Explore the most popular camping trails near Kananaskis Improvement District with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Love this trail, varied areas, amazing view of a valley.

I really love this Trail the beginning is a bit steep but once you get to to the lake the rest is pretty flat easily one of my favorite hikes

hiking
2 months ago

We did see the mama bear with her 3 cubs just before the Highwood parking area, she stayed on the Ptarmigan Cirque side

I did this in winter, and wish I had brought my snow shoes. Will do it again.

I did this hike the weekend after I did pocaterra ridge. They are in perfect view of each other. We did Elbow lake, Elbow pass, Tombstone pass then both the lower and upper Tombstone lakes. It was a long hike but the scenery was phenomenal.

Great hike! Missed the peak of the golden larches but so beautiful anyway. Almost missed the trail head ( you turn left off the ptarmigan cirque/Highwood meadows trail at the sign which says "Fragile Area, stay on designated trails". Lots of snow on trail at this time of year , mental note to bring trax or crampons next time :).

cool place! great easy hike!

hiking
7 months ago

Trail and area is currently closed as of September 28/2017 due to a Sow and cubs.
Larch's up top looked beautiful but not worth the risk of running into a protective momma bear.

7 months ago

Not a strenuous hike, can be done in about 3-4 hours with lots of breaks. The larch trees are in their prime right now! Plenty of beautiful places to stop for lunch and admire the scenery. Elevation is gained and lost throughout the trail, minimal scramble to the top for the view.

Hiked up to Pocaterra Cirque last Saturday to see the Larches change colour.
It was a great hike. Lots of amazing views and beautiful fall colours. The hike itself was not too hard. Lots of people on the trail but still fun.
Early snow made the trail that much more fun.

Soooo pretty. Great views. Streams, alpine flowers, varied terrain. This hike has it all.

incline at the trail head was a challenging, but once you reach the lake it's worth it. And the rest of the trail to Edworthy falls and tombstone was a great hike.

very easy and accessible for anyone

This is a beautiful hike in the Kananaskis that leads to an amazing canyon that is been carved out of solid rock over millions of years. If you have the energy it is worth hiking up to Maude lake.

This is a tough hike to do in one day if you’re not physically fit. I would recommend splitting it up into 2 parts, first camping at forks then heading to the canyon on the second day. The second day is a brutal steep uphill climb on switch backs that seem to last forever but once you reach the top the views are nothing short of spectacular!

It was extremely Smoky on the way up for us and we saw nothing but a deer as far as wild life goes. Because of the steep incline, we were far too tired to visit the hauge glacier or the north K pass.

The second day it rained pretty much the entire time expect for a few breaks here and there, so that hindered our attempts to make it to the glacier or the pass. The canyon itself is a neat feature, a massive deep canyon that gives you the chills even if you’re not afraid of heights.

For next time I would also stay at forks on the way down because the entire leg it’s tough to do.

A lot of up and down hiking which is nice as it gives you a break and you are not hiking up hill for x amount of kms. Great views for not a lot of effort.

My wife and I finished our week near Banff with this hike. Did 60+ miles this week. This hike was steep in two parts. The first bit to Elbow lake and the last bit from Tombstone campground to the lake are quite steep, but easy to climb (not slippery, etc). Don't miss the waterfall that is about halfway to the campground (as others have mentioned). There is a nicely made rock pile to mark the trail to it. The trail from the Tombstone campground to the lake had minimal traffic (on a Saturday), and there are portions that seem very isolated and have good bear habitat. Make noise. The lake is an amazing place. Bring your fly rod and some dry flies. The cutthroat trout were surfacing constantly while we ate lunch. Maybe the most tranquil place I visited this week.

Randomly found this little gem on a day drive of the Kananaskis Trail and walked up to Elbow Lake. Plan to return to camp here and trek further up to Tombstone. Met a couple guys on the trail with skis and a snowboard who had hiked up to the glacier to ride it down in July!!!

It was great hiking! Love it!

hiking
9 months ago

This was our second try on this trail. On our first hike on June 21 2017 we found ourselves stomping around on the avalanche slope trying to get across to the tarn. We didn't make it. This time we went in with two old dogs and although the broken scree was kind of hard for them to negotiate overall the trail wasn't really a problem for them. Nice to have running water on a trail for the dogs. We met 10 other hikers on the trail which was OK because more people mean less likelihood of an unexpected bear encounter. It was a beautiful day. Clear skies, light breezes and a high of 15C. Highly recommended.

Always a favourite spot! Elbow Lake is beautiful and a great place to camp!

hiking
10 months ago

The hike itself was pretty good. There are plenty of different types of terrain and a lot of uphill hiking. I recommend waterproof footwear because we did end up passing through an area with creeks at the beginning of the trail and a glacier at the cirque, as well as hiking poles due to the incline. The view once you break free of the treeline is incredible, and there are many beautiful wildflowers and streams. The paths were not well marked in my opinion, and we ended up taking a few rather lengthy detours.

It was raining when I was there last time but still amazing. Will go again.

This was my first backpacking trip so it's been a number of years since I've done it, however this was a great overnighter. We did this one in reverse to what it says here on AllTrails. We trekked starting at the Ribbon Creek side which is flat and straightforward for the majority of it until you get to a cliff wall. You use chains to assist you up the wall and then you can continue onward to Ribbon Lake. We spent a night here and then continued down through beautiful Guinn's Pass, down to the end of Galatea Lakes Trail off of Highway 40. Guinn's pass was tiring going down, but worth it for the views.

Tried to make our way up to Turbine Canyon but made the tough choice to turn the hike back to Forks campground due to deep soft snow 3/4 of the way up. Bumped into 2 other groups who turned the hike and they said they know of at least 1 group who decided to post-hole all the way up. I would say it's still too early in the season right now to make it to the campground which is really unfortunate because the first 3/4 of the trail was bare, dry, and offered stunning views.

A friend and I and our children (5,3, and 1) only went as far as the lake. Good trek in! Will be doing again and one day make it all the way to tombstone!

11 months ago

I didn't think there was a lot of information about this trail online, so hopefully some people will find this review helpful. My boyfriend and I did this hike on June 17, 2017. There is still a ton of snow on the trail so if you're planning on going in early summer be aware of that. I expect some of it never quite melts given the altitude. We even met some snowboarders, if that gives any indication of the snow situation.

The trail is unmarked. Park at the Highwood Meadows parking lot and follow the trail out. After a few minutes you'll see a sign that says "Fragile area: please stay on designated trails" and a trail that veers off the path you came from and goes beyond the sign. This is the trail to Pocaterra Cirque. Once you get into the forested area, it is fairly well-marked by orange ribbons at the moment. (Many thanks to those who went before us and blazed a trail through the snow.)

You'll be in a forested area for roughly 20-30 minutes. Very soon you will pop out of the tree line into some fantastic views. This is where the snow started getting fairly problematic for us. The only way to the cirque was across the snow-laden slopes. We stuck to where people had crossed before and left a trail, but the snow was soft and we kept sliding and falling, sometimes stepping thigh-deep into it in some areas.

It took us about 45 minutes to cross to the cirque. We would have loved to climb up to Grizzly Col but unfortunately our feet were soaked and starting to get quite numb, so we didn't think it was wise.

All in all it took us about 3 hours to do the hike, would've been less without the snow but more if we could have managed the extra climb. This is a great short and easy hike, though. Not a lot of effort for a great pay out. It was quiet as well. Other than the snowboarders we only saw two other hikers.

I'd love to come back when the snow has melted more. If you're attempting this in late spring/early summer bring water-proof shoes, an extra pair of socks, and gaiters if you have them! Your feet will thank you.

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.

trail was snowy and icy towards the top.

hiking
Sunday, September 25, 2016

A nice hike for family. Not crowded. You loose the elevations at the beginning of the hike then you catch it up at the last 2 km. You can also extend your hike to Grizzly Col.

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