Visitors 126
37 photos

Distance: 7.5 km
Elevation gain: 200 m (not really noticeable)
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This is a fantastic hike for the playful on a hot day. It's not your typical mountain hike as mountain views are essentially absent, but rather follows a canyon that is sometimes only a few feet wide. While it is often possible to rock hop or use logs to maneuver around and over the creek, this takes the fun out of the trip and can be dangerous; the day after we did the hike someone dislocated their shoulder and had to be rescued doing just this. Come prepared to get wet!

The trailhead is located on highway 1A and is directly across the road from a parking area signed as "Graymont". While the trail initially branches in several places, head roughly north and simply aim for the mouth of the canyon and you'll be hard pressed to get lost. If by some odd chance you find yourself ascending in trees, you've gone too far to the right.

The canyon is initially a slot canyon and the creek quite lively. Several pools mid-thigh deep on an adult are bridged by slippery logs, although it's much funner and refreshing on a hot day to just walk in the stream. After a few hundred meters of this the canyon widens and continues to widen (the stream is often dry in this wider section) until it reaches a steep bouldery section. Today this section was also dry, but if wet forms another narrow section of the canyon with more fascinating pools. Even when dry it's quite neat. This represents the normal end point of the trip, but it is also possible to ascend the eastern bank and exit along a ridge or continue further upstream. I'd recommend retracing your steps.

The walls of the canyon also offer many shaded areas to picnic and the creek is a great nice place to cool down. While I'm no geologist, there are apparently many interesting geologic formations in the canyon as well, the most interesting to the non-expert being the junction of two disparate types of rock in the upper canyon.

Categories & Keywords
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Subcategory Detail:Hiking
Keywords:Exshaw, Jura Creek, Kananaskis, hiking