As expected, the Red Rock Parkway was still closed, but without any complaint, we simply parked at the pullout in front of the gate and started hiking from there. Most of the paved road was dry, and we made fairly short work of the 4-kilometre approach to the base of Bellevue Hill. Deviating slightly from Andrew's guidebook description, we walked a bit further west along the road and ascended steep but easy slopes to gain the southeast ridge. From there, we had no problems hiking over a false summit to the top of Bellevue Hill.
For our descent, we backtracked partway to the false summit before dropping down and angling across the south-facing slopes below. Except for a few snow patches, our hike back down to the road was largely trouble-free. Good conversation and scenic views helped make the subsequent long walk out along Red Rock Parkway quite enjoyable.
Afterward, Andrew graciously offered the
rest of us some refreshments back at his cabin before Raff, Joanna and I
hit the road to return to Calgary. Mount Blakiston is the highest peak
in Waterton National Park. Andrew and Raff run for their lives away from the
grizzly bear on the side of the road. From the southeast ridge of Bellevue Hill, there are
nice views of Middle Waterton Lake, Sofa Mountain (left), Vimy Peak
(centre) and Mount Cleveland (right). On top of Bellevue Hill (2116 metres) are Andrew,
Joanna, Raff and Sonny. Raff, Andrew and Joanna walk back along scenic Red Rock
On a clear day, Mount Blakiston (far
left) and many other peaks in the Waterton area are visible from
The group gears up at a pullout beside
the seasonal gate for Red Rock Parkway. In the background is
Red Rock Parkway is itself quite
scenic as the group enjoys views of Mount Galwey (left) and Bellevue
Andrew and Joanna put their climbing
skills to the test on a retaining wall beside the road.
Joanna leads Andrew and Raff up an
In this view from the southeast ridge,
the true summit of Bellevue Hill is just right of centre. The
false summit is at right while Mount Galwey looks striking at distant
The group follows the southeast ridge
up to a false summit.
The prescribed burn can be seen from
the southeast ridge. Note the parking spot at upper right (with
blue cargo container) where parking was forbidden on this day.
The group encounters some of the red
argillite that Waterton National Park is famous for.
After hiking over the false summit,
the group heads for the true summit of Bellevue Hill.
The group takes the last few steps
before the true summit.
Raff and Joanna show off their
headstands on top of Bellevue Hill.
Here is a comprehensive view of
Lakeview Ridge to the north.
Notable peaks visible to the southwest
include Mount Carthew, Buchanan Ridge, Kintla Peak, Kinnerly Peak,
Ruby Ridge, Mount Lineham and Mount Blakiston.
Mount Crandell dominates the view
across the valley as the group descends the slopes below the false
There is a little bit of post-holing
and bushwhacking just before reaching the road.
Distance: 14.7 kilometres
Round-Trip Time: 5 hours 26 minutes
Net Elevation Gain: 814 metres
Mount Blakiston is the highest peak in Waterton National Park.
Andrew and Raff run for their lives away from the grizzly bear on the side of the road.
From the southeast ridge of Bellevue Hill, there are nice views of Middle Waterton Lake, Sofa Mountain (left), Vimy Peak (centre) and Mount Cleveland (right).
On top of Bellevue Hill (2116 metres) are Andrew, Joanna, Raff and Sonny.
Raff, Andrew and Joanna walk back along scenic Red Rock Parkway.