In the southeastern corner of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Highway 40 climbs to Highwood Pass (2,227 m/7,310 ft), the highest road pass in Canada. On the way up to the pass, a pleasant detour is Valley View Trail, a five-kilometer (3.1-mile) paved road whose route higher up the slopes of the Opal Range allows views across the entire park to the Continental Divide.
The pass itself is right at the tree line, one of the most accessible alpine areas in all the Canadian Rockies. Simply step out of your vehicle and follow the interpretive trails through the Highwood Meadows. In the vicinity, the Rock Glacier Trail, two kilometers (1.2 miles) north of Highwood Pass, leads 150 meters (0.1 miles) to a unique formation of moraine rock.
From the pass, Highway 40 descends into the Highwood/Cataract Creek areas of Kananaskis Country (Highwood Junction is 35 km/22 mi from the pass). Note: The road over the Highwood Pass is in a critical wildlife habitat and is closed December 1–June 15.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition