N 53° 27.256 W 118° 21.281
BCP377 - Rock Lake
I've been aiming to check out these more distant caps (in more ways than one) for quite some time, but weather and work kept getting in the way. So after driving up from Calgary this morning I made the run down the Rock Lake Road.
The Rock Lake Road was in surprisingly good shape and the 35 km to the staging area parking went by quickly. On arrival there was no doubt that a number of outfitters use this parking area to bring in supplies for their camp several kilometres to the west down the Mountain Road.
Originally the plan was to ride the bike as close as possible and then head uphill at my first opportunity. Well this didn't happen due to the significant quantity of mud, water, and plenty of equestrian traffic along the trail.
So after gearing up I decided to take on the cap by foot and enjoy the Rock Lake PP / Wilmore Wilderness Area trails. I simply followed the Mountain Road for a few kilometres and then headed west along an equestrian trail (plenty of mud and standing water), before heading up hill at a logical point. The initial going was pretty good with the super soft moss covering the forest floor. In no time it started to rain for the first time and the hill got significantly steeper. Thankfully we reached the ridge a short time later and enjoyed a rather pleasant walk through the forest (kind of like a number of Kananaskis Ridges).
I followed the ridge through a few sections of blow down and worked my way around to the first view point of the day with Rock Lake being the focal point. After capturing a few pictures, I decided to get going as the rain had stopped for a few minutes. The game trails along the ridge were pretty good and I quickly found myself at the cap site. What a cool spot with the boundary of the Wilmore Wilderness Park and Jasper National Park, along with an intact abandoned fire lookout, and the amazing scenery to the east, south and west.
Overall our track log indicated a 12.6 km hike with about 800 metres of elevation. Thanks OFTH for setting up these more remote cap locations and I'll be sure to post a few pictures of this special spot!