Marl Spring (Yamnuska Natural Area)

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Distance - 8.67km Elevation gain - 165m
1 hour, 45min ascent (moving) / 1 hour, 15min descent

Started at 1:30, reached the spring at 4:45, finished at 6:25

The GPS track from the day.

I first visited the Yamnuska Natural Area last spring for a loop from the east end.
This time we returned and parked at the midpoint for an out and back up to Marl Spring.
There was an abnormal amount of snow for a Bow Valley winter, and we didn't enjoy the clear ice and open terrain usually found.
We first headed north towards Reed Lake, going largely cross-country on animal trails.

Laurier heads north towards Mount Yamnuska.

Route through the light forest.

Crossing the first powerline.

A mostly-dry Reed Lake.

The sun and clouds above Reed Lake.

Past Reed Lake, we headed east to reach the top of the hill, then found a good trail beyond Summit Lake.
The good trail took us right to the corner of Crescent Lake. The gully on the east edge was a snowbank, so we headed east.
Hiking up the hillside to the east, we crested the next ridge, then hiked back west along the top to a lookout over the northpart of the lake.
We caught the trail again from there, and stayed on track up to the broad north trail.

The route to the ridgetop.

A view up to Yamnuska from the main trail.

With our goal being the spring, we found the route heading off the broad trail and watched the GPS.
I'd brought a track showing the route to the spring, and we tried to follow it up.
Unfortunately, there was a fair bit of snow on the ground, and it was very unsupportive, making any trail invisible, and the going difficult.
We ended up just generally heading up towards the marked top, and eventually found a small pool.

The route leaving the main trail.

Laurier hiking on the hillside.

The pool at the top

Laurier and what appears to be the spring.

The source of the winter trickle.

On the way back, we just followed the creekbed to the main trail, which worked at least as well.
From the main trail, we were able to follow good trails and find the better way back.
The biggest change was around Crescent Lake - the good trail hits the lake in the corner, then follows the shore to the east end.
It turned out that the trail goes right across the snowbank at the corner, and following the trail is actually excellent.
The rest of the way back was uneventful, and we followed a good set of trails right back to the car.

Typical trail above Crescent Lake

The excellent trail along the lakeshore.

Laurier hikes along the broad trail south of the powerline.

Laurier hikes on to the car.

Photos taken by Rachel

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