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

Beautiful hike! Went with a large group of 9 people and we were not prepared for how long it is or the trails. Once you hit the nonmaintained trail it's incredibly hard on your feet so be sure to wear proper footwear. There are many rocks and tree roots you need to step on or over! Right now is the perfect time to go because the water is so clean and beautiful same as the waterfall. We didn't make it to the lake as we started late and wanted to make it back before sunset and our feet were hurting from the trail but other hikers said there was knee-deep snow still up there so would want to wait at least a month before going again. We started the hike around 12 pm and ended at 8 pm on the dot but we did go chill out at the rocks for a while which took us much longer.

A really fun but long hike. Went yesterday May 19 and there was still lots of snow (waist-deep) on the trail from the falls to the lake. Trail finding was pretty difficult but we made it to the lake and though it was mostly frozen over it was incredibly beautiful and calm. Not many people make this trek at this time of year, so chances are you'll have it to yourself. Take caution on the chains as they can be a little slippery when wet.

The 11km to the falls, however, was very gentle and the trail was in good condition. The falls are big and gorgeous this time of year. Perfect for dogs and family outings.

Lots of bear activity today. I would wait until later in the summer before attempting this hike again.
We hiked about 2.15hrs in, almost to the campground but there was a fresh kill on the trail so we turned around.

Not too much snow until about 2 hrs in.

The little waterfalls along the way are nice but no spectacular views.

Pretty easy hike.

We went May 2nd and the trail was full of snow which made it pretty hard to walk through with hiking boots. Definitely would need cleats or snow shoes to finish it. It was pretty flat for the most part, I wouldn’t even call it a moderate hike. There are a lot of reviews about if being really scenic and breathtaking. It was nice but I wouldn’t say the scenery was amazing. Going to try it again in the summer, maybe have a better experience.

Absolutely beautiful!! Definitely well worth checking out, fantastic workout with breathtaking view as the award

Great for snowshoeing, beautiful

Beautiful place to Snowshoe!

Nov. 2nd hike 10 cm of snow... beautiful.

7 months ago

I had my 65th birthday on this ridge- a dream come true! The trip up to Aster lk. has so much variety . The glacier at the ridge was stunning. We hiked the ridge in both directions, staying at Aster both nights. This yr was Smoky so we didn't get a clear view of the Royal range- We hope to return next year and do the loop.

We hiked this trail on October 1st. As it started snowing on our way out we did not make it past the falls - it would've been too dangerous to pass the cliff hazard and two ladies coming down had already told us that the trail to the lake was barely visible.
Although it's a fairly long hike (16 km out and back if you only go to the falls) it's not a very challenging one - I am new to hiking and managed easily. It took us about 4.5 hours with breaks for snacks/drinks and photos. There is very little elevation gain and it rises very gradually. Only when it started snowing it got a bit more difficult because it got a little slippery. The trail mostly follows the creek which provided nice views of the water. The falls are beautiful. There is also a washroom at the campground by the falls (as well as at the trailhead). Because the weather wasn't great we only saw 5 or 6 other pairs of hikers on the trail.

nice trail beautiful

it's a long one. I'd recommend doing it in two days via hiking or grab a mountain bike and start the trail at 7am

Great night hike we completed.. finally without getting pushed off a trail by wildlife. Wouldn't rate it as hard like it says but moderate for sure. The last leg up the "mother B" is a bit of work for sure! Would be a great challenging hike for those who are just getting into exploring! Made it up in just under 3hrs with the top leg being slow moving but nice quick steady pace down. Had a growl from behind in the distance then possibly a bear up at the top that made our resting break really short! Great adventure tho! Unsure of the daytime view tho.

8 months ago

Four of us did the three day from UKL > Astor, Astor > Three Isle, Three Isle > UKL. Day one was super smokey and a bit unpleasant but cleared up as we arrived at Astor so we could enjoy the spectacular views. Fossil Falls was absolutely a highlight for us all. The next day we did Northover Ridge which would have been intimidating in any weather. It was absurdly windy for our crossing which made it even more "exciting". The views were spectacular though. This is definitely a favourite trip for me!

3 day backpack or about 13hr one day hike. Have to wait until probably mid July for the snow to be gone.

one of best creek in alberta rocky.

8 months ago

Three day backpacking trip including Aster Lake, Northover Ridge, and Three Isle Lake with family and friends. Fantastic views on a beautiful ridge. Highly recommend

Did it in one day, it's a real grind. Beautiful views make it worth the effort! Got to see a wildfire burning in bc.

We took Ribbon Creek Trail to Ribbon Falls and onward to Ribbon Lake. This was a fantastic day. The hike to Ribbon Falls is long, but not too challenging. The trail climbs gradually, though the path is rocky and uneven much of the way. I'm glad I didn't bring my dog as the very rocky terrain would have been hard on her paws. The Falls are beautiful and make for a full-sensory stop along the trail for photos or lunch.

Beyond the falls, the trail to Ribbon Lake is steeper and more challenging. The chains to scale the cliff hazard are manageable for a novice hiker, but not for the faint of heart. We managed alright with our daypacks, but would be hesitant to try the chains with overnight packs. However, we did see others on the trail who were planning to backpack to the lake. We saw children on the trail around 10 years old manage the chains alright too. We definitely wouldn't want to climb down in the rain, however. A slip could be very dangerous with the cliff below. Also, trying to get a dog up/down the chains is NOT something I recommend. Nevertheless, Ribbon Lake is beautiful and worth the trek! The views up there are amazing! It was much chillier up there, however, so dress appropriately.

It took us about 3 hours to get to the Falls. The entire day to the lake and back was 8.5 hours including lunch, snack and photo stops.

Good hike with a 9 year old and 13 year old. After seeing Troll Fails the hike to the lookout is almost all uphill. My 9 year old wanted to stop but once he made the lookout he was all smiles. The view is of the whole Kananaski Valley and was awesome.

9 months ago

**Did a variation of the posted map**
Where the map has you turn to walk below the mountain, we continued on down the main path another 700 m to the junction with the Sheep River Trail. Walk down the Sheep River Trail for about 1.8-1.9 km. You'll see a big pile of rocks - that's your trail head (If you've walked over top of the stream [piped underneath the pathway] you've gone too far). Walk along this narrow, forested, uphill pathway alongside the river for about 1.37 km, at which point you will arrive at at Rae Lake! Taking this way in and out was 19-20 km and took about 6 hours, with a couple short breaks,
I would recommend long sleeves and pants if you want to walk along the river pathway - there are branches of all shapes and sizes at various heights.

Overall quite enjoyed this hike. Great scenery - forests, lakes, river, valleys. Hard, loose rock pathway so you'll want some thick soled shoes! Will definitely do again.

We hiked to the Ribbon Lake campground, which is a beautiful and fairly sheltered spot. The hike from the parking lot to the falls is fairly flat and gets a bit boring, but the hike from the falls to the campground is more challenging, especially with the chains. My husband kindly carried my backpack up the chains for me, and I had no problems. Highly recommend going up the chains, as the views are much better.

Longer hike than anticipated and wish we had got an earlier start. Many awesome places to stop along the trail and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I did not know there was a campground at the base of the falls and was envious of the people setting up camp there! We hiked to the chains but was getting too late in the day to head up to the lake. Busy trail early to late afternoon but that evening we were solo on the trail. Will definitely redo this hike and camp.

started early mid-week so pretty empty... loved all the access points to the creek - the dog was in and out of the water all day..

I'm going to start this by talking about the chain section, as it was the part I was most nervous about and I tried to find more details about online, but found them relatively lacking. I hope this is helpful for others who are nervous!

My boyfriend and I were camping at the campground, so we had fairly heavy packs (compared to people who were day hiking). We found the first and second climbs of the section to be the most difficult, and after that it's pretty easy. To be clear, you're not hanging off the edge of the cliff with nothing down below, but these sections are a sharp incline and some of them are quite high up, so you could definitely hurt yourself if you fall off, especially if you were to missing the ledge falling down. I found the second section especially hard to navigate, as I just could not figure out how to get up. It seemed impossible with my short legs! (I needed to put more trust in the chain in the end.)

That being said, neither of us are experienced climbers in any way, and I'm quite scared of heights. But we were able to do it. Of course there is absolutely no shame in deciding it's too tough, but if you take your time and are careful, it's completely doable. Also, bringing some gloves with a good grip would be helpful. My hands hurt a lot after.

Also, as someone else said, I have no idea how you would get a large dog up this section. It's very steep and I don't think it would be fair to force a dog up. You could probably carry a small dog up, I guess?

If you're not up for the chains, I would still recommend going up until you hit the chain section because you get some very beautiful views. The falls are nice but the hike there is a bit monotonous. (The lake is completely worth getting to as well, in my opinion.)

The campground is fine but there's not enough group fire pits for 20 tent sites. The group area got really crowded, especially around meal times.

In conclusion: the chains aren't completely unmanageable, especially if you've never done it before, just be careful and take your time. No shame in calling it quits either, definitely listen to your gut! If you want to avoid the chains, at least go up past the falls for a little bit to get some nice views.

It took us about 3 hours and 20 minutes to get from the trailhead to Ribbon Lake campground, and a little less the next morning on the way back. (About 2 hours to Ribbon Falls).

Hopefully that was helpful for anyone who was looking for this information!

great trail with good length, well marked nice and shaded. even better if you continue past the falls and go to the lake ... a must do hike for anyone who has never done it or any hike and want to get in to hiking

The hike to the falls is beautiful and easy, but quite long (I guess this is why it's rated moderate). You hike through beautiful areas along Ribbon Creek. There are lots of places to stop and take in the scenery. The falls are about 10km into the hike, just past the campsite. The hike to the lake is where it gets a bit more steep, with some scree slopes to cross. The first chain climb was easy, but we weren't prepared or skilled enough for the second chain. I commend those who make it to the lake, because it takes a great amount of skill and effort!!

Amazing hike, beautiful views.

This was a beautiful trail! It is a nice gentle incline over a long distance and the scenery was breathtaking throughout! We had lots of stops to enjoy lunch and snacks along the way and we're able to do the full route to the waterfalls and back within 6 hours! Highly recommend for both new hikers and pros!

O would say it's Hard.. Great paths But Uphill A lot!

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