Deer Ridge, or Weaver Mountain according to the sign at the top, is a nice little outing if you are in the area and have a couple hours to burn. It’s short hop from the parking lot to the base of a the ridge then a quick tramp up from there. At the top there is a nice place to stop and admire the views or have lunch.
The trail starts at the Sibbald Lake day use area. Initially you follow the south leg of the Eagle Hill hiking trail, but only for a short distance. After the marked junction you skirt around a moose pond and start your climb. It’s easy and no real challenge. Shortly after another junctions appears – part of the equestrian Eagle Hill trail coming in from the Dawson day use area – and here you turn right and head up. After a few switchbacks you arrive at a final junction where a short spur leads to the lookout point. There is a place here to tie up your steed if you came in by horse.
There is an old sign tacked to a tree at the lookout point. According to Gillean Daffern, who writes the Kananaskis Trail Guide series, the sign was likely placed there by the Boys and Girls clubs of Calgary who have a series of cabins nearby. Weaver is a species of finches that are presumed to frequent the area. This information is according to my 1989 edition of the book. 1989? Yes, it’s time to upgrade to the more recent editions. By the way, this series of are practically the bible and anything and everything you need you know about trails in Kananaskis Country are covered in detail within their covers. The book has since morphed into a series and it now encompasses five volumes, instead of the one like my old edition.
From the top Moose Mountain dominates views to the southeast and rarely visited hills and mountains can be seen to the south and west, most whose names elude me. Also easily seen from here is nearby Cox Hill and Jumpingpound Mountain and both can be easily summited and have well maintained trails to their respective summits. If one is ambitious you can even follow connecting ridges between the aforementioned mountains, taking in two or even three of the summits mentioned in this paragraph. That would make for a loooong day.
If you wish you can make of loop of Deer Ridge continuing west on the trail you came up on. It follows the ridge then drops down steeply to connect with the Eagle Hill trail. From there you can loop back to your starting point or if you are still full of energy, head west for a number of kilometres and take in Eagle Hill. This summit is fine view point in itself and has excellent views of the mountains in the west.
Or like us, you can return the way you came.
There is nothing remarkable about this trail, however it still a lot of fun and good exercise and you still get respectable views given the modest height gain.
If you wish more information on this trail, by all means contact us!
Date of adventure: May 2012.
Location: Kananaskis, Sibbald area.
Distance: 5km return. More if you do the entire loop.
Height gain from start: 190m.
Height gain cumulative: 190m.
Technical bits: None.
Reference: Kananaskis Trail Guide by Gillean Daffern.