Hike Report - Grass Pass

  • Published on Oct 17 2017 |
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By Ian Harker, 
Communications Coordinator, CPAWS Southern Alberta

Earlier in the summer, Neil Williams from the Diamond Willow Hikers led a small group of CPAWS Southern Alberta staff and board members on a beautiful hike up Grass Pass in the Upper Highwood.

Starting near the old Sentinel day-use area, this hike gains elevation quickly, rising up a little over 400m on the 5.4 Km return trip. The hike through the forest brought us to a wide-open pass, with plenty of wild grass, for which the trail has aptly been named. After reaching the pass, our group enjoyed the wide-open skies, and stunning vistas as we headed east, stopping for pictures at the iconic Boundary Pine. Our destination was a ridge overlooking Fir Creek and the Upper Highwood.

The viewpoint at the ridge was an excellent stopping point for lunch, some poetry, and a discussion regarding the Upper Highwood, which is an area that has been on our minds a lot over this past year.

Neil represents Take a Stand for the Upper Highwood, a group of local concerned citizens who are worried about the effects of logging in the area. We have been working with this citizen group, raising awareness to protect the Highwood from imminent logging that is scheduled to start this fall.

The Upper Highwood is significant to many stakeholders, for many different reasons. To many southern Albertans, this is the gateway to Kananaskis, and the myriad of quiet recreational opportunities it provides. For others, like those downstream in High River, it represents the headwaters of a river that provides clean drinking water, and a buffer against floods and drought.

Boundary Tree on the Grass Pass hike in the Highwood.We recognize the variety of connections people have with the Highwood, and Kananaskis. We also recognize that this land is important habitat for many species who can’t raise their voice. We are concerned with the effects that industrial developments would have in this area many Albertans cherish.

Logging hasn’t begun yet. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to Take a Stand for the Upper Highwood, please consider helping to protect Kananaskis.

Take a trip, west from Longview and enjoy the drive up to Grass Pass. This hike is accessible year-round, and will help you to gain appreciation for this cherished area.

Please consider supporting local conservation work by donating to CPAWS Southern Alberta. You can also make your voice heard by signing the petition to stop logging in the Kananaskis.