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Karst Spring, Spray Valley Provincial Park, Kananaskis, Beginner

  • Aug 5, 2013 · 8:00 AM

BEFORE YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS HIKE:

Read the entire hike posting. Every. Single. Word. I don't mind answering questions, as long as they aren't already answered in the hike posting.

Be willing to hike at the pace of the slowest. Leave your long sighs, eye-rolls and impatience at home, please and thank you. Those of us who actually are slow hikers will appreciate it. :-)


Trail distance and elevation plus estimated time to complete: 9.6km, 200m elevation gain. 5-6 hours including breaks.


Details about the trail: Starts on an open road surrounded by wildflowers until you get to Watridge Lake. The trail continues from there on a narrow boardwalk, then climbs gently along the creek. At the end of the trail, you can see Karst Spring burst out of the rock face. Described as “an enchanted place where boulders and driftwood are draped with bright green moss.” Every photographer I've hiked here with has gone nuts over this place.


Meetup Location:

Transit Users: I can take three passengers with me from Heritage LRT Station. Please reply to the post on the Message Board below. Look for a Light Blue Dodge Caravan parked close to the station building.

Vehicle Drivers: You can drive yourself to the trailhead, or use the Message Board below to arrange yourselves in car pooling groups, from whatever location you wish.


Trailhead: Mt Shark Parking Lot. Take the turnoff for the city center at Canmore and follow the signs for Kananaskis. From Canmore, turn south on Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail (Highway 742, gravel) and drive for 38km, turn right (west) at the sign to Mt. Shark, and continue 5km to Mt Shark parking lot. I will email out a map to the trailhead 24 hours before the hike. Be warned, Highway 742 is washboard gravel – give yourselves at least two hours to get to the trailhead from Calgary! I often see wildlife on this road.


Hiking Pace: We will be hiking to the pace of the slowest person in the group. My definition of hiking to the pace of the slowest is the slowest hiker is at the front of the group, and sets the pace for everyone. This is for the safety, health and enjoyment of all hikers. We will be stopping for great views, photos, rest breaks, and the occasional head count. Remember, it doesn't matter how slow you're going, you're still going faster than the folks sitting at home on the couch.


Hiker requirements: Healthy enough to complete the hike (this includes carrying your own gear – there are no sherpas on my hikes!), good sense of humor, and a desire to explore the natural environment.


Gear requirements: Hiking shoes/boots are always best, and be prepared for changes in weather. Always be prepared with sunscreen, bug spray, personal medications (if needed), personal-sized first aid kit. Water: I typically take at least 2 liters on any hike. Better to have too much, than run out in the middle of the hike. If you have them, bring bear spray and/or bear bangers and carry them on the outside of your pack. Snacks/lunch. Camera, small binoculars if you have them.


Passenger gas share: 
$20. Please note this is per person, and in cash. No park pass required.


Start and return time:
 Leaving Calgary around 8:00 am, be at the trailhead at 10:00-10:15am. Should be done between 3 and 4 pm, depending on our speed and how long our breaks are.


If anyone knows a good spot in Canmore to stop for a post-hike treat, let me know!


I will check the Meetup site for this hike in the early morning of the hike, in case anyone has any last minute messages.


Who can attend: No dogs please. No children.


Waivers: As per the new policy for waivers, I will bring the group waiver form with me to both the Calgary Meetup location and the trailhead. You must sign it before you will be allowed to go on this hike. You will also be asked for the name and phone number of an emergency contact. Please come prepared with this information.


You are fully aware that organizers are not professional guides and you assume all responsibility for your safety and well-being. You are fully prepared with proper gear and you're physically fit to do this hike with the group.



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  • Sandra

    Beautiful area, how amazing to see the moose and calf!
    And a really nice group of people to hike with, I hope to see you all again!

    August 6, 2013

  • Diane W.

    the best 4 hours I've spent in the rain for a while! Thanks Linda for arranging the Mama Moose and baby. Also anxiously waiting for Linda's
    next hike.

    1 · August 6, 2013

  • Paula

    Another great hike organized by Linda. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    It was a wet one today, but it was a blast! The drive to the trailhead was an adventure by itself, and I even shocked myself with my 'power-walk' on the way back to the trailhead....the sight of that washroom door was a godsend! :)
    Can't wait to see what Linda will organize next!

    1 · August 5, 2013

  • Linda

    Well, the hiking gods reward the persistent. In spite of rain, 11 of us went all the way to the spring. We got sunshine for the last half hour or so. We saw a mama moose and her baby, a coyote and a young black bear on the drive home. But the reward was the afternoon tea buffet at Mt. Engadine Lodge - definitely making a note of that place for the next time I'm in the area. Thanks to all of you who persisted, and hope to see you again on future hikes!

    1 · August 5, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      And thanks for organizing, Linda! Have a good vacay, and we'll definitely look out for your next hike.

      August 5, 2013

    • Katica

      Thank you, Linda, for a great hike! Despite of weather conditions, it was really nice.

      August 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sorry, I was thinking to go there early to get breakfeast, then I got lost in town centre. Next time I will read the instruction more carefully.

    August 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry i didnt meet you guys, i drove to the trailhead and arrived late. i saw a small group of ppl waiting to ride horses but didnt see anyone. I figured you all probably went on because it was raining pretty hard.

    August 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am lost?

    August 5, 2013

  • Kathleen S.

    I anyone is coming from the downtown area, I have room for 3 people in my vehicle.

    August 2, 2013

    • Kathleen S.

      I drive a black Hyundai Tuscon with a bike rack on the back.

      August 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Great! Thank you. Home Depot parking lot at 8 am.

      August 5, 2013

  • Zhen G.

    Sorry, Linda. I don't feel well these days. So, a hiking would be a little difficult to me.

    August 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Get better soon! You have to be well for Friday :)!

      August 4, 2013

    • Zhen G.

      Not very bad. Just not suitable for a hiking......

      August 4, 2013

  • Sandra

    Sorry I cannot make it this time. Have fun

    August 4, 2013

  • Trish F.

    sorry Linda not feeling well. Will catch you on the next hike. Trish

    August 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    can someone post a detailed address, I can type into my GPS. Thanks

    August 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I searched in goodle: is this right: Mount Engadine Lodge


      1 Mount Shark Road

      Canmore, AB T1W 3H9

      August 4, 2013

  • Naomi

    I can carpool. I am in the NW, my car can hold three plus me or 4 for snug a fit. Or if someone has a bigger vehicle... :)

    July 30, 2013

    • Eri

      that's perfect. 8 am? what does your vehicle look like?

      August 4, 2013

    • Eri

      ok. see you there!

      August 4, 2013

  • Linda

    If you're planning to ride with me from Heritage, please reply to this posting.

    July 29, 2013

    • Katica

      So, just to confirm: 8 am at Heritage. I hope it is the same time mentioned at the top of this information.

      August 4, 2013

    • Katica

      I am leaving for my work soon, so cannot check this site, maybe when I return after midnight, or in the early morning, before I leave to the meeting point.

      August 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I want to bring my dad to Hike with me, last time he feel so surprise he can walk so far away.

    August 4, 2013

  • Sandra

    Hi Ezmina, lets make it simple if you are already stopping at Souldice, I will meet you there.

    August 2, 2013

  • Ezmina

    Yes!!! i got on :) I can take my car with 3 passengers. Let me know if anyone needs a ride. I can give a ride from Shouldice, COP, or PetroCanada if that helps.

    August 1, 2013

    • Diane W.

      Ezmina do you have room for me on Monday?I can meet you at Shouldice at 8

      August 3, 2013

    • Ezmina

      Sure Dianne. See u ar shouldice. We habe a full car now.

      August 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there anyone who lives in the deep south needing a ride? I can carry 3 passengers.

    August 3, 2013

  • Graham

    Cedric, I am in deep south as well.If you have a spot, I'd like a ride-thanks

    August 1, 2013

    • Graham

      Cedric, I hadn't heard from you so asked for a ride from someone else.....thanks for getting back to me

      August 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      No worries

      August 3, 2013

  • Sandra

    Hi Ezmina, Can I ride up with you?? I can meet you at the Petrocanada.

    August 1, 2013

    • Ezmina

      I thought I replied, but I don't see it here....so again, for sure will pick u up from Petro Canada on Hwy22. Will pick up Graham from Shouldice 1st at 8am. Watch out for a silver/grey Honda Accord.

      August 1, 2013

    • Ezmina

      Hi Sandra, we had a lot of confusion today on our hike to Jumping Pound with pickup at P.Canada since people were waiting in different areas. There is a sign "Petro Pass" if you can wait around there, I don't have to look for you :)

      August 2, 2013

  • Sandra

    I need a ride please.

    August 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are we meeting at the trailhead at 8am? I live in the deep south i can drive if someone needs a ride. I can hold 3ppl including myself.

    August 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      NVM. I just reread the info about the trailhead. :-)

      August 1, 2013

  • Graham

    could I get a ride with someone ? thanks

    July 31, 2013

  • Paula

    Hey Linda. Me too! Got in a bit late and now I'm in the wait list.
    Waiting for you to do your magic:)

    July 31, 2013

    • Zhen G.

      Haha. We all are unlucky.

      July 31, 2013

    • Linda

      If the list doesn't move in a day or two, I'll put you both on.

      July 31, 2013

  • Zhen G.

    Hi, Linda. I'm a little late and I'm just in the waiting list. So, could add another for me? Thank you!

    July 31, 2013

  • Cathy G.

    Can I bring a friend?

    July 30, 2013

    • Linda

      Sorry, but no guests. Your friend would have to sign up as a member (free of charge), and sign up for this hike.

      July 30, 2013

  • Diane W.

    I'm interested in carpooling. I live in the NW

    July 30, 2013

    • Eri

      I also live in the NW and would love to carpool.

      July 30, 2013

  • Graham

    Would like to do this hike. Would like a ride if possible.

    July 30, 2013

  • Paula

    Yeahhhh!!!! Linda just posted another great hike. I'm in!!

    July 29, 2013

    • Linda

      Awww, so nice to have fans!

      1 · July 29, 2013

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