Exploring the Forest
Learning About Geologcial Structure
After our easy stroll along the Shoreline Trail yesterday, we feel ready to take a larger challenge.
After consulting our trail map, we decide to hike up the Beaver
Creek trail and back down the Horseshoe Canyon Trail.
The Beaver Creek trail is a 3 km one way dirt trail leaving from Beaver Creek campground in the Elkwater townsite and arriving
at Nichol springs campground. As we follow along the Beaver Creek, watch for beaver dams.
Park visitor sitting by beaver dam.
Look around at the forest and up at the canopy above. You will find that there
are more than one type of tree. How many different types of trees are in the Cypress Hills? Can you identify the different species of trees? Who lives in the forest?
Go To Forest Ecology
When we reach the end of the trail, we find that we are on the top of the Cypress Hills. At an elevation of approximately 1400 meters above sea level, we are no longer in the forest,
but are now standing on a grassland. We follow a trail which takes us to a viewpoint called Horseshoe Canyon. This horseshoe-shaped cut bank allows us to look
northward over the surrounding area. On a clear day, we can see the city of Medicine Hat, 70 km to the north at an elevation of about 700 meters. How were the
Cypress Hills formed? Why are the Hills twice the elevation of the surrounding landscape? How old are the Hills?
Go To Geomorphology and Geology
Photography by Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Alberta
The Horseshoe Canyon Trail is 4 km one way leading from the Horseshoe Canyon view point
back to the Elkwater Townsite. As we walk down, we can see all of the different tree species and evidence of the geological structure of
Park Visitor stops to enjoy the view
on the Horseshoe Canyon Trail.
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