On July 6, 1994, Mardy Roberts and I (Rick Collier) started off from Calgary at a civilized hour, drove out to Cochrane, then N on highway 22 to Sundre. About 20 km W of Sundre on #584, we turned S on #734; this road quickly turns back to the W. Later, the pavement gives out and the surface becomes gravel; beyond this is Deer Creek Flats, then the Red Deer ranger station, and finally an intersection just before a bridge across Yara Creek. The Forestry Trunk road continues right (N); we took the left branch, crossed the creek, and continued W. In a few kilometres, we came to the intersection where the Forestry road splits off to head S; there's an old motel here immediately after the bridge over the Red Deer River and the entrance to the Red Deer River Recreation Area. However, anyone wanting to go to the Ya-Ha Tinda Ranch does not cross the Red Deer, but continues on W for 11 km, at which point the road begins to gradually turn NW; another 10-11 km brought us to the Bighorn Creek parking area - about a 3 hr drive from Calgary.
The old road heading N and plainly marked on the map (82-O/12-Barrier Mountain) was somewhat difficult to locate since it had largely been overgrown in recent years; however, it is, as indicated on the map, just W of Bighorn Creek and becomes increasingly distinct as one travels N - one must, of course, be sure not to follow the creek itself since it turns NE after 0.6 km. Because we were hoping to travel quite some distance on this first day, we had brought our mountains bikes - so, there we were, all loaded up with gear, sweating and swearing, and pushing the darn things up the hill next to the falls and then over the hillocks of rough, rutted prairie, wondering all the while if it wouldn't be smarter to unload, ditch the... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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