Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Definitely one of the hardest hikes we’ve done this year but very rewarding once at the top. Was hard to find the trail near the bottom but once found it was easy to stay on. It is very very steep- Basically straight up hill right from the start. Didn’t see much wildlife but lots of trees to keep you cool. It was very Smokey but Once we got up high enough the smoke wasn’t an issue. Near the top there are a lot spots to scramble, very amateur scrambling though as our husky, amstaff, and chihuahua were able to make it up only having to be helped a couple of times. Watch your ankles in the scree on the way down! One of the harder “hard” rated hikes I’ve done!

As other reviewers noted, this hike has a bit of everything. We opted for the summit first, and we ended up taking a fairly direct route up, by going up one of the earlier scree slopes (rather than following the valley to the back scree slopes that go right up to the peak. It was steep and challenging, and we'd recommend this path rather than following the trail around to the back. The rocks were just a bit larger and firmer going up this way which we felt was probably better than scrambling up through scree. Bring poles and expect a challenge.

The ridge is breath taking and the views are limitless. You really feel like you're on top of the world.

We also saw momma grizzly, although from a long distance and she was playing around trying to catch one of the gophers. Marmots are everywhere, and virtually unafraid of us. They seemed quite curious and "led" us up through the rocks.

Hot springs on the way down was the "cherry on top" for this hike. Such an incredible experience after a challenging hike and summit.

on Sheep River Falls

3 days ago

Beautiful. Super easy access to the falls. You can even get pretty close. Come with good pairs of runners. Keep children close if you descend towards the falls. The rocks get slippery and you can fall into the water. Beautiful place for a picnic. Not as crowded as Elbow Falls and the drive out is spectacular.

I am head over heels for this mountain. Such a fun scramble with incredible views and short ridge walks. It has a bit of everything, grassy valleys, forested trail, hot (warm) springs, and great elevation. We saw a grizzly so bring bear spray! It was far from us so we weren't too worried but be aware. Moving time was approximately 8 hours taking lots of photos, breaks, and time to take everything in. I highly recommend this hike to anyone who loves scrambles and scree skiing!

Did this trail back in May and there was a lot of snow. We ended up going the wrong way and added an unexpected 20km or so to our hike that we were not prepared for. By the time we got to Rawson Lake we were sore and wet from slipping in the feet of snow that covered 70% of the trail around the far side of the large lake. Rawson was still frozen over also. All in all good hike but make sure you know which way you’re going!

5 days ago

Great hike with amazing view, however you cannot that we saw safely summit the mountain without rock climbing equiptment or ropes and harnesses. Very difficult hike with a lot of elevation.

Amazing views. My 9 year olds and 14 year old loved it. I would go back again

Amazing hike! Has it all! We went the alt route which was long and straight up but lots of fun! Then had some fun ridge walking, and an amazing rock to take photos off of. The peak was awesome and going down the main trail allows some really fast and fun scree skiing. We ended up making it to the hot springs as well. Took about 8 hours all together taking lots of photos.

PS to the four girls who backpacked the night before and we saw on the way down! We did find the hot springs !!

7 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. The trailhead was a little unclear as there is no designated signage saying where the beginning of the trail was. It's along the path beside the sign that says something along the lines of "stay on the designated path, fragile area" - which was the only signage on this path. So start there! Other than that the flow of the hike was smooth and gorgeous.

As of August 3 the trail has reopened.
This is a family friendly hike that is steady through trees but not technical.
If you go at a decent pace you can make it in around an hour to Rawson lake.
There is an option to continue on to Sarrail ridge, which I would recommend if you have poles/a walking stick and are prepared for a STEEP dirt trail. From the ridge you get a fantastic view of Rawson lake as well as the upper Kananaskis lake on the other side. Quite spectacular.
Otherwise, Rawson lake is the perfect spot for lunch, there is an outhouse a little ways a way and I did see people swimming and fishing in it (though you should check if fishing is allowed).
Overall a well kept trail to a beautiful lake. There are planks put on the ground for a section near the top to traverse muddy sections.

We did this as a second hike and it was a little difficult for non seasoned hikers. But nonetheless Beautiful hike. 0-100 elevation increase once you hit the clearing but it’s worth the view. Power lines felt like they would never end but once they do it is really nice scenery and quiet. Not too busy we did this on a long weekend Monday and only saw a few groups of people. Worth the steep incline!

8 days ago

Amazing hike. Park at the south end parking lot as it is a beautiful hike through the cirque on the way up to the ridge. The climb up will get the heart rate pumping but the views at the top as well as the hike along the top of the ridge is absolutely beautiful.

Great hike, can be very busy. Best part is there are washrooms at the top.

8 days ago

Beautiful easy 1 hr walk right near the river. A lot of people at the falls but not too many on the path.

Great trail and followed advice to take White Tail for first section up which was quite easy going.. A really decent challenge for new MTBers and a great rest point at Merlin’s Chair..

11 days ago

Did Big Sister a week ago and was happy with the hike overall. Made a few mistakes in picking the best route, and the trail is poorly defined for the most part. You'll have to work out the best route for yourself and don't be shy about back tracking to find a better way up/down. Best to follow the same path down.

Hiked this the other day with my kids. Easy, beautiful Hike. Pack a lunch and enjoy the lake when you get there. Campsite where clean, well taken care of.

rock climbing
12 days ago

This was one of the toughest hikes I’ve ever done. There was hardly a trail even visible 90% of the hike. It was almost entirely uphill, and many of those points required straight up climbing.

This was not a moderate hike! It was quite dangerous on the way down as the shale rock was unstable. This hike ended up taking us about six hours. I do not recommend anyone does this unless your a crazy fit thrill seeker.

Tough scramble. Amazing views. Worth the punishment! Very fun scree to descend!

12 days ago

Without a GPS I would not have made it around that loop - even with GPS we could not find the trail for most of the hike but could at least get a general idea. That meant there was a lot of rough terrain and we had to climb up large rock piles and follow the creek. not well marked or groomed. It was dangerous in areas and was not a moderate hike...
The summit, however, was amazing. 360 view of the mountains - an excellent place for a nap and lunch after a hard climb!
Glad I did not give up...which definately crossed my mind.

mountain biking
13 days ago

Great loop! Nice and flowy! I do this once a week on a weekday morning (Zero crowds at this time). The trail is getting pretty rocky and rooted right now from people riding it in wet conditions. The downhill part of Merlin’s is in great condition. Took 1h10m with a few breaks.

Very beautiful spot that we stumbled upon. We will definitely go back! Very short hike but beautiful scenery!

Reached the summit, we went to the false summit first. The scramble was tough but it was a lot less scrambling then if we went up the scree to the true summit. Views are absolutely spectacular and worth the sweat. Hit the hot springs on the way down. They're not very big so try to go when it's not busy. Saw Grizzly mom and three cubs on the way down, they were quite the distance away, easily 300m to the east of the grassy hill before you turn to climb Mist.

Climbed to hot springs only as day was very hot and another 3 hours to the summit. Found fossils all over. Hot springs moderately warm. Beautiful scenery. Plan to do overnight next summer to take advantage of full summit

Late July 2018. There are some nice views of Upper K Lake and looking back while hiking up the valley to Turbine, but most of the time is spent in the woods. Beautiful woods, but not that many views. After Forks, the hike up is challenging, but on a well maintained trail. When you make it to Turbine, make sure you actually check out the falls that are a 60 second walk from the campground (half of the people that we met didn't know it was there including us!). If you made it this far, it's well worth the 2.2 km to Maude Lake where you can capture Beatty Glacier, Maude Lake and the continental divide all in one panoramic shot.
Many other backpackers were hiking the loop to Three Isle via Mt Beatty. We made the rookie mistake of giving it a try without a map and couldn't find the route to Beatty Lake Camp, but spent the day in the Northern Kanaskis Pass and were struck by it's beauty.

Great trail. Took us 4 hours to complete with a 20
Minute stop for lunch. You have to pay attention on the backside of Merlin as the bikers come down quick so you’ll need to be ready to move.

The trail was a little worn down and supper muddy but the view made it worth it!

21 days ago

Started our hike around 3am to catch the sunrise. Scramble to the top of Mist was much harder than we anticipated, but the views were absolutely worth it in the end.

Quite challenging since it is a steep hike almost from the very start. We did it with kids aged 8 and 10 and 2 dogs. The view at the top is worth the effort. We cooled off in the creek on way back down. Great way to end the day.

22 days ago

I couldn't give this trail 5 stars but I plan on it eventually! We had to head back down due to weather and a late start.
Was hoping to just make it to the hot springs but were told by people on their way down that they were packed and since they only hold 1-3 people each there would be a long wait.
My advice is to get to the trail head early to beat the crowds and hopefully the weather.
The trail head was a bit hard to find until we noticed someone placed one of those white road poles with the black tip against a tree next to the trail.
I'll add some photos for reference.
Looking forward to going back and hopefully summiting as well as soaking in the springs

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