On Sunday I was able to get out and get hiking for the first time this season and for the first time since having a baby! My hiking buddy Samara invite me to join her up Turtle Mountain and I knew I was in no shape for that hike so I suggested we find an eay half day hike to ease me in to things.
With almost all the trails closed in Waterton, I began googling the Castle Provincial Park area for easy day hikes (I need to find a book) and found the Carbondale Fire Lookout. It’s a 8km roundtrip hike and was listed as either easy or intermediate depending on who was reviewing it. I can see why; Rachel of last year would have called it easy, Rachel of this year huffed and puffed and had jello legs. Ha ha!
The hardest part of this hike was finding it because the descriptions of where to find the trailhead weren’t the greatest. But it’s very simple, drive through Beaver Mines toward the Castle Ski hill. Take a right at the sign for Castle Bridge and Castle Falls, you’ll pass a road on your left and shortly after, you will see the road/trail gated off in the trees.
We pulled up and began to sunscreen up. I also took 15 minutes to pump before we started. Hiking mom life! Ha ha!
The hike starts off completely in the trees which made for nice shade and oh that wonderful smell! The trail is actually a 4X4 road which is really nice for walking side by side and chatting.
It’s a steady incline up and once you get about 2km in, the trees open up and you get beautiful mountain views.
I couldn’t believe how out of shape I am though! I was huffing and puffing so bad on the way up. We had to take many little breaks because my legs felt like jello. It was a little hard for my competitive nature to feel so weak.
But the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and this was a great way to start getting back into shape.
Before we knew it, we were at the top which offered amazing foothills views on one side and mountains on the others.
We didn’t go all the way up to the lookout because the sign says a person not only works there but also lives there.
I didn’t want to disturb anyone at the place that is their home, so we found a shady spot a little bit back down the trail for lunch.
It was the perfect first hike and Samara and I were so impressed by the Castle area. We’re going to start looking up more half day hikes in the area. I’m not ready for an all day hike, not just because I’m out of shape, but because I don’t want to leave TyTy for too long.
The perfect ending to the perfect day was how excited TyTy was when I got home! His face lit up and he wanted to be with me for hours after and was so happy.
2 thoughts on “Hiking to Carbondale Fire Lookout in Castle Provincial Park”
Great article! I’ve been wanting to try this hike out myself. An awesome hiking book that I recommend is, “Southern Rockies Trail Guide” by Joey Ambrosi. The Kootenai Brown Museum in Pincher Creek usually has signed copies available (very affordable) and I’ve also seen a few copies at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. Happy hiking!!
Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to go look for it!