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What better time to visit the remoter south side of the Sheep River?
There is a nice 11-12 km clockwise circuit starting at Sandy McNabb skating rink parking area, crossing the Sheep River, and following the Price Camp Trail all the way round to Sheep Trail. Then back east along Sheep Trail, recrossing the river in its spectacular canyon, climbing up the steep hillside to a perfect lunch spot with the best viewpoint of the day. Finally returning on the Sheep Trail above the river the whole way back, picking up the Sandy McNabb ski trails to put one back at the start.
Now is the time to do this, as you can simply stroll across the river while it is frozen over. There is a minimal height gain, and an interesting series of paths leading through woods and meadows. At the moment you don't even really need snow shoes, as the trail is packed down enough for hiking with MICROspikes. But I wore my snow shoes for part of the route today for better traction.
Just one potentially tricky route-finding issue: about a kilometre or so from the start, the trail is climbing gently through the trees. You come to an apparent junction with a small stone sticking up out of the snow, where one "trail" carries straight on, and another turns left up the hill. You need to turn left, and then you will immediately see a red diamond on a tree confirming your decision. The other trail goes nowhere. Note: This is a good kilometre BEFORE you get to the well-signed Mount McNabb trail junction. I missed this last time and ended up slogging up the hillside to reconnect to the proper trail.
Look out for wildlife - there were some interesting prints of moose and a large "cat" paw.
Do it now before things get any warmer!
December 8, 2008
Where did you see the cat tracks PH? A few years back two people had a run in with a cougar on Sheep trail below Windy Point.
We picked up the tracks at the western point of the Price Camp trail at the eastern end of the old logging camp meadows where the trail swings north over the top of the hill and down into the trees. The cat tracks were headed down the trail through the trees towards Sheep Trail. The Price Camp trail veers a little east as it drops down to Sheep Trail while the cat tracks kept going pretty well straight down through the trees. I took a photo but not sure how to attach here.
January 13, 2014
That area is prime cougar country. I have cut many a track there over the years. So far not this year during recent trips to that area. I came across several cougar track of various sizes in October between Tombstone and Elbow campgrounds during a few trips there. The largest track going by size and stride, I estimated the weight of the cat at around 160 to 170 pounds.
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