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South Gorge Creek Trail, Sheep Valley

After our traditional breakfast at the Chuckwagon in Turner Valley we set out with the fairly vague plan of following the Death Valley Trail, having passed the junction when we hiked the Foran Grade Loop about a month ago.  However, we missed the turnoff to the trail head and continued on to Gorge Creek instead.

This is a lovely, scenic trail, but, for hikers planning to follow this route – two caveats: Don’t attempt it after rains or when it is very hot. Since it is primarily used as part of an equestrian loop parts of the trail become a churned up bog when it is wet and, although much of the hike is through pine trees, many of the climbs, although fairly short,  are steep and in the full sun.

Barbara, being intrepid.

We started off along the South Gorge Creek trail, planning to complete a loop via the Indian Oil Trail and back onto the Gorge Creek trail – a distance of approximately 14km.   A young couple joined us at the start and stayed with us throughout the hike and on the way we met up with another couple walking with two beautiful dogs who were thoroughly enjoying every opportunity they had to wade into the creek.

Our young friends (and the dogs in the distance)

Although we followed the creek, at times it was many feet below us as the trail climbed and dipped through mostly forested areas, the grass under the trees speckled with wild flowers.  After walking for about 6 km without reaching the Indian Oil loop we sat down on a tree trunk for refreshments and consulted our map.  We ascertained that the junction was just ahead of us but were forestalled by the doggie couple returning from that direction to report that the road was very wet and muddy and that they had decided to return the way they had come.  It didn’t take the rest of us long to decide to turn around as well.

Shirley on the trail

This is not really a difficult trail – the elevation gain is about 210m, and, despite a blister and incipient heat stroke, I would like to do it again, perhaps completing the loop next time – but when its cooler (and I’m a little fitter!)

A waterfall on the creek

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July 26, 2010 - Posted by | Hiking, Living in Canada

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