Ascent of Cypress Hills High Point on 2016-08-14

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, August 14, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cypress Hills High Point
    Elevation:4816 ft / 1467 m

Ascent Trip Report

This point is called "the highest point in Canada between the Rockies and Labrador", and that claim is essentially true. It has a prominence of almost 2000 feet, and it a Census Area (county equivalent) high point for Alberta, so it makes an attractive destination when one is in the area to bag the nearby Saskatchewan high point.

From Route 41, turn west on Murray Lake Road, signed "Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park" and "Golf Club". Stay on this road for about 5.4 miles/8.6 km--it's paved most of the way, and a good (but potholed) dirt road for the last mile or so. Before the road drops off the plateau, there is a cleared viewpoint with benches and an interpretive sign. Park here. The highest ground is about a half-mile north--use an overgrown track that follows the forest-field boundary. A birch grove marks the highest ground. The area is very flat and the vegetation makes it hard to determine the actual highest point, so grid the area until you are satisfied.

Edward Earl's trip report on this site mentions that the viewpoint might be higher, based on a park sign and his GPS readings. However, my GPS showed the birch grove to be 5-10 feet higher, and the sign at the viewpoint mentioned an elevation of 1466 feet, 2 meters lower than the spot elevation at the birch grove. Based on Edward's observations and mine, I am quite confident that the birch grove is the actual high point.

My trip: I was not sure where the viewpoint was, so I parked along the road short of it. I started hiking across the open field, but the high grass was somewhat bothersome and I made my way to the lower grass of the mowed swath that followed the edge of the forest. I bushwhacked around the birch grove until for a bit, satisfied that I got as close as possible given the extreme flatness of the area.

On the way back I stopped at the viewpoint and tried not to disturb a woman on the park bench, took a photo of the sign there, then made my way back to my car parked nearby.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:16 ft / 4 m
    Total Elevation Loss:16 ft / 4 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.3 mi / 2.1 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:16 ft / 4 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Route:From South
    Start Trailhead:Near Vista Point  4800 ft / 1463 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:16 ft / 4 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    End Trailhead:Near Vista Point  4800 ft / 1463 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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