|Biking Highway 40 in Kananaskis (solitude guaranteed!)|
You'll be staging your adventure from the Town of Longview in Southern Alberta. From here, get onto Highway 40 heading west into the mountains. You'll drive approximately half an hour until you reach Highwood Junction where Hwy 940 goes south. This is as far as you will drive and you can park on the side of the highway by the closed gate, blocking your way from driving further into Kananaskis Country. On June 15th, you'll be able to drive all the way from here towards Peter Lougheed Provincial Park over Highwood Pass. For now, you bike.
|Our Bike Crew for the Cat Creek Ride on Highway 40|
The Road Ride
I tried to track the distance we rode and it was approximately 4.5 km one way to the Cat Creek day use area from the road gate. I figure that we rode about 9 km total on the highway.
Know that there are a few BIG hills so this is not a beginner ride, nor was it easy. If going with young children, prep them ahead of time with encouragement that they can walk any hill that is too big. Bring candy or something to reward them if they do get up the big hills, and bring along a Chariot or bike trailer for younger kids who can't ride 9 km. We had children on our trip who were using balance bikes without pedals but they did not ride the full time, nor did they do any of the bigger hills.
|Family-friendly spring riding on Highway 40|
The first hill from the gate is the biggest. I reached a speed of 40km/h on the way back down to the truck on this hill. It's also a kilometre long - so it's not the friendliest way to start off a ride. Rest assured though, it does flatten out for a bit after that (and it can always be walked.)
|Cruising back down to the vehicles at the end of our ride|
Hiking or Biking to the Cat Creek Falls
|Creek crossing if you choose "not" to take the official hiking trail|
The second option is to bike most of the way to the falls on an old road. The old road is found on the near side of the road bridge (opposite side from the hiking trail.) Descend down off the highway into a big clearing, go into the bush a short distance and you will see the old road. Follow it until you see the hiking trail on the other side of the creek. Cross the creek on rocks, and it's a very short 2 minute walk to the falls from here.
|Biking to Cat Creek Falls on the old road|
Cat Creek Falls
Cat Creek Falls are a magical place and I love visiting them in any season. Some day though I want to come back on a hot day and go swimming. There is a scramblers route above the falls using an old rope but we decided to play it safe and stay beside the falls rather than trust a rope we did not personally put up.
|Cat Creek Falls|
The ride back was quick and was definitely more downhill. Families wanting to hike the Cat Creek trail once the road is open will just have to wait until June 15th. For the rest of you, go now and enjoy a fun bike/hike outing.
|Bike/Hike outing to Cat Creek|