Visitors 42
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Distance: ~7 km
Elevation gain: 550 m
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Porcupine Ridge is located just to the north of popular Wasootch Ridge along Highway 40. It's steeper, shorter, and if you continue beyond the first high point, much more of a scramble than Wasootch Ridge.

The trail starts where Porcupine Creek crosses Highway 40. If you have a truck you can park in the ditch, but for most vehicles it's probably safest to park along the road; the west side is more gently sloping so you can get the car completely off the road. To access the ridge, head upstream (southeast), following the northern bank of the stream. The trail was wiped out in places by the flood, but a new trail is developing and the route is obvious. The only confusing part is when the canyon starts to narrow (it's still very wide, just not completely wide open). Here, a few hiker-made log bridges exist and a trail is developing on the other side of the stream. However, their purpose seems to be only an attempt to metaphorically answer the philosophical question "why did the chicken cross the road", as crossing to the other side simply means you'll need to re-cross again within a 100 m or so. It's utterly pointless, and the slippery logs are just plain dangerous. Instead of crossing, just continue along the north bank of the river. From a short distance away some cliffs look impossible to get by, but we're not scramblers and it was a piece of cake for us.

The river forks a short distance later. Between the forks is Porcupine Ridge, and this is where you begin the ascent. It's steep and the footing somewhat loose in places, but it's not a scramble. While the trail is intermittent, the forest is open and you generally want to keep to the high point of the ridge.

After climbing several hundred meters emerge into a small level clearing. A large fire pit is located here and would be a nice place for a picnic on a windless day. The remainder of the ridge is visible from this point, but the difficult parts are hidden. Simply continue ascending for as long as you feel comfortable. Attaining the initial high point visible from the clearing is no more difficult than what you just climbed, but beyond that it gets much more scrambly. With slippery snow in spots we chose to stop at this highpoint. More adept hikers or scramblers can easily continue for a further 1.5 km or so along the ridge.

Categories & Keywords
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Subcategory Detail:Hiking
Keywords:Kananaskis, Porcupine Ridge, hiking