Jumpingpound Summit

Moderate Half-Day Hike. (2-4 hours)

Official Trail.

~7 km return.

~350m of elevation gain to the Summit.

Overview

Jumpingpound Mountain is a straightforward objective that provides hikers with sweeping views of the Kananaskis foothills and front ranges. The summit’s pleasant and well-established approach makes it very accessible, and thus a great choice for almost anyone looking to explore the Rockies!

To arrive at the summit, hikers will first switchback up the mountains forested slopes to enter the sprawling meadows of Jumpingpound Ridge. They will then follow a well-established dirt trail through this beautiful alpine environment to reach mountain’s rocky top. Hikers will also note that this mountain is connected to a larger network of trails which run along Jumpingpound Ridge towards Cox Hill. While these trails are well established, and thus easily explored; it is important to keep an eye out for Mountain Bikers which frequent the area (and often speed down the trails!) While a stunning hike in the summer, this mountain is also a great shoulder-season objective due to it’s front-range location.

Overall, Jumpingpound Summit is a relatively quick, yet beautiful trip that is accessible to almost every hiker. The well-established, gradual trail (with signage), reasonable distance, and rewarding views make it a fantastic outing.

Equipment

No equipment is required for this outing. Aside from a good pair of shoes, bring enough food and water for this trip, and a camera never hurts to capture the views.

Directions

The trail-head is accessed via a roadside pullout on the side of the Powderface Trail (a gravel road: NOT paved). You can identify where the trail-head is with the signage present (east side of Powderface Trail).

Note: It is also possible to access the trail-head from the south (coming up Powderface Trail from Highway 66)

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A view of the trail from the parking space on Powderface Trail (green ‘P’) to the summit. Topo map courtesy of Thunderforest.
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A larger picture of the trails around Jumpingpound Ridge and Summit. Topo map courtesy of Thunderforest.

Guide

From the trail-head (identified by a sign), head east through a forest towards the slopes of Jumpingpound Mountain. Soon crossing a creek on a small wooden bridge, you will begin a steady, yet gradual climb up through the woods on an established dirt trail. Follow this dirt trail for about 2.5km through the woods until you arrive at your first Junction (marked by a sign). Here, the Jumpingpound South Ridge trail joins up with the Summit Route.

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A view of Powderface Trail near the trail-head (left of the photographer). Note the cars on the shoulder at far right. 
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The trail-head as seen from Powderface Trail. Note the signs at center. 
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Looking back at the creek crossing (shortly after the trail-head). 
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A typical view of the well-used dirt trail that winds up through the forest.

Take a left at this first junction (you may use the sign provided to clarify your route) to continue up towards the summit. Soon after this junction you will leave the forest, arriving at an open meadow with views of Moose Mountain to the east. Continuing through this meadow, you will encounter a second junction (where the trail meets up with the north ridge route). Take a right here (again, you may use the signs provided to clarify your route) to head east up the meadows towards the summit. Shortly after that, a final, unsigned junction will appear on your left (also leading to the north ridge). Again, take a right to continue to the summit. Soon after this 3rd junction you will arrive at the rocky summit of Jumpingpound Mountain, met with panoramic views of the foothills to the east, and imposing faces of the Rockies to the west. Notable peaks visible in the area include Moose Mountain, Prairie Mountain, Nihahi Ridge, Tiara peak, Belmore Brown Peak, and even the distant peaks of the Kananaskis Valley poking over top of those at the front ranges (look for the spiky summits of Mount Bogart and the various Mount Lougheeds).

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The view left (towards the summit) from the 1st Junction (which combines with the south ridge route).
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Pulling out of the tree line into the meadows. The summit is visible at center.
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A view of the pointed summit of Moose Mountain at left, and the shorter Prairie Mountain at right.
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Looking right (to the summit) from the 2nd junction (a left at this junction will take you along the north ridge).
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Continuing up to the summit on a well-established dirt trail.
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Looking back to view the mountains in the south-west.
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Nearing the summit.
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Looking North along Jumpingpound Ridge near the summit. Note the rocky section the photographer is in.
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The rocky summit of Jumpingpound Mountain.
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A view south-west from the summit. Note the forested South Ridge in the foreground.
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The view north from the summit towards Cox Hill at right.
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Moose Mountain from the summit. You could see the small fire lookout sitting on its peak from here!

 

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Looking north-west at the beautiful summit environs. Both Tiara and Belmore-Browne Peak are visible at center-left.

Once you have taken in the views, head back the way you came, or explore the network of trails that run along Jumpingpound Ridge to extend your day.

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Heading up the North Ridge from the aforementioned 3rd Junction (see map at the beginning) 
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Looking back at the summit from the North Ridge.
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Heading north along the ridge. Note the weather station (barely visible) at right.
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The weather station.
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Cyclists whiz by.
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Heading back from the north ridge. A left at this junction will take you to the summit and the aforementioned 3rd Junction. A right will take you to the 2nd Junction (again, see the map i have provided), and back down the mountain.
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Entering the tree line to begin a relatively quick descent.
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