Jura Creek Canyon is an amazing place to take young children. The fun part of the first canyon is just minutes away from the trailhead, so even the youngest, smallest feet can make it there. And when you get there… well, let’s just say it’s the ultimate playground!
Rock twists and turns, sculpted smooth by the passage of water through weaknesses in the rock over a millennia. Sunlight filters through, where it can, from the narrow opening above. The water is never deep (outside of spring run off time), and keeping feet dry becomes a fun game that encourages kids (and the kids inside every adult that goes there!) to use their bodies in new found ways, balancing on logs, doing the splits from wall to wall, making human bridges across water channels. The walls are close and ever so fun.
Should you have intrepid hikers with you, you can follow the stream once you emerge from the canyon through a wide open, rock filled valley for a few kilometres until you reach a second canyon. Hemmed in by a huge piece of strong slab rock, there is a crack ledge that makes for really fun balancing and climbing.
We’ve been to these canyons a few times now, and hiked pretty far up Jura Creek and into the mountains there. There are tons of fossils and lots of rocks to poke about and explore, once you’re about 7km in (that’s above both canyons). And there are fun scramble spots. It is challenging hiking, only because there is never a flat trail to walk along so you are on uneven ground the entire time: you simply pick your way through the stream debris, criss crossing the water back and forth, balancing on rocks and boulders, avoiding log jams and taking in the huge landscape.
One other thing…. the times we’ve been there, there’s been not a soul in sight. We’ve had the entire place to ourselves to romp and play and explore. It truly is a hidden gem. Come along and see for yourself (these photos are a collection culled from a few times that we’ve been there)….
There is one part where you need to climb a smidge… so young kids will need a boost here, if they’ve made it up this far…..
Fossils and flowers abound.
Should you go… Jura Canyon is tucked off the 1A, across from the Graymont cement plant just outside of Exshaw. Just park at the parking lot by the plant’s entry gate, and walk across the road. You can walk up the creek bed, or take any of the dirt tracks to the east… they all lead you there. Find the stream bed, and you can’t miss it.Hiking With Barry has gone in the winter… something I clearly need to experience!
Trekking up a mountain’s shoulder, hiking through a flowering alpine meadow, snowshoeing through a dense pine forest, or taking in the 360 degree views from a ridge top vantage point make me feel alive. The experiences in these places give me a profound sense of space and place.
Travel does a similar thing, pushing me out of my comfort zone, exposing me to new experiences, new people and new ways of thinking; it also gives me that sense of space and place in this world.
I believe that life is lived in the contrasts: when you experience simplicity and complexity and life's ups and downs, whether they be physically in this world or mentally in your own personal inner landscape, you know that you are truly living.
The bigger they are, the more there is to explore!