Trailhead: Located next to the David Thompson Highway (#11) 218kms west of Rocky Mountain House. A 4.5 hour drive from Edmonton, 3.5 hours from Calgary. If you’re traveling from Calgary the route through the National Parks is shorter than heading through Rocky Mountain House. Park at the roadside pullout on the west side of the Big Whirlpool.
Description: From the parking lot walk down towards the North Saskatchewan River then turn right and head west along the river. The trail runs along the bank of the Saskatchewan river disappearing over washed gravel beds then reappearing again. Along the way you’ll have to hop across a couple of small streams and Wild Horse Creek. The trail leads through several open meadows and campsites that are used by local outfitters.
There are also a few Vision Quest sites used by the local native Indians. Keep walking along the rivers bank until you reach a large bend in the North Saskatchewan River and several sand dunes. The valley to the west will open into a vast expanse offering 180 degree views of the North Saskatchewan River and the surrounding mountains. This is an excellent spot to have your lunch.
The open valley and the large wide braids of the North Saskatchewan River will entice you to continue on. If you have the time and energy you can follow the North Saskatchewan River as far as you like. There are several hiking trails located in this area.