Opal Falls Exploration
An off-trail wander around Opal Falls

I went out alone for a bit of random exploring.


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I started out at the Opal Falls day use area, and set off bushwhacking uphill, rather than towards the actual falls.
I shortly emerged from the trees, and started working my way up a slope of scree and loose rock, occasionally broken by stable ground.
This worked at first, but as I got higher, the rock got looser and steeper, and I eventually turned around, felling quite unsafe.
I think it may be possible to go up this, but I'd have to try some of the other weak points.

A look up to the slope I was to ascend.

Slight trail through the trees at first.

Looking up through a break in the trees.

End of the dirt and trail.

Looking up the slope partly ascended.

View west and north through the Kananaskis Valley.

Thinking about turning around.

Some interesting scrambling.

Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes.

Tilted layers in the rock.

A concerning view back down.

On the way back, I stopped by Opal Falls and checked out the cascade.
Although not very photography friendly, it's a pretty series of small waterfalls flowing down the mountain.
I inadvertantly failed to regain the trail back to the parking lot, and followed the creek instead until it crossed the road.
Although this is rather lower than the parkinglot, and thus requires some elevation gain up to the falls,
I highly recommend taking this little side trail to get there instead.
It's unused, but visible, and hops many times across the creek, for a nice little walk.
To take this route, watch for a car-sized pullout at a creek on your left, just after turning off the highway for Opal.

Opal Falls

Larger cascades of Opal Falls.

One of the smaller falls.

Another little waterfall.

The uppermost, and longest falls, tight in the rock.

Slope above Opal Falls.

Looking up at the layers.

Where to park to go up the creek.

The creek as it meets the road.

Opal Range.

Zoom in to where I climbed up.

On my way home fromt Opal Falls, I stopped by the Lorette Ponds to take some photos.
This little series of fishing ponds is the leftovers of an oxbow lake, cut off from the Kananaskis River.
The colours are beautiful.

Mount Lorette above the ponds.

Unnamed mountain NE of Lorette.

Flowers at the side of the ponds.

An algaeified greenish pond.

Reflections in the deep blue water.

Self-portrait in the shadows.

Photos taken by Rachel.

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