Distance: 6 km
Elevation gain: 375 m View map Download GPS track
Mockingbird Lookout is one of several dozen active fire lookouts in the Canadian Rockies. We’ve hiked to many others and generally find they make wonderful hikes as a view is guaranteed (weather permitting) and the hike is typically on an old road, meaning it’s a very relaxing affair. They’re also typically located east of the main range and thus stay free of snow late into the year. That was mainly what we were looking for today, and so headed out early for an easy hike to Mockingbird Lookout.
We didn’t have any trouble finding the trailhead using the directions in the Kananaskis Country Trail Guide
, although the absence of an expected sign at the start of the lookout road and a group of wild horses in the same spot distracted me enough that I actually missed it and had to pull a u-turn a few hundred meters further along. After parking on the grassy hillside we started hiking up the lookout road at a brisk pace. The road was in excellent drivable condition, but a gate a few hundred meters up would have thwarted an attempt to do so.
The gently graded and mostly snow-free road made for very easy travel and with very few views along the way to distract us we made excellent progress, reaching the lookout just 50 minutes after leaving the car. It was windy and cold on top, of course, but the 360 degree panorama was very nice and we managed to hang out for about 10 minutes before heading back down. At least two other fire lookouts were visible from the top: Abandoned Burnt Timber lookout to the north is one we’ll be hiking sometime soon, and Moose Mountain to the south is one we’ve already visited.
The trip back to the truck was even faster and just 90 minutes after having parked we were driving again. As we’d travelled two hours to get there I was in no mood to head back home so early, so we instead headed towards Kananaskis for a short hike up Horton Hill