Aspen Ridge And Sinnot Hill
On 11 November 2021, I had a rare day without any formal Remembrance Day obligations in town and decided to take advantage of the nice weather by going for a hike to Aspen Ridge and Sinnot Hill in Alberta's Kananaskis Country Public Land Use Zone.  Joining me were Chester Fitchett, Aga Sokolowska, Marta Wojnarowska and Zosia Zgolak.  I got the idea for this relatively easy hike from a recent trip report by Gillean Daffern, but we would do a slightly modified version of her described loop.

From the intersection with Secondary Road (SR) 762, drive west on SR 549 for 6.3 kilometres and turn left onto Ware Creek Road.  Drive for 500 metres and park in an open field on the left near a building which Daffern calls the "Caledonian Installation".  The signed trailhead for the official 9999 trail is on the east side of the field, but Daffern's loop begins behind the building.

Heading southwest past the building, Chester, Aga, Marta, Zosia and I ignored the obvious cut line which parallels the road and instead followed a faint trail which becomes more well-defined at a makeshift sign which reads "TNT Teagan's neato Trail".  We easily followed this mountain biking trail through mostly open cut blocks to reach the crest of Aspen Ridge as named by Daffern.  Aspen Ridge is comprised of three distinct bumps, and the trail gains the ridge crest just east of the middle bump.  Before continuing with Daffern's loop, we took a side trip over the middle bump and across a short dip to tag the westernmost bump which also happens to be the highest point of Aspen Ridge.  We then backtracked over the middle bump and crossed a logged area before traversing over the easternmost bump.  Past this bump, we stopped in a grassy clearing to observe a minute of silence precisely at 11:00 AM.  The pleasant vistas here made it a great spot to commemorate those who had fought and sacrificed for our freedoms.

A homemade sign marks the start of the trail to Aspen Ridge.

I'm just glad we're not bushwhacking! The trail is easy to follow through an old cut block.
Careful you don't get your foot stuck!

Sonny walks across one of several seemingly superfluous boardwalks along the trail.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Seemingly a mountain in this neck of the woods!

Square (Mesa) Butte stands out prominently to the north.


Almost there...already! Aga approaches the westernmost of three distinct bumps on Aspen Ridge.
That was easy! Zosia, Aga, Marta, Chester and Sonny stand on Aspen Ridge's westernmost bump which also happens to be the highest point (1578 metres).
It's funny how there are always a few odd trees left standing in these logged areas! Chester, Aga and Marta walk between piles of lumber after descending from the middle bump of Aspen Ridge.
I guess we missed out on all the fall colours here. Aspen Ridge finally lives up to its name on the easternmost bump.
Lest we forget. Sonny, Chester, Marta and Zosia hold up the Canadian flag near the east end of Aspen Ridge to commemorate Remembrance Day.
Rather than descending all the way to Ware Creek as Daffern had done, Chester, Aga, Marta, Zosia and I dropped off the ridge crest to the north and crossed a cut line before contouring the slope to reach a junction of logging roads at what Daffern refers to as "9999 pass".  We turned south here to pick up another trail which runs across the west side of an intervening bump between the pass and Sinnot Hill.  Going through a second logged area, we eventually climbed up the west ridge of Sinnot Hill.  Just before reaching the high point of Sinnot Hill, we ran into a couple of hunters scouting for game in Ware Creek valley to the south.  Coincidentally, one of them was the same hunter Zosia and I met only five days earlier on John Ware Ridge except that he had a different partner then.  We had a second nice chat with him and his new partner before leaving the two of them to hunt in peace.  We then stopped for a lunch break before hiking the remaining distance to the top of Sinnot Hill.

Leaving the top of Sinnot Hill, Chester, Aga, Marta, Zosia and I backtracked to the second logged area where we had another extended stop before climbing over the aforementioned intervening bump.  We continued down the north side of the bump until we intersected a logging road running eastward from 9999 pass.  We followed this road for about 450 metres before turning left at a T-junction onto another logging road heading north.  Passing more logged areas, we hiked northward for less than a kilometre to the road's end at a vast cut block.  At this point, we followed the edge of the cut block slightly to the east and weaved through a short stretch of still-standing forest to intersect the 9999 trail.  Turning left, we easily followed the trail back to our starting point at the Caledonian Installation.
Some light bushwhacking coming up!

 The group drops off the east end of Aspen Ridge aiming for 9999 pass (far left).  In the background is an intervening bump between the pass and Sinnot Hill (out of view to the right).

Glad we're not climbing up here!

Aga crosses a cut line near the east end of Aspen Ridge.

A more esthetically appealing approach to Sinnot Hill than a logging road.

The group follows a trail across the west side of the intervening bump between 9999 pass and Sinnot Hill.

Looks rather underwhelming, doesn't it?

Sinnot Hill comes into view as Aga rounds an open slope on the intervening bump.

Hello again...big beard guy!

Some hunters scout for game in Ware Creek valley.

To military veterans both old and new...we salute you!

Sonny, Zosia, Aga, Marta and Chester stand atop Sinnot Hill (1532 metres).


Hard to resist open high points!

The group backtracks through a logged area en route to the high point (right of centre) of the intervening bump.

Free firewood?

The group walks by a wall of stacked logs.


Chester has fallen and can't get up!

The group reaches the top of the intervening bump (1528 metres).

Ouch! Sonny inadvertently gets himself caught in some logging machinery.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

At least there's no bushwhacking!

Aga descends a slope that has been recently logged.

An easy loop hike which can probably be done year-round. Total Distance:  10.7 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  5 hours 8 minutes
Cumulative Elevation Gain:  433 metres

GPX Data