Three Little Summits
On 14 May 2022, Aga Sokolowska, Zosia Zgolak and I traversed a ridge unofficially known as Three Little Summits located between Powderface Creek and Highway 66 in Alberta's Kananaskis Country Public Land Use Zone.  The name was coined by someone who placed geocaches at each of three distinct high points along the mostly forested ridge.  Were it not for the geocaches, this ridge would likely be ignored, but because Zosia and I had a social engagement to attend later in the evening, Three Little Summits fit the bill for a modestly strenuous hike with a short drive.  Zosia came up with a plan to traverse the ridge and then visit a small hidden waterfall--Rainy Creek Falls--located just off the highway.  This was also the last day before the annual re-opening of the highway seasonal gate--our starting point, and we would be able to use the pavement for our return without having to worry about motorized vehicles speeding past us.

From the seasonal gate along Highway 66 (19 kilometres west of junction with Highway 22), Aga, Zosia and I walked along the pavement for about half a kilometre to just past the Powderface Creek trailhead.  We left the highway here and ascended a short grassy slope before entering forest.  Following beaten paths, we made our way to the base of Three Little Summits' northeast ridge and began climbing upward.  The initial section is brutally steep, and a few minor cliff bands require some hands-on scrambling.  Fortunately, the forest is not too thick here, and route-finding was generally easy going up the ridge.  Higher up, the angle of ascent eases, and we enjoyed a much more gentle hike over the three distinct high points.  Not surprisingly, the Three Little Summits themselves are nothing special being mostly covered with trees, but there are occasional openings along the ridge that still grant some far-reaching views.  We also discovered all three geocaches with the one on the Third (west) Little Summit being the most challenging to locate since it is a bit removed from the actual high point.

After tagging all Three Little Summits, Aga, Zosia and I turned southward and descended along the top of a bluff for awhile before veering westward to follow the contours of a drainage.  We eventually turned southward again to cross the drainage aiming for an old exploration road as marked on my GPS unit's map.  However, the forest on the south side of the drainage is much denser, and we had to suffer a bit of unpleasant bushwhacking before finally popping out onto the road.  This road runs within or alongside a logged corridor, and other than one brief navigational misstep, we had few issues following it all the way back to the highway.  Upon reaching the highway, we crossed to the other side and walked to the end of a large grassy clearing in search of Rainy Creek Falls.  We ended up dropping down a steep embankment a bit further downstream before backtracking upstream to find the falls which were disappointingly still frozen on this day.  Having witnessed the falls, we scrambled directly back up to the grassy clearing and subsequently walked back to the seasonal gate along the highway.  Despite the absence of motorized vehicles, we still had to be vigilant of the hordes of cyclists who were also taking advantage of the seasonal closure to zoom up and down the highway.
Get ready for a stiff climb!

Aga and Zosia approach the northeast end of Three Little Summits.

The weird perspective makes Aga look like a miniature person beside giant Zosia!

Aga and Zosia climb up the steep northeast end of Three Little Summits.

No problem for Aga! A few sections require easy hands-on scrambling.
Bouldering opportunities?

This cliff band along the ridge is easily bypassed.

Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges! Aga, Sonny and Zosia hold up some badges from a geocache on the First (east ) Little Summit (1849 metres).
Nice geocache box on the tree! Aga and Zosia find another geocache near the Second Little Summit.
We have Goofy! Sonny, Zosia and Aga stand on the Second (middle) Little Summit (1852 metres).
Most scenic spot of the day. Bluffs near the Second Little Summit grant some far-reaching views.

When is all this snow going to go away?

Here is a closer look at Forgetmenot Ridge to the south.


I should hike Powderface Ridge again one of these days... Nihahi Ridge stands above intervening Powderface Ridge to the west.
Bam bam! Sonny, Zosia and Aga hold up more geocache items on the Third (west) Little Summit (1851 metres).
This one's a little harder to find. The geocache box on the Third Little Summit is located a little further away from the actual high point.
Myosotis Peak is next up on my to-do list for this area... The view to the east includes Iyarhe Ipan (left) and Myosotis Peak (distant right).
Oh well, what's a hike without a little bushwhacking? Fun? Descending from the Third Little Summit, Aga and Zosia make their way through some thicker forest.
This might be worth skiing in winter... After a short stretch of bushwhacking, Aga and Zosia find a convenient road running alongside a logged corridor.
Nice camping spot here...if it were allowed! Rainy Creek Falls is just over the edge at the far end of this clearing beside the highway.
This is not the most direct route to the falls! Aga and Zosia carefully make their way down the steep and loose west bank of Rainy Creek.
Not quite Niagara Falls... Zosia and Aga stand beside still-frozen Rainy Creek Falls.
No motorized traffic yet, but watch out for speedy cyclists! Zosia and Aga hike back to the seasonal gate along the highway.  At right is Iyarhe Ipan.
Not as scenic but also not as crowded as other nearby hikes. Total Distance:  10.4 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  5 hours 53 minutes
Cumulative Elevation Gain:  474 metres

GPX Data