Rainy Creek Summit – Hiking With Kids – Kananaskis

Someone stole my car! Which is unlikely considering it has the ultimate anti-theft device installed – the stick shift. But no joke my car was stolen in beautiful Kananaskis country – at least that’s what I thought. Let me explain:

The Rainy Creek summit trailhead is located just off Hwy 66, around two kilometers before the little elbow parking lot, the starting point for Nihahi Creek and Nihahi Ridge.

Rainy Creek is a kid-friendly hike a short 45 minutes from Calgary. A great alternative to the popular but often crowded Prairie Mountain.

There is a small pullout with a timber harvesting sign that marks the parking area and the trailhead.

This is where my car was stolen. It happened on the pre-hike – A day where I test the trail to ensure it’s kid-friendly.

As you ascend into the forest and arrive at one of the many lookouts you will see HWY 66 and the pullout where you parked your car – But in this case, my car was gone! Someone stole my car!! It definitely was a holy shit moment. I had a choice at that point to continue on to the summit or to conserve energy and start the 10KM back to station flats.

The thought crossed my mind to continue on “I’m screwed anyway might as well make it to the summit” but logic took over and I decided to hike back to the trailhead and then run (this is the MoneyRunner after all) the additional 10K to the station flats area.

But alas – what do you think I found when I made it back to the pullout? That’s right my car. WTF? Did the kind thief return my car? You bet he did. But not exactly.

What my dumbass didn’t realize is that around 800 meters further along the HWY there is an identical pull out with the exact Timber Harvesting sign. And Pull Out #2 is the only pullout that you can see from any of the lookouts along the trail. Trust me it is very convincing. The crazy thing is if I had decided to summit I would have seen both pullouts from the peak. But whatevs’ at least my car wasn’t stolen and so I decided to summit again ; ) 1.5 times on Rainy Creek. HooYah!

On the day we hiked Rainy Creek summit with the kids the weather was almost perfect. It had rained the night before and the air smelled crisp and fresh. The sun was bright but not intense and the temp was a chilly 17°C, IMO the sweet spot for hiking. On our way down HWY 66, we passed around 30 cars parked at the more popular Prairie trailhead to arrive at our destination Rainy creek with only one other car in the pullout. Perfect!

The trailhead starts at pull out #1 at the Timber harvesting sign.

GPX tracks loaded on an old Garmin 305, so the kids can navigate. H is getting the trail map ready on the Garmin.

The hike starts in a relatively flat meadow – to the right of the first pull out and follows a small road for the first 1KM until you hit the tree line and onto a single track through the forest.

My youngest boy L pointed out an interesting bulbous tree. Heyyyyy! Dad! Look at that tree. It’s gotta huge butt!

You will eventually leave the single track and onto a rocky ridge that extends for a full KM.

After the rocky ridge, you descend into a small valley.

A view of Rainy creek summit from the valley floor. The final ascent to the top.

A bit of snow still hanging around in the shadows. A bit sketch but little L made it just fine. Can’t say the same for the DW – she ended up sliding a few feet on her backside. The kids thought it was funny. She didn’t.

The final ascent up a small cliff band to the summit. Some very mild scrambling required.

Forgetmenot Pond in the background as well as the front range mountains of Kananaskis. The summit is shared with the Powderface Ridge trail and it would be possible to do a loop or a straight-through if you were to bring a friend and park at both ends. It’s a bit odd that Rainy Summit is not included on some of the more popular trail guides and websites. Maybe it’s best to keep it this way.

Another beautiful day in Kananaskis, the kids had a blast. And no that’s not double vision. Mi esposa and I are wearing the same shirt. This is totally a thing when you get older… She pleaded with me not to. Representing Ole’s run!

Rainy Creek Summit
Distance: 3.02 km (6.04 km Return)
Elevation Gain: 364 m
Physical Difficulty: 2/5
Technical Difficulty: 2/5
Time: 2-3 hrs return – Download GPXDownload TCX

Random Kananaskis Fact O’ the day: Captain John Palliser chose to name the area Kananaskis after the Cree name “Kin-e-a-kis” – a warrior who survived after receiving a devastating blow to the head with an axe. The name is actually thought to mean “the meeting of the water”. Palliser stumbled across the region as he traveled across the country, traveling by horse, cart, and canoe.

Author: The Money Runner

Husband, father, runner, personal finance enthusiast and computer geek. Thanks for visiting. Please check out my other posts and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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6 Comments

  1. I’ve never heard of this hike. Looks easier than prairie might be a good alternate for sure. I’ll have to check it out.

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    • It’s a great hike. About half the elevation of Prairie (which I also took the kids on – recap will be posted shortly) way less of a grind as well. Happy hiking!

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  2. The milenial anti-theft device. That’s fantastic. Glad your car wasn’t stolen.

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  3. For hiking, I have never had my truck broken into, and thats roughly 500 times (give or take 100) in the last decade parking my nice (enough) truck at quiet parking lots with no supervision. The Rockies are not really a place for people to loiter around lots looking for valuables I won’t say it’s impossible.

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    • I’ve had a similar experience so far. Probably best practice to not keep anything of value in sight. Some people will break your window for $1. Thanks for the comment.

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