Explore the most popular views trails in Elbow River Provincial Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I do this hike once a year. The views at the summit are phenomenal.
It’s fairly easy until you reach the tree line to the top of the summit, it gets pretty steep. But the most challenging part is the fairly large incline right before you finish the trail back to the parking lot. It always gets me :/

Great hike! Very rewarding!

Excellent hike with amazing views at the top. May 20/18 Trail is muddy throughout until you get past the treeline. A couple sections of snow still left up near the top but easy to navigate through. Beautiful 360 views at the lookout up top. The last km back to the trailhead is steep and really makes you work for the finish line! Love this hike and it is dog friendly as long as you leash them at the sign as you approach the last push to the summit.

long walk along the road. the cave was super cool to explore. i can see why people bike it tho. its hot on that road way.

trail in good spring shape, a little water and mud, snow in a few patches but nothing that a little soap and water can’t take care of. The views at the top are second to none BUT it’s very steep to get there and the lower half of the hike is all in the trees with little view. Well worth doing once, not sure I would return quickly.

3 days ago

Easy walk with the kids. A little wet and muddy in spots

excellent spring hike. spectacular views for moderate effort. snowy up higher take but microspikes not necessary.

First hike of the season. It was gorgeous, paths were fab!

Easy first of season hike with nice views that is good for trail runners.

Hiked on May 5th. seems to be an old logging road so wide and fairly hard for most of it's runn. Only 2 snow patches to speak of... one 25 feet long and easily walked around. the other was a bit longer. neither was an obdtacle. Did the route ccw and it was more gradual but left all the great views to the last quarter. Took my 10 year old and did the loop in 90 minutes without hurrying. quite busy... people every 5 minutes or so. Most were in shorts and runners making me feel overdressed!

8 days ago

Completed MM trail today - May 15

There are a few sections of snow still in the initial 2-3 km before you clear the tree line, but nothing to warrant extra equipment. Beautiful hike, easy to follow the trail so no route finding required. Great little early season hike. Completed in 3.5 hrs.

9 days ago

Easy trail, very clear with one or two muddy patches.

Did it with a 3 1/2 starting with the steep side.
Nice view and a nice hike. Lots off kids and families

Biggest issue with this trail was how poorly it was marked. Often got on to another path... or maybe it wasn’t even a path??.. not sure. If there were path signs/markers they were on the ground buried under over growth. I thought it was a beautiful hike, with very few other hikers which was nice. You could really hear the sounds of the forest. ... but definitely needs some marker upgrade.

Nice, quick hike, close to the city. Going counterclockwise seems to be a bit more of a workout, steady incline. Not difficult, lots of families and dogs. Moderate traffic but not too busy.

Good hike not to hard depending on the route you take. I wouldn’t say it’s a place I’d go back to again.

Just a heads up to anyone seems like this might be a tick hot zone me and my buddy both had ticks on us when we got home and checked so if anyone’s thinking about going check yourself and everyone. Here’s a link for any info for anyone who’s encountered these nasty buggers.


As stated a thousand times it would save a lot of time and energy to bike this trail to the bottom of the mountain before going up to the caves. But the long walking down the road wasn’t so after the steep incline and decline as a good cool down. Some beautiful views down in the valley and especially up at the cave! Only got a couple hundred feet into the cave, it lives up to its name and got very icey and very slippery and were worried about the dogs as they were sliding all over the place. Not to much shade over the duration of the hike , bring lots of water, a good flash light (if you plan to explore the cave...phone flashlight wasn’t the greatest). All in all very fun hike.

Easy trail muddy in parts but a great beginner walk with a few veiw points along the way. To make it more challenging try going up the left side first

Trail is a little muddy and parts still have snow but over all a great day. Definitely and easy walk so good for beginners dogs and children

We love it! Great family hike and good ice cream in Bragg Creek. My favourite was cherry on a waffle cone.

A great easy short hike with some lovely views! Recommend doing the loop counter clockwise so you get the best views coming down the last leg. Trail is in great shape with a couple muddy sections. May 8/18

I’ve done this twice now and enjoyed it both times. The long trek along the service road can be kind of dull, but with a friend and good conversation the trip doesn’t feel that long. The real trail starts at the end of the service road, and climbs fast to a section of light scrambling. I recommend having headlamps for the cave as it gets pitch black the further in you go. Also make sure to bring a helmet as there are some low hanging walls! The ice wall a few hundred meters into the cave is quite a sight to behold especially if you bring some bright light sources. Like others have said there are a lot of false trails heading up to the cave itself, but it’s generally pretty easy to pick your path. All in all it’s a good hike, would be 5 stars if it weren’t for the initially walk along the service road.

17 days ago

May 5/2018. Beautiful sunny Sunday hike. Went counterclockwise to better enjoy the view. Path was mostly dry, bit of mud and a tiny bit of snow. Fairly busy trail but an easy hike and with stops for the view and lunch it took us 2 hours.

Pretty busy today. Lots of people, children and dogs. Some dogs were off leash and that was pretty frustrating for us. It was our first moderate hike and did it counterclockwise. The incline was spread out and doable and gets your heart going! Looking forward for the day that this is easy! After half way it is so easy and was nice!

Really enjoyable hike. The actual trail is very short and took us about 3.5 hours total including exploring the cave, lunch break and a broken bike. Highly recommend bringing a bike, the ride to the trail requires work but the ride back is almost all downhill. The cave was very nice to see with great views at the top. This cave is much colder than Rats Nest cave in Canmore. If you plan on exploring, bring a warm jacket, gloves and headlamp.

Nice & Easy, but we should have done elbow trail first as it was slushy for the second half

22 days ago

28/04/18 We went counterclockwise as recommended in the reviews, and I wouldn't have done it any other way. The first half in the forest is covered and doesn't get a lot of sun; there is tons of ice+slush+mud right now (aka wear spikes or hiking boots). 2nd half along the ridge is dry but very steep walking down. Spectacular views!

Still have a lot of know at the Elbow trail

Definitely bike in the service road otherwise walking it takes up most of the time. Bring headlamps.

A nice quick loop that can be done in 2 hours or less and close to Calgary. There is a view point and the trail is doable in the winter and shoulder season if you have micro spikes or snow shoes. Very popular area

Some icy spots, some muddy spots, some dry spots. Overall enjoyable hike with intervals between steep and level trail. Took 2 hours to casually stroll and stop to enjoy views.

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