Vision Quest Hike, Clearwater County, Alberta

by - Monday, September 26, 2016

Vision Quest is a local's favorite for gorgeous views of Abraham Lake and surrounding peaks. It's a quite a grind, as it's an unrelenting climb, but totally worth it. After about 1.5 km, you are rewarded with a beautiful lookout (plateau) at an aboriginal vision quest site. 

Continue on to the top of the ridge for expansive views towards the north if you still have energy, then return the way you came. This trail is considered an easy scramble due to the steep grade and loose rock near the top. Be sure to wear good hiking boots! 

A huge thank you to Melissa from Rockieschick's Adventures for the amazing photos and hike info! Please follow her if you don't already! Melissa adds that a rock helmet is not required for Vision Quest (unless you like to scramble crazy stuff like her adventurous daughter). 


Vision Quest Trail At a Glance

Distance: 5.2 km return
Elevation Gain: 700 m gain
Difficulty: Strenuous hike / easy scramble (lots of scree on upper half of the trail)
Stroller friendly? No
Washrooms? No
Time: Allow 4-6 hours with kids; less if hiking to the lookout only

Vision Quest View
Image Credit: Melissa Schulze (Instagram @rockieschick22)
Vision Quest
Image Credit: Melissa Schulze (Instagram @rockieschick22)
Tiny Scrambler on Vision Quest
Image Credit: Melissa Schulze (Instagram @rockieschick22)
Mount Michener and Abraham Lake seen from Vision Quest
Image Credit: Melissa Schulze (Instagram @rockieschick22)

Getting There

The trail starts near the Cline Waste Transfer Station (signed turnoff from Hwy 11 at 52.215564, -116.470403).
  • From the Nordegg turnoff (Hwy 11 & Stuart St), travel west on Hwy 11 for about 42 km. Turn right onto Township Road 37-5. Drive 2.4 km to end of the road and park on the side of the road (don't block the entrance to the dump!).
  • From Saskatchewan Crossing, turn left 1.6 km east of David Thompson Resort onto Township Road 37-5. Drive 2.4 km to end of the road and park on the side of the road (don't block the entrance to the dump!).
The trail starts on the right (north) side of the dump and is marked with a sign saying it's not an official trail.

Vision Quest
Image Credit: Melissa Schulze (Instagram @rockieschick22
Vision Quest is a must-do if you're in the Nordegg / David Thompson area and is hikeable most of the year as it's usually windswept and snow-free.  Let me know how you like it!

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