Oct 18/16 -Only did the short hike to Elbow Lake. It was a bit steep going up and slippery because of the snow going down, but lead to the beautiful lake with brilliant turquoise water! Walked around the campground near the lake.
Wow!! Spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and the valley below. The trail becomes a bit hard to follow once you reach the river gorge, just keep the river to your left and keep going, the trail reappears before long. Totally worth it. Most people only go as far as Elbow Lake so you can leave the foot traffic behind.
This hike is amazing. Its long, but its easy and it is so stunning you wont feel like your in Alberta. It seriously looks like New Zealand or Narnia or something from the Hobbit lol. The sub alpine meadows, the rockies, the Elbow River alongside you the whole way. Ive done upwards of 30 hikes in K Country, and this takes the cake for beauty. It doesnt give you views like a ridge or peak, but its so green and your in this incredible valley - stunning - try it.
Also, if you dont want to hike all the way to Tombstone, if you listen carefully couple hours in to the trail you'll hear a waterfall, you cant miss it, theres a small foot path that goes left in to the bush, take it and go down to see the big waterfall on the Elbow River, and then head back. Beyond that is a lot of walking to eventually get to the Tombstone Back Country camp ground and then beyond that is the Lakes. The water fall is a great stopping point. then maybe its a 4 or 5 hour day not a 7 hour day. To the campground and back is 16 km return. The lakes further.
Enjoy this hike, do it summer on a hot day, you'll be happy you did. This is suitable for kids and for dogs on a leash.
This is a great 4 hour hike, including stops, to a Shriveling Glacier that used to be double the size it is now. But you get up close and personal and its still breathtaking. The trail is easy moderate.
Go right around Elbow lake, through the campground, a trail will take you through the forest, you might feel like your on the wrong one but your not. Eventually you meet up with main trail and its obvious, there will be a creek ahead turn right and walk on the right side of the creek upstream, the trail cuts in and out.
You will start to ascend a small ridge, and come to a fork in the path, go right, climb the ridge and take a look a back at the view it opens up here. This is a good place for lunch.
Rest of the trail is easy and obvious, but very rocky, along the creek (which is actually the start of Elbow River! - go figure, you'd never know it) and a little mild scrambling up alongside the waterfall will take you to the dried up lake bed, and the Glacier behind it! Best dont in mid to late summer id think. I didn't know Glaciers are rocky and look just like mountains lol. I thought they were a big chunk of ice.
Great hike, you'll be happy you did it. I wouldn't bring a dog because of the rocky trail, might cut up the paws.
This trail is cool, perhaps not quite as cool as its neighboring Ptarmigan Cirque - but much quieter and less traveled. Its a moderate hike, only a few steep uphill parts. Some nice views of meadows, flowers, the peaks of Highwood. Took us 4 hours return with a 45 minute stop at the cirque for lunch. You can scramble up the cirque to Grizzly Col if you wish for better views and to extend your hike a bit. Theres more about this hike on our facebook group Hike Alberta !