Protection Mountain Trail
On the eve of Canada's 135th birthday, Dan Millar, Kelly Wood and I chose to explore the Protection Mountain Trail which starts from an obscure trailhead on the Bow Valley Parkway about 13 kilometres northwest of Castle Junction in Banff National Park.  This seldom-travelled trail stays fairly level for the first few kilometres before switchbacking steeply up to a barren plateau below the summit ridge of Protection Mountain.  At the end of the trail are the remains of an improbable mining camp.  There must have been a lot of effort put into building the trail and supplying such a remote camp perched high up on the side of the mountain.  While the plateau invited further exploration, a snow squall curtailed our visit.  Trudging down the never-ending switchbacks and through the never-ending forest back to my car, I couldn't help thinking that this trail is a great testament to the power of that mother of all motivators:  greed.  Furthermore, isn't it ironic that this trail is now largely forgotten?  Yes, I am a cynical bastard.
Not a lot of views here.
Kelly and Dan hike the initial easy section through the forest.
The Lost Lemon Mine?
Dan finds a mine shaft just begging to be explored.  The summit ridge of Protection Mountain is visible above.
Go Habs, go!
The mine shaft runs about 30 metres horizontally before it abruptly dead-ends.