Yanmuska Natural Area
A collection of unofficial trails and routes in the plateau below Mount Yamnuska and Goat Ridge

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I read about the Yamnuksa Natural Area on the Dafferns' Kananaskis Trails blog, and it seemed like a great place to go find some spring flowers.
We started at the Yamnuska trailhead, which meant a longer walk into the area, but trailhead washrooms.
The post had a .gpx tracklog available, which I uploaded to my GPS, and it was helpful for getting an idea as to what's out there, but you could really just start at any trailhead and go for a walk. There are many trails and parts of trails, and the smaller ones are not on the track. There are also some more open areas with no clear trails - it's definitely a great place to wander.
The first section of trail took us to Meadow Lake, which had an excellent view of Yamnuska.

Yamnuska from Meadow Lake

We then hiked along the lower trail through mixed Aspen forest to pass the larger Reed Lake.

A mostly-fallen tree makes an excellent seat - if you can get onto it.


Hiking through the field.

The route passes through an Aspen grove.

The trail passes Reed Lake.

Hiking along Reed Lake.

We continued past the dump access, and hiked uphilll to the high trail under the Goat Slabs climbing area.

Goat Slabs' distinctive bands.

Exciting swirled layers in the Goat area.

Hiking along a moraine below the Goat.

More stands of trees on the way back.

It started to thunderstorm as we headed back to the start, so we finished off the last part quickly, and stayed mostly in the sheltered forest areas.

Rejoining the access trail.

Heading back in the rain.

The area isn't super-exciting for the terrain, although that is nice. It's really just an enjoyable rolling walk through fields and open forests with piles of wildflowers, and a good look at the peaks looming above.
My wildflowers generallly go to that section of the site now, but here are a couple of the species we saw.

Western Wood Lily

Death Camas

Yellow Lady's Slipper

Striped Coralroot

Photos taken by Rachel

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