admission to the national parks, us locals might want to consider spending more time in Kananaskis to beat the crowds. If you do want to take your kids on a hike, try this one. Simply park at the Highwood pass. Follow the path across the road and up into the trees. It is cold up there, so bring a jacket and some water. When my kids were smaller, we always brought Smarties and gave them out one at a time to encourage them to keep going. Once you are out of the trees(which happens really quickly), the views are amazing. And, if you are lucky, a herd of mountain goats might pass you buy ;)
And, just for fun, I'm doing a blog circle with some of my friends so check out Anna Rasmussen's blogpost of Golden Light Family Portraits in Wilmington, North Carolina and follow the links to check out some wonderful photography from across North America.