Under Yamnuska in winter

Yam Natural Area Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes

The Yamnuska Natural Area, as it used to be called, is now part of Bow Valley Wildland Park, but to me it remains a special place with its amazing diversity of glacial land forms  and habitats. Most people visit in summer. But it’s also a great place to wander around in winter when the  numerous shallow lakes are frozen hard, swept clear of snow by the strong winds that blow through the gap. (I keep meaning to bring skates!) Thanks to the winds and very little snowfall, the  open forests, the meadows, the south-facing slopes — a tough blend  of Dryas,Kinnikinnick, juniper and grass—are often bare or laced with snow patches that don’t  hinder you much in following the trails. Here’s a few pics from out latest trip. Check out Early Season Hiking below Yamnuska for a trail map.

2 comments… add one
  • thepassionatehiker Feb 23, 2013, 10:25 am

    THANK YOU for sharing this us. I had never thought to stop and explore this area. Yesterday I hiked the 6.5 km clockwise loop from the top end of the “dump”. I strayed up onto the mountainside to take a look at an impressive icefall. The Hidden Valley gave ever-changing views of Yam, and the three levels of frozen lakes reminded me a little of that magical lake country around the Jasper Townsite (Mina, Riley, etc etc), but with a more spectacular setting than those lakes. The wind was rapidly clearing the lakes of their new snowfall. The new snow did make route finding a little uncertain in places. Really great place for a stroll – highly recommended.

  • Tanya Feb 19, 2013, 8:45 am

    Cool. Always looking for places to skate in the mountains.

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