I need to start this post by saying The Crack is the best hike I have ever done! I just couldn’t wait until I got to the end, there, or, here. Might as well be aligned right? But I will now go back to the beginning and explain why and try and show you with the photos I took along the way just how amazingly awesome this trail is!
It was a gorgeous day, Monday July 20th, 2015. I woke up to the sound of loons calling across Carlyle Lake at my beautiful backcountry site in Killarney Provincial Park. We tore down, packed the canoe after some delicious breakfast and headed to the car. After unloading and reorganizing our backpacks, putting on our hiking shoes and driving over to the trail, my friend Steph and I embarked on the awesome hiking trail I both feared and eagerly anticipated!
I had heard about The Crack from my friend Lesley who is getting married in a few weeks. Yay! Her fiancé proposed to her at the top of the trail and she told me the hike is exhausting and exhilarating and the views are unbelievable. We were about to find out!
The trail starts off very nicely. It’s level and on an old logging road so it’s fairly easy. There are a few ups and downs, but nothing too extreme. The easiest part of the hike ends about a half hour in. The trail opens up to a quaint bridge over blue water and lush green vegetation on either side. It’s very scenic. After a bit more trail with scattered rocks , you start to head up steep white and pink boulders and you continue climbing the remainder of the trail.
The first set of climbing rocks, are steep and you are sometimes on all fours, using whatever you can to pull yourself up and over the rocks to the next foothold you can find. Is it really difficult and tiring, but I found it extremely fun! I love to climb things, especially rocks and I have since I was a little kid, so I was in my glory on this trail and loving every minute of it, heavy breathing and all!
After that portion of climbing you go along some small trails and then walk on these large boulders that you have to take care to step over and around carefully. They are not very steep but they are full of cracks, crevices and of course there are smaller rocks all around as well. Every turn there is the possibility of twisting your ankle or your knee or hurting or pulling something, so you have to keep your eyes on the ground. Make sure to stop often and look up and around at your environment because pretty much every time you do, you are in awe at the beauty you are standing in!
After the big beautiful open rocks that give you a clear view to the top of the crack where you can not believe you will end up, you go into another small section where you are in tight steep spaces, climbing up once again. There were points when I wasn’t sure we were still on the trail as it was so difficult. I found it hard to believe that everyone here had also gone through these types of areas and made it out, but I also found it inspiring!
I wasn’t sure if I would know where the actual Crack was when we were going through, but when we approached it next, I knew it was definitely ‘the crack’. I did my best to get a good photograph of it, but it’s very tricky. Basically, it is what you would imagine it to be. The massive rocks at some point split apart, probably with a shift in the earth, and left this pathway in between which are in some places only a few feet wide. On that pathway there are smaller boulders (in comparison) that you have to climb over and scale up and slide down, sometimes on your bum to avoid falling. It was totally and ultimately amazing! All you could see when you looked up were rocks and boulders and rock walls and not much of anything else. And then, you came out at the top and you literally lost your breath looking at the view!
It was worth every drop of sweat to get there, although I really dirtied up my new #WoodsExplorer shirt!
We sent a few pics out, as this seems to be the only place in the park you can get reception! lol! Then, after a lovely lunch, we headed back down the trail. It was almost as hard, maybe harder going down than it was going up. I definitely spent a bit of time on my bum, and used my hands a lot to balance myself over the hazzardous terrain. In less than an hour and a half we were back at the car and heading out to find a place to swim and cool off, dirty, sweaty, tired but exhilarated!
I am very grateful I found out about The Crack before heading on my backcountry trip! It was a wonderful experience I will never forget and a climb I enjoyed immensely! I also wanted to note that I have no photos to add to #CleanUpOurParks as we found not one bit of trash on the entire trail! Well done fellow Crack Hikers!
I hope you enjoyed my post, and as always, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me!