As Hanneke was in Edmonton for the weekend, we decided to go for a pleasant Sunday afternoon hike with the kids, dog and I. The only place free enough of snow on this gorgeous weekend was McConnell Ridge, so we gave that a try and it worked out beautifully.
A note on the naming - Yate's Mountain is the high point where the fire lookout is beyond McConnell Ridge which runs in front of it. I've been to the lookout many times, but on this particular trip we only hiked the ridge. I'm including both summits as one and the GPS track is for Yate's Mountain.
This is a great short hike for a half day outing with great views over Barrier Lake and the front country peaks around it.
[Scoping out the trailhead. McConnell Ridge in the background.]
[Crossing the Barrier Lake dam. McConnell Ridge obvious at right. ++]
[The trail is wide and obvious. (After all, it's a ROAD. :-))]
[The views open up as the road goes past a gap in the trees. Mount Baldy in the bg. ++]
[A steeper section of road before the easy scrambling.]
[Back up to the easy scrambling section.]
[Views just before we dip back into the trees for the easy scrambling section. ++]
[You know it's pretty tame when Gizmo can make it up without help!]
[Surprisingly great views over Barrier Lake include Baldy, West Baldy, McDougall and Fisher Peak (L to R). ++]
[A slightly wider view from McConnell Ridge. ++]
[KC and Gizmo.]
[Pointing out other peaks from the top.]
[Looking east at the prairies and down hwy 1 on the left and across Barrier Lake at Ole Buck Mountain and towards Sibbald Flats at center - Baldy at right. ++]
[Note the hikers coming up the trail at lower left.]
[Spring is here!]
[I love Prairie Crocus.]
[Descending the trail / road.]
[Enjoying a very warm afternoon at Barrier Lake. McConnell Ridge / Yates on the right. ++]
[Sweet views of Baldy and Barrier Lake and very few people - which is very rare at this location close to Calgary. ++]
[A great place for a picnic.]