Explore the most popular lake 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.

A steady up hill hike. A selection of hiking conditions from open, woodland & stone trails. Very busy when we went but not so many people at the top. It was a pleasure to discover there is a washroom at the top!
Views were well worth the hike.

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

A lovely hike with prairie views. Perfect place to see the yellow pines in the fall!

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.

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome! Pretty great sights, a decent amount of traffic, the larches in autumn are magnificent.

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 :).

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.

hiking
7 months ago

Our group did this hike on Sept 30th, 2017.
Because there was really a lot of people doing the ridge that day, we decided to leave the trail to follow the valley towards the lake west of the ridge. That part was nice and easy once we passed the scree section.
Going back up to the ridge past the lake was easy.

The official trail is something else though. Conditions can change very fast, on that day it became very windy and we also had quite a bit of snow while we were following the trail back towards the highwood pass parking lot.
Going North to South, the trail has some moderate to difficult sections, depending on weather. Hiking poles are highly recommended, and some previous experience scrambling would help when conditions become slippery.

Very rewarding though, and well worth the effort.

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.

Hard on the knees but loved the view!!

hiking
7 months ago

Very rewarding hike, but should not be taken lightly. This hike would be more towards difficult then moderate especially if you start at the little highwood pass day use parking lot..

Go see the larches in late September she said. It will be fun she said.

I quite honestly almost died on this hike on at least 5 separate occasions. If not for the skills I learnt watching The Revenant (filmed in K Country - you're welcome for your next trivia fix) and my trusty Nike running shoes, it would have been even worse.

There was snow everywhere. Everything is a false summit. I'm convinced I saw a mountain lion track right beside where we had lunch. A dog tried to steal my friend's sandwich (she was mad). I passed at least 10 crying women and one pregnant woman on the hike. A guy kept telling us we were "young bulls" and then tried to tell us that disturbing "young bull / old bull" hill story. One guy farted at the top of a summit beside us.

Quite honestly, we wouldn't have gotten through it if it hadn't of been for this new video sweeping the internet of a white 8 year old kid trying to dab, but ending up doing karate. We also had to hitch hike back to our car.

Five out of five would recommend! Can't wait to come back!

Absolutely spectacular hike! My new favorite for sure!

8 months ago

Very easy. Very pretty.

Highly recommend going from Highwood Pass to little Highwood, going from the other way around is so much more gruesome. Make sure to bring hiking poles as there some steep sections too.

hiking
8 months ago

One of my favourite hikes. Very slippery sections coming down from ridge but sweeping views and larches more than made up for it. Finished in just under 5 hours, little confusion at start as nothing is marked

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.

hiking
8 months ago

I reviewed this trail under Elbow Lake but obviously Rae Glacier is more appropriate. The trail was very popular and busy on a Thursday (Aug 31). There is a steep piece at the start but it is fairly short. Once at the lake the trail is flat and offers numerous options to continue north to Tombstone or southeast up to the Rae Glacier on Mount Rae. Excellent back country camping along the lake. Very nice day. We made it just below the glacier itself.

This hike is not easy at all, but it's worth the trek. We were a group of 4 and did the whole hike from Highwood pass to little highwood in just under 7 hours. Don't bring your dog if you aren't sure how they'll behave on steep ridge parts. The face of the south peak is super muddy and slippery to get down. Bring crampons and a hiking pole!

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

on Elbow Lake

hiking
8 months ago

A gorgeous lake at the end. We hiked up to the falls near the glacier and then followed the running water back down to the lake. So much fun.

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.

The views were unbelievable, but I would definitely rate this as difficult!

I really enjoyed this trail, it was great for a hot day because there are many water sources to cool your dog down in

I really enjoyed this trail, it was great for a hot day because there are many water sources to cool your dog down in

9 months ago

This is a map for grizzly col and Highwood peak/ridge, which is a moderate to difficult scramble and it's really steep on your way down. We only realized the map is incorrect after we've done the whole loop; awesome view though. If you're looking for pocaterra ridge on this app, look for south pocaterra ridge trail that's the correct one.

hiking
9 months ago

This map is shown completely wrong. You should be heading north towards Little Highwood Pass after Pocaterra Cirque. We were lead to the Highwood Ridge route and the hike basically turns into a full on scramble/bouldering on an insane scree slope which we were definitely not expecting. We met another group on the hike that did the exact same thing, so just a warning! Yes the views were epic, and glad I did it, and survived, but definitely would not recommend the Highwood Ridge route to non-experienced hikers.

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.

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