Explore the most popular 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.




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Kananaskis Improvement District, Alberta Map

Did it today! Very nice and easy, just walking. Enjoyed the scenery! Saw black bear really close to us.

1 day ago

We biked the first 2 kms, then started the hike up the ridge. Path was clearly marked with ribbon or cairns! Because of the smoke, we could only guess what the views would be like when we came out on the ridge beside mount macdougal. Our plan is to try the hike again next year before BC starts smoking. Getting off the ridge was interesting, as was following the path down by the stream in the valley... nearly eroded away in places which requires some caution!

This was a nice brisk traverse, not steep but long inclines as well but as above so below. Long steady declines. Beautiful hike even took my 2 year old with me though not cranky but wanted alot of shoulder rides up hill. Yup an extra 40#'s on my shoulders made for a great workout.

Oh although about 50 cars in the lot, we never seen anybody on the trails. So peaceful. Definitely recommend if you'd like a moderate - brisk peaceful walk in beauty.

Trails are well marked.

The trail itself was very hard to find, and we ended up going a bit too far left and climbing the mountain overlooking Highway 40 and the parking lot.. also there are lots of animal trails intersecting the main trail that may have added to the confusion. Regardless, I heard nothing but amazing things about the hike and would love to attempt this another day!

1 day ago

10/10 saw some nice sheep

2 days ago

Great scramble! Absolutely doable without ropes.
It’s a workout. What a blast!!!

I have done this hike twice now, the first was at the end of March in heavy snow where you could barely see across the lake, the second was Tuesday evening - we were going to hike up Sarrail ridge to catch the sunset but we had too late of a start to even catch sunset at the lake - not sure we would have seen much through all the smoke, but it is a lovely hike and will definitely do it again and hit the ridge next time!

3 days ago

I would recommend if you are planning on doing this hike to do it later in the summer or early fall before the snow. I did it in July and the snow was so heavy we could not find a trail. Unfortunately it also was very cold and with it being quite open for the majority of the hike wasn’t as enjoyable as it should have been. I will definitely try this hike again but next time with poles, late in the summer, extra layers and water proof shoes!

This was an amazing hike for our family. We camped at Mt Sarrail walk in tent campground. Tuesday morning we walked across the street and up to Upper Kananaskis Lake and then to the trail head of Rawson Lake. We were so lucky to have a blue sky sunny day and enjoyed every amazing step along the trail!! It is a moderate hike with lots of twists and turns, uphill switchbacks but so much beauty. We stopped for lunch on Rawson Lake like many other families. One of my sons and my husband ventured on to the challenging steep path of Sarrail Ridge. My other son and I headed over to “the big rock” and found it easy to climb on top! I made it about 1/4 of the way up the steep incline to my goal big tree towards Sarrail Ridge and was satisfied with seeing the beautiful views from that viewpoint. We had a dip in the glacier fed lake on our way back to the lake because it was so hot!! We spent about 6 hours on our hike between stopping for breaks and hiking back to the campground. It was an incredible hike and we would definitely do it again.

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

9 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!

11 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

13 days ago

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 !!

13 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.

14 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.

14 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..

17 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
18 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!

18 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
19 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.

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