Kananaskis Country in Alberta, Canada, is a beautiful place for camping, hiking, and a variety of other recreational outdoor activities. Located west of Calgary and situated in the front ranges and foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Kananaskis Country is known for its incomparable scenery. If you’d like to check out some of these unforgettable vistas for yourself, then you should spend some time on Kananaskis Country’s many fantastic hiking trails.
If you aren’t too familiar with the area and need some pointers on where to start, then here are 5 hikes that you just can’t miss:
Fullerton Loop is a relatively easy trail that the whole family can enjoy. It spans a distance of about 7 km, with an elevation gain of only 200 m. The starting point for this hike is near Allen Bill Pond, which was sadly devastated during the 2013 Alberta floods. The trailhead for Fullerton Loop is on the north side of highway 66, across from the Allen Bill Pond parking area. After following the trail for about 1.2 km, you’ll reach the start of the loop. The right side of the loop will take you through a thick, forested area, while the left will offer sweeping views of the Elbow Valley.
Canyon Creek is located a short distance from the hamlet of Bragg Creek, along highway 66. It is a very popular hike due to the fact that that the trail, which runs up Moose Mountain, eventually leads to a beautiful limestone ice cave. It is, however, quite a long journey to get there. You must first hike the 7 km access road from the parking lot, followed by about 2 more hours up the mountain in order to reach the cave. If you do intend to explore the ice cave, then make sure you bring along proper caving gear such as a helmet and a headlamp.
Prairie Creek Trail
The start of Prairie Creek Trail is located just a short distance past the parking lot of the popular Elbow Falls on highway 66. This is the perfect hike for those looking for a little bit of a challenge that is still doable for the whole family. With a total elevation of around 700 m and a return trip of roughly 3 hours, you’ll find a good workout along with some excellent sights. Make sure you bring your camera to capture your views of the Canyon Creek Valley and the Elbow River. Even the Moose Mountain Ice Cave is visible from Prairie Mountain’s north ridge!
With a name like “Forget-Me-Not Ridge,” how could you not be drawn to this beautiful hike? This is the perfect hike for those who really want to have the time to soak in the majestic surroundings, as the 14 km return trip will let you do just that! The Forget-Me-Not Ridge trail can be accessed by driving to the end of highway 66 and into the Little Elbow recreation area. The trailhead is located just across the Harold Chapman Bridge, which traverses the Little Elbow River.
Nihahi Creek Trail can also be found in the Little Elbow recreation area, and is a must-see for any hiking enthusiast. The trailhead for this hike is unique, in that it is actually located 5 km up the Little Elbow Trail, which can be found right at the end of the Little Elbow recreation area. Once reached, the Nihahi Creek Trail is also a 5 km return trip, with an elevation gain of around 240 m. As you traverse this trail, you will be surrounded by smooth white walls of the Nihahi Canyon.