McKay Hills and The Wedge

Here is information and updates on a couple of trails of interest to hikers in the Wedge area: The Wedge north ridge and the descent route from the McKay Hills.

The Wedge North Ridge
Scramblers have made a good trail up the north ridge of The Wedge that starts from the trail around the shoreline of Wedge Pond. You can also start by going round the gate at the start of the paved bike trail, then turning right on a bit of old road. After a short distance head left through the bush to an old cutline (there was a picnic table as a marker there last year, but not now). Turn right and follow the cutline to a small clearing. The Wedge trail heads left across the clearing.

While you may have to cast around for the start, the trail is easy to follow as it heads through thick bush to the bottom of the cirque below The Wedge, then climbs steeply onto the open, scenic ridge. The ridge end below the summit rocks where scrambling begins. It is possible to scramble across steep ground to the col east of McKay’s Mountain and return via its north ridge. However, you really need a GS receiver if you want to find the old logging road (see below) and avoid some really bad bushwhacking.

Fisher Peak over the McKay Hills from the north ridge of the Wedge.

Fisher Peak over the McKay Hills from the north ridge of the Wedge.

McKay Hills
For those hiking the McKay Hills, there is now a much easier descent route providing you can find the start of the old logging road that descends to the Wedge Connector Trail (see map below and tracklog you can download to your GPS receiver). The old trail, described in the Kananaskis Trail guide is non-existent in many places and there is a tremendous amount of deadfall — not recommended. Once at the Wedge Connector Trail, turn right to Evan Thomas Trail, which you can plod down to Evan Thomas parking; if thats where you have left your car. If your group has more than one vehicle, it is a little shorter to leave a vehicle at Wedge Pond parking.

Download GPS track log gpx
Map Wedge area
2 comments… add one
  • Gill Jun 28, 2009, 10:43 am

    Getting off the north end of the McKay Hills is not straightforward. Back in the dawn of K Country (late 1970s) we descended to the col between McKay’s Mountain and The Wedge and traversed across to the north ridge of The Wedge which at that time had only a remnant game trail on the ridge itself. I note that Mike P advocates descending this way now that there is a good trail all the way down to Wedge Pond. We didn’t find the gullied traverse at all pleasant — it needs a good trail— and it ends you up at Wedge Pond which is miles away from the Evan-Thomas trailhead.

    Because of these two factors I still think the revised route down the east flank is best : You prolong the ridge walk (always a good thing), have game trails to follow and end up on a good logging road that leads down to the Wedge Connector trail not far from the bridge over Evan-Thomas Creek.

    Currently the scrambler’s access trail up The Wedge is not a lot of use to hikers. A traversing trail to the col would open up loads more possibilities.

    Other opinions and ideas?

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