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Mount Kidd, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

At the southern end of this mountain park is a road that continues on up into a pass called the Highwood Pass. It is the highest paved road in Canada and it is only open from June 15th to December 15th each year. In the spring, it's a common destination for cyclists - it's especially great to cycle it before the road opens to motorized traffic in mid-June. The winter has a lot of people skiing and snowshoeing along it. In the late spring, they typically have to plow the top of it to make it ready for vehicles. In the summer, there is great hiking at the summit on a short but steep trail called the Ptarmigan Cirque Trail. The trail leads up to a spectacularly beautiful high alpine meadow nestled in a sunny bowl-shaped valley filled with mountain wildflowers and laced with sparkling glacial streams.

 

I have cycled up to the summit...once. I must admit I much preferred the exhilarating trip down. I've done a few cycling trips, enough to know that I'm not much of a long distance cyclist. A pink girl-bike with a wicker basket filled with flowers, baguettes and chocolate is really more my thing. But I have serious, hardy, outdoor enthusiast friends who think nothing of cycling up this pass - does that make me sound a little hardier?

 

If you enjoy cycling, here's a taste of the excellent mountain road cycling around these parts (I recommend watching the video in full screen HD mode): Biking the Highwood Pass

 

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Taken on February 7, 2012