Winter wonderland is here and I love it! I have so many amazing memories of skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Although my favourite moments in the winter include a hot tub soak after an adventurous day!
GET OUTSIDE THIS WINTER
I want to challenge you to get out this winter and try something new. You can even try the Learn to Snowshoe program with us on Thursday nights at Pass Powderkeg (starting Jan 9). Perfect for people who want to get outside and have fun.
You can also try one of my favourite winter locations: Star Creek Falls. You can enjoy Star Creek Falls by either walking upstream or doing the loop (read the full blog on our website to learn both options).
STAR CREEK FALLS TRAIL: UPSTREAM OPTION
The upstream option is awesome in the winter, but I prefer the loop in the summer. It is best with snowshoes or ice traction devices at a minimum (we rent both if you don’t have your own). I challenge you to find treasures along your journey. Can you find the calcium-enriched springs coming out of the mossy slopes? Or do you see any swallow nests in the rocky overhang or in a rocky hideout? What about a special ice feature that appears right from the rock? Or an upside-down icicle? As you feel the magnificence of this canyon, you may forget that you are a brief distance from Coleman.
In less than an hour, you can arrive at the waterfall. Listen for the water flowing behind the ice. Just remember to use good judgement on how close you get. Under the ice, there is a deep hole from the water carving deeper and deeper as it launches over the edge.
Duration: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
STAR CREEK FALLS TRAIL: LOOP OPTION
When I worked for Alberta Environment and Parks, we installed two bridges – one below the falls and one above the falls. When the trail crew was installing the lower bridge, they found a stick of dynamite in a mason jar and called me up asking what to do with it. It’s not every day you find a stick of dynamite! My best advice at the time was, “Don’t touch it!” It ended up that the bomb squad from Edmonton had to come down to safely dispose of this questionable explosive. Now that the area is explosive-free (that we know of), you can enjoy a beautiful Star Creek loop and look down on the falls.
Remember, there are no signs along this trail, so go to the creek and start hiking upstream (south), when you see a bridge, cross it. Follow this trail up the hill and when you come to a double-wide trail, turn right. Follow this and you will eventually look down at the falls. There is a great photo opportunity when on the ridge when you can see the High Rock Range and Crowsnest Mountain. If you plan this Instagram worthy photo right, you can get a panoramic photo with the waterfalls and the mountains in the back. Just be careful because the edge can be unstable.
Continue along this trail and you will go down a hill to another bridge. Cross this bridge and immediately turn right. Go up the hill. At the top of the hill, you can go right to another lookout point (it might be unstable in the winter and either keep the kidlets close, or don’t go at all). Or at the top of the hill, turn left and this will take you back. At each intersection on the way back, you can stay to the right and it will spit you out near your starting point.
Duration: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
I hope you enjoy your adventure to Star Creek Falls. Tag Uplift Adventures in photos on social media or send us a message letting us know what you thought! I love to hear from other adventurers.
DIRECTIONS TO THE TRAILHEAD
Turn south at the west entrance into lower Coleman.
Follow this road down the hill, turn right on 70th Street.
Drive to 17th Avenue and turn right.
Follow this road over the railway tracks and continue on this road as it naturally turns right onto Willow Drive.
Drive to 54th Street, the last road right before the last house on the left.
If you go too far, you have reached the end of the road (the bridge to nowhere).
In the winter, 54th Street is rarely plowed, so you will park here and start your adventure.
Walk down the road and up a small hill.
After the hill and a bit, turn left along the pipeline right-of-way.
Walk to the creek (Star Creek) and turn right (upstream).
WHO AM I?
Heather is trained by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides as a Hiking Guide and Interpretive Guide Association currently as an Apprentice Interpreter Guide, with a University Degree in Environmental Science and a Professional Agrologist with the Alberta Institute of Agrology. She has a passion for the outdoors and connecting others to the environment – a place that has given her the space to heal after traumatic events. She believes that we are always learning more about ourselves and our surroundings – let’s go find out more and see what we are capable of. Heather is the owner of Uplift Adventures and one of the guides.
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