Sunday morning, the drive out of Calgary was on roads clear of snow and ice. I’m accompanied by two friends as we head East on the Trans-Canada highway in search of a snowy day trip. We were headed to Kananaskis country or K-Country, often bypassed by tourists who venture straight to Banff National park.
Directed by Google Maps, we stayed South on Kananaskis Trail or Highway 40 for 50.0km until we reached the turnoff to the right onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail. Drive 2.2km on this road before making another right onto the Smith Dorrien Trail for 8.4km. The Black Prince Cirque trail parking lot will then be on your left.
Black Prince Cirque Trail is a moderate to easy 4.2km round trip trail in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park ending at Warspite Lake. In winter, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers arrive to make use of the well-maintained trail and easy terrain. As Janine and Tara were relatively new snowshoers, I chose this trail as it came recommended as beginner friendly and we wouldn’t be trudging through waist-high snow depth. For a bigger workout, backcountry splitboarding and skiing can also be accomplished off the main trail.
We left the parking lot, headed to the bridge over scenic Smith-Dorrien Creek and then onto an old logging road. The majority of the uphill was in the beginning, so we trudged up the former logging road. After that, the rest of the trail was fairly level and the snow trail firm. Initially, the trail was wide enough to allow the three of us to walk alongside each other but eventually, the path narrowed and we traipsed along single file on the snowshoe track lane. As we neared Warspite Lake, the path narrowed further before widening again around boulder fields.
Finally, we arrived at the frozen Warspite Lake in Black Prince Cirque. We paused for lunch and admired the beautiful white walls of Mount Black Prince.
Before returning the way we came, we made snow angels and jumped into the deep snow, occasionally losing our balance. It was hilarious watching someone get stuck in snow, legs and snowshoes flailing in the air, and swimming in snow before army crawling back up onto their feet.
Taking time to go outdoors and snowshoe Black Prince Cirque was a fun respite from our busy urban lives. In good spirits we ambled back along the trail the way we came.
Would you hike or snowshoe the Black Prince Cirque trail?
What did you think of the trail? Let me know in the comments below!