Explore the most popular river trails in Bow Valley Provincial Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

on Three Sisters Pass

11 days ago

awesome hike. definitely a little challenging at points for inexperienced hikers. but once you make the top its 100% worth it. would do it again for sure.

I loved this scramble. We did the loop - up Heart Mountain first, across the ridge then up Grant McEwan, and down. I’d definitely recommend doing it in that order! Glad I left the dog behind, I think the terrain would have been a little too difficult. Almost no “traditional” scree to scramble over - mostly big slabs requiring some scrambling up, and some scree parts but they were pretty packed down so I wasn’t sliding around too much.

hiking
13 days ago

As mentioned in other reviews the trail has been rerouted for a portion starting not far after the powerlines. It includes 4 new bridges which are built very well and eventually meets back up with the old trail which is still used for horseback riding. The new trail is signed well and you shouldn't worry about getting lost.

Until you make it to the meadows it is a very nice forest hike which I would rate as easy. Once you hit the meadows it a whole different story. To the top is very steep and challenging but well worth the effort. The views are amazing from the top. I stopped at the rock face where is seems most people stop. To go around the rock face and go higher it looks like you need to scale around the rock face, which is something I didn't want to do by myself.

Would recommend this hike to anybody. Round trip should take 4-5 hours depending on how long you rest at the top.

Beautiful.

Really great hike with nice views. Definitely a challenge for beginner to intermediate. Little bit of decent scrambling and some bum scooting on the decent if you start the loop clockwise.

hiking
19 days ago

Amazing, fun and interesting hike!!

Great hike. Steep right off the bat which I prefer, start heading up quickly, it’s fairly steep. Don’t go without proper footwear as I’ve seen other people wearing, your feet will thank you. Stay to the right not the main path, all paths braid off together but the main path will lead you astray and you’ll end up having to climb a sheer rock face. You’ll still have to do some climbing but it’s much more doable. Bring a jacket as well, and probably a toque, it’s always windy. Have fun!

Good workout

Aggressive black bear on the Jura creek connector trail. The rest of the trail is excellent and bear free, just avoid the connector.

Hard but rewarding views

Beautiful and challenging!
We took the Scramble up and also did the loop over Grant McEwan peak.
Bring lots of water and be prepared for a steep hike up a decent hike around then a scramble down!

hiking
29 days ago

Did this hike on Sun Aug 19 and really enjoyed it. 2 hrs up the west side then followed the traverse as shown on this map. 1hr 20mins for the traverse to the high point, then 2hrs down. It was a very enjoyable hike despite the smoke. As most scrambling sites/books indicate, do this counter clockwise. As well, there is parking just off the highway, east of the access for lac des arcs and heart creek which will save you a little bit of time.

Fun little hike! Did this after work on Tuesday night on August 14, 2018. It was quite smokey and we couldn’t see a whole lot, but the terrain is interesting and straightforward for the most part. As mentioned in some of the other reviews, it’s easy to get off track by following one of the other small trails that intertwine with the main trail. We ended up having to traverse a nearly vertical rock face. It was grippy enough to scale with decent hikers and your hands, but try to stay on the main trail. It took us about 3.5 hours all in, but we didn’t do the loop due to weather concerns. Just to the peak and back down the way we came.
Someone bring more paper for the peak log! It was almost out when we were up there ☺️

This trail is much better than the reviews give it credit for. You will have to climb through a destroyed river bed for the first portion because of the floods but, for me, that was super fun. you get to pick your own way and cross the stream a few times. If you want more of a path hug the left side going up. Views at the top were impeccable. The whole thing took me 8 hours. would gladly do again.

I wouldn’t classify this route as hard more of a moderate. 2nd favourite in the Canmore area

Fun scramble, but I wouldn’t say the view was overly spectacular.

hiking
1 month ago

The view is definitely worth it for a hike in the 3.5 to 5 hour range. If you keep a steady pace, don't stop and spend only a short time at the top you will fall into the 3.5 hour range.

The trail head is directly across from the small pullout for parking, it isn't clearly marked. Alternatively you can walk further down the road to the riverbed to start the hike.

Stay to the left of the riverbed, approaching the three sisters. The trail on that side will eventually end and you will have to jump across, or hike the river bed, and then continue again along the left side of the path when it is visible. This will make your ascent a lot easier.

When you reach the open field at the top you have the option to continue left along the path, which will be mostly downhill. It will give you another fantastic angle of the three sisters - I highly recommend going the extra distance!

The way down is not as enjoyable as the ascent. You can use the same path as the ascent however the first half is very loose and steep in areas. Walking the riverbed can be a good alternative if you are uncomfortable.

Overall it's a very worthwhile hike. Close to town with the potential to do other hikes in the Kananaskis area.

I love this trail & have been doing it for years. The best part is that few people have discovered it! The canyon itself is spectacular. It can be full of water so ideally wear water shoes. You will have fun climbing up & around the boulders in the canyon. Once through the canyon it is an easy walking trail. If you don’t want to get wet, you can take the trail on the left side of the canyon. It’s a steep little walk up & down but manageable by everyone.

hiking
1 month ago

this hike has come updates, brand new bridges and sign posts to help guide you on your way.

the hike starts out forested and seems to go on for what seems like a while, every once in a while when you look behind you'll see just high youre actually getting.
suddenly you will get to a bit of a clearing. it just kinda happens. the trees just go away. you'll arrive at those meadow looking pictures in the description. THEY'RE MUCH STEEPER IN REAL LIFE, like if you step off the trail you roll all the way down the mountain, the path is about . but it gives way to such beautiful views!
this hike is misleading by some of the pictures! do it! so worth it.

A fun day with my hubby! Some hands down parts! Horseshoe loop had great variety of terrain! The registry needs a new book if anyone going up.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike made it onto our "to do" list for the 2018 peak hiking season. First attempt at completing this trek (3 weeks ago) did not go well. We missed the red marker at the crux and ended up on a well used trail that took us far up into the steep debris field on the west side of heart mountain. We ended up running out of time and had to make the decent back down the west leg of the loop.

Our second effort was a success but this hike was certainly not as advertised or described in our guide book. The trail marking after the crux is non existent, well....we couldn't locate any markings. we ended up having to tackle two very difficult and nerve wracking scrambles to make to the summit of heart. The rest of the hike over the 6 peaks had us losing the trail at least three more times.

The views at the top are spectacular but the price paid to get these views was way too high.

Needless to say, Heart Mountain Circuit now has a check mark beside it on our list. This one definitely won't be making it onto our "do again" list.

hiking
1 month ago

Was a little confusing off the start as there is no mention of wind ridge on the initial trail map. You have to take centennial trail for a ways before hitting it. Made it to the first major viewpoint at the cliff and had to turn around as it wasn’t possible to keep going up the steep loose rocks with my 2 dogs and no hands free. Would do it again without the dogs. Great views, bit of a thigh burner!

The Canyon is a MUST its beautiful. Unfortunately for our Heart Mountain Hike we were one of 7 groups that all ended up at the face and couldn’t find our way to the top or the loop. All the climbing thinking I’m so glad we aren’t coming back this way we’ll we went back that way. If I go back it will most likely be as an out and back taking the trail from the left right at the bottom of Mountain and trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

I cannot recommend this hike at all.

Pros: LOTS of wildflowers. Scenery all the way up the west side. Not a lot of people on the trail.

Cons: A very hard hike, when compared to other highway-accessible trails. Highway noise half the way up (and halfway down). Very easy to lose the trail and end up in very dangerous spots: I somehow got off trail and had to stow my poles and free climb a crag to get back where I was supposed to be. Scenery at the top isn't that good: it's a slightly worse view of Barrier Lake than you get from Prairie View Fire Lookout, for much much more effort; the view of Yamnuska and Grotto is nice, but spoiled somewhat by the Exshaw plant.

Honestly, if you hike for the challenge, or if you are a completionist and you've bagged all the other highway-accessible peaks, then do it. If you're in it for any other reason, hike EEOR, or Prairie View, or Prairie Mountain.

Over the years , we have Done it 3 times and will Again. The first half hour is Not boring since the new trail has been forged and completed after its first two kilometres had being demolished from the big flood 4 years back. Thanks to the bottom new trail and easy grade whose bridges cross 3 gorgeous little creeks, In the first half hour , I would recommend the first 40 min of this trailhead to any family looking for a short nature walk, or who don’t have the 5 hours it takes to summit and return . Many thanks to all those who worked so hard to make this trail magical.. Flowers all thru the valley bottom and upper meadows at the right times are amazing . t the top waiting for you is a kilometre long ridge walk .The views from this summit ridge are relentless. From the desert- like Back side of Three sisters , to the five Lougheed peaks front and centre with their emerald green meadows, a good portion of Centenniall Trail up Mount Allen and Collembola . So Three hours to top , or a leisurely four hours taking your time. Last hour and a half can look daunting because you can see the entire route to the top . But don’t let it intimidate you. Don’t miss out on Wind Ridge. Especially when it’s sporting it’s famous Winds . Ha Wonderful . Some days up there is paradise. And some wind days is an experience too. Like a freight train is roaring thru up there. You Just won’t know till you get up there .

Fun hike with our pups. We ended up doing a huge loop and ended the day at 22km. Busy day on the trails but it was a good oops;)

hiking
2 months ago

Amidst cement, mining plants at the start, not well marked and confusing, very steep gravel inclines. Surprised no one has provided this insight. Once you get a bit in it is private and the gorge is nice but I fell once given the gravel on a very steep hill and almost fell another. Not another sole around both in the parking lot and on the trail. ???

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike. Steep sections but worth it. Excellent views at the top; one can see for kms around, and snow to slide down on the way back! The top can be tricky for those afraid of heights.

Great for beginners or the first warm up hike/scramble of the season. Nice shoulder season hike. Can get busy so go during the week.

hiking
2 months ago

The views from the trail of the Bow Valley and Barrier Dam in Kananaskis are surprisingly great. Definitely follow the advice given by many others in the below reviews to go COUNTER-CLOCKWISE and be sure to do the whole loop. We encountered a number of hikers who gave up when the way-finding near the scramble section going up (around the 1.5 km mark) got a little less obvious and turned around...what a mistake! I didn't mind going up the first section of trail to the summit of Heart Mountain, but I wouldn't want to descend it. Conversely, once you reach the first summit, the remainder of the trail is surprisingly good. There are a number of easy segments along the ridge-line before a few steeper, rocky sections coming down on the far side of the loop (around the 6-7 km mark). There also isn't a lot of shade for most of the hike, so be sure to bring lots of water if it's a warm day. I went through my entire 2 litre hydration bag by the time we descended to the flat section paralleling the highway.

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