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Blackrock Mountain

Easy Hike
Elevation [m]: 
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
Sunday, July 20, 2014

With a pretty dire forecast for the majority of the Rockies Steven and I were looking for an objective we could be confident of even in non-ideal conditions. After some deliberation we settled on Blackrock Mountain likely the easiest named mountain in The Ghost (or more formally The Ghost River Public Land Use Zone). We drove into The Ghost in the evening and car camped below The Big Hill.

To reach The Ghost you have to travel down some gravel roads (bumpy but surprisingly free of pot holes) accessed from HWY 40 near Cochrane. In good dry conditions the roads are quite decent but I could see how in winter or after a steady rain small cars might not fare to well. While it is possible to drive along (and through) the Ghost River itself a good distance I didn't feel like subjecting my car to river travel so we switched to boots at the base of the Big Hill (just east of Ghost River a few meters above water-level).

From The Big Hill getting to Blackrock Mountain involves following the course of the Ghost River keeping an eye for a trail on the Eastern bank. Apparently before the great flood of '12 the trail (and an excellent campsite at its base) was exceedingly obvious but we ended up walking right on past it until running into a large group of campers further along the river who advised us we had already passed the trail. Not wanting to walk on more rock we took to the bush with the aim of intersecting the trail at some point. Thankfully the bush was actually quite pleasant (not overly dense or prickly) and after 10 minutes of contouring we came across the trail (which had to have been a fire road at some point given how wide it was). Once on the trail navigation was trivial and we slowly plodding on upwards hoping our summit bid wouldn't coincide with the oncoming storm. Once at treeline, views opened up considerably with Devil's Head looking particularly interesting. The upper reaches of Blackrock Mountain are quite wide and flat with even a nice meadow cradling out of the wind in a bowl. The true summit is gained a short scree bash (10 min or so) up to the ruins of an old fire lookout. According to the info at the trailhead the lookout hasn't seen active service since the 50s which is evident by its lack of windows and missing planks.

The journey back to the car was straightforward and we followed the official trail all the way down to (what apparently was normally a very obvious entrance) a great campsite above a washed out section before dropping back down into the river.

Given the forecast this was probably the best objective we could have chosen and did have surprisingly great views. Have to come back in the winter and do some ice climbing!


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