Cat Creek Falls

September 13, 2014

A very short day hike deep in Kananaskis Country; Cat Creek is found in Highwood region of K-Country.  My first warning is this area is closed in the winter (after September 30) and only opens in the spring/summer (June 15) every year.  With that said this area is still under mass repairs due to the June 2013 floods, Cat Creek included.  On this day I would pass a crew working on the (what once was) bridge over the creek.

The unmistakable thing for me and my girlfriend this day was the vast amount of cows that crowded the mountain side.  With no explanation these cows were found south of Ptarmigan Cirque and all the way south to where we'd stop at Cat Creek.  Also from what I could tell there were a number of closed parking lots and trails due to "bear activity".  The only people we'd encounter (aside from the men in florescent orange) were the camouflaged and gun strapping kind.

However in terms of wildlife there were many squirrel & bird species.  Although as mentioned above there were cows (still surprised at this) there were no cat species.  As I seen many of these smaller animals my assumption is that the cat species in question may in fact be a lynx.  As is typical lynx behaviour, they are extremely camera shy.  Maybe in the future with a long distance hike in mind, I might return to these hills to look for our elusive feline.

As the bridge was under repairs and the parking lot washed out, I was forced to take one of the many side trails.  These hills are littered with inter-weaving trails, so for today my 1.5 Km trail was a 2.3 Km hike.  Not that this made much of a difference in distance it did give me an excuse to peel off the waterfall trail to find a high ridge and bask in the blue skies.

Overall the trail is short, and still accessible despite the construction.  The ridge line of Cat Creek Hills are breathtaking to say the least.  The true benefit is that as the trail is real short you don't spend much time head down in the tree line.  The waterfall I was seeking is small, but still offers that lovely colour of blue.  From the actual 1.5 Km trail you'd be able to see the falls from a bridge.  However as I took an alternative route The pictures I have are from a high angle.

On a final note, I've been in this region in both June and September, both had snow.  I would recommend boots, perhaps even in July/August.  Trust me this shouldn't put you off, as after her first visit to the region, my girlfriend told me she prefers this over Jasper, Banff & the David Thompson.  This should stand out as she typically picks a favorite based on the appearance & access to lakes.