Loomis Lake

- 13 Kilometers
- Intermediate to Difficult
- Full Day

Hiking, Biking and Camping permitted


Loomis Lake

Access: Hwy 40, Lineham Creek (closed between Kananaskis Lakes Trail turn-off and Highwood Junction from December 1 to June 15).
Parking: Lineham Creek

- Bike 'n Hike, approx. 3 hrs one way; nearby camping at Cataract Creek.

Loomis Lake is part of my Highwood Highlight Reel that includes Carnarvon, Lake of the Horns and Picklejar Lakes. Heck, you can even add Running Rain Lake to the list, an easy hike from an unmarked spot on the west side of Hwy 40 (10 km's south of Highwood pass). But I digress ... A good time to go to Loomis is in the fall because the autumn colors tend to enhance the trail's esthetic value even more, especially as you travel through an intriguing mixture of forest, creek and open meadow. It's not only the novelty of these small bowl lakes guarded by magnificent headwalls that make Highwood a favorite region of mine, it's the trails as well. Granted, they tend to be logging roads a lot of the time, but they're also visually inviting as landscapes with inspired shifts in terrain making it so much more interesting than hours spent walking through dense forest waiting for something to happen.

From Lineham Creek picnic area cross Hwy 40 and begin south on the trail known as Odlum Creek logging road. Before long you'll be fording the Highwood river followed by a junction at the first creek crossing (3.5 km mark) where on the left there lies a shortcut. That's okay if you're hiking, otherwise keep to the trail for another kilometer and then make a sharp left onto the Loomis Creek Logging road. Several creek crossings and a junction with Bishop Creek exploration road mean you've ridden about 6 km's and it's probably a good time to break for some beef jerkey. When that's all done, continue right until the next junction about 4 km's later where this time you keep left, unless you want to end up bushwacking to a small unnamed lake.

The road drops down to the creek, climbs up and over a slope and then ends just before the outlet stream from the lake. The Bike stops here ... follow the creek to a large meadow (which is an ideal place to camp) and then attack the headwall, a very stiff hike but nothing more. The lake is unique in that it is crowned by an impressive Terminal Moraine (ridge of rocky debris deposited at the front end of a Glacier, marking the glacier's furthest point of advancement before it's retreat). The lake has cutthroat trout although we didn't see any that day, but the fact is it didn't matter. Fishing is never the intended goal when I visit these lakes, and if it was then I'd be missing the point. Besides, the trout in these high mountain lakes don't usually get very big, so if that's what you're after you might as well be fly fishing on the Bow River. It's much more than that ... and hopefully if you make it out this way you'll understand exactly what I mean.