Lat: 50.914325 Long: -114.779288  Click to see map

This is a very well hidden gem. In fact it doesn’t really belong in this review of day use recreational areas, but it is popular and something you can do in a day. It isn’t an official trail, in fact it was built as a fire road to access the lookout in 1929.

There aren’t many Rocky Mountain summits that you can get to and back relatively easily in about 5 to 6 hours. Prairie Mountain is another, but it’s not as high and you don’t get a 360° panorama of the mountains to the west and the city to the east.

The Moose Mountain access road is maintained by Shell who have wells and pumping stations in the area. The road begins opposite Paddy’s Flats. The road is rough in places. The parking area is small, it’s really just a spur off the access road. People usually park along the roadside.

There is a long descent shortly after the start. Although it is a little discouraging to be going down when hiking to the summit, it is a lot worse after a long day of hiking to have to climb this fairly steep hill at the end of the hike. Otherwise this is a fairly easy hike until the last push to the summit up the path cut into the scree slope. There are several good viewpoints along the way and some nice fields of wildflowers. The summit is at 7,995 feet (2437 m). Children of 10 years of age and fit seniors should have no trouble getting to the top. THe views from the top are well worth the effort.

These photos weren’t taken after the flood, they were taken over many years and a different times during the summer.

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Watch a video of the 2012 summer solstice ascent to the summit