Explore the most popular river trails in Little Elbow 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.

5 days ago

This hike has beautiful views that run along the elbow river/creek. Most of the trail is spent on a park service road, which makes the hike easy but a tad boring. You also have to cross the river/creek, so plan on getting your feet wet. Once you cross the creek and head down the road, you will have to pay close attention to the gps as there is no trail head or trail for that matter to summit cougar mountain. So all an all the trail goes from rather easy to hard in a sharp left turn up the mountain.

19 days ago

it is a challenging trail and hike. The initial walk in is along the fire road so biking is an option. I walked from the trail head parking lot to the river crossing in just over an hour. once you cross the river into the forest it is not too bad to find your way. just keep looking forward and you will know where to go.

I did not get to the summit as my legs decided they were done about 200m from it. if you do want to summit you do need to climb up a shaft so climbing experience and a helmet may be a good thing to have.

The scree up absolutely sucks and took me almost 3 hours alone..however coming back down took about 40mins.

Check my recording for details.

On another smokey day this summer we looked for a shorter hike to do just to get out and do something! This is a nice shorter loop (took us 1hr 45min) that has a couple nice viewpoints and isn't overly difficult to hike. We went counter clockwise. The climb from the bottom is steady and has a couple steeper sections but the view from the top is worth it. Near the summit there is a sign post. Go right at the post for 100m or so and take in the view. You can complete the short, steep summit loop or just go back and continue down the Ford Knoll trail. There's a second viewpoint about 1km down on your right and then another you can see from the trail a little further down. Stay left at all junctions and you're soon back where you started. On the way down, near the bottom there are a couple creek crossing where the dog could cool down and get a drink.

I did not complete the trail, i ran into some scat i didnt recognize and being the only person out there decided to turn back, i was fairly close to the tree line but the mind can get the best of you sometimes.

I am going to be trying this again as it will not defeat me. There is very little trail once your off the river and it pure bush until you open up into the river bed, then through the meadow and back into bush whacking forest more or less.

There is a north approach off the river but seems more scramble and climbing.

2 months ago

We did the first part of the hike (little
Elbow campsite to big elbow backcountry campsite). The trail is super flat with beautiful views. It’s only 8.7 k to the campsite which is right on the river and really beautiful. I would totally recommend!

Great views. Would rate this trail as difficult with how steep it is, the scree and the length. Just my opinion!

spent all day Saturday June 30 down big elbow trail looking for geos, some areas have washed up, first bridge is gone, made it to Tombstone Backcountry Campground stayed the night =)

2 months ago

Trail is near impossible to find. Basically a bush whack till you get to the scree line, once you’re there just find any way up. Mostly fine plate scree

2 months ago

A nice, fairly easy hike. Some nice views and a couple inclines, not overly stressful.

Enjoyed the varied terrain, good views on the way up but no real summit at which to picnic.

Didn’t make it all the way to the end of the trail, just to the top/beginning of the ridge which becomes a meadow of sorts. At the beginning of June, there weren’t many flowers yet. Perhaps later in the season. Had to do a bit of bushwacking as the trailhead/forgetmenot pond area/parking lot was closed for construction. Quite a few river/stream crossings so this trail is better done on a hot day so you’ll dry off faster. Pack water shoes if you have them. Many of the rocks are very slippery. Very steep incline. Mostly rocky. Lots of exposure. You’ll want a hat. Neat, unique shaped rocks to see & lookout for “the wind chime tree.” Nice view of forgetmenot pond at the top. Was very windy.

Tried to do this today and somehow ended up climbing Powderface instead haha

The trail is not really marked and I was relying on AllTrails. Unfortunately my GPS shut itself off for a bit and when it came back on is when we realized we were on the completely wrong trail. Worked out ok because the hike was beautiful, just wasn't what we had planned. May try this one again and be more careful with my route finding.

This is a steep incline the whole way up and a hard climb down. The incline is at least 45 degrees. The views from the top can not be beat. Stunning! The river crossing is easy and actually feels nice to dip the feet after the descent. Two summits. Bring lots of food and water and expect to take some breaks. Rocky trail in some parts. I took my dog and he did fine but it did wipe him out pretty good for rest of day.

4 months ago

Beautiful vistas. Trail no overly well marked.

Nice views, definitely go up clockwise per map.

Did this trail yesterday. Parking lot is currently closed for upgrades, so you have to park on highway and walk in. Very poor signage. Have never been to this area before, we walked right past the trail head and ended up at the bridge. Crossed the river and finally found a sign and realized we walked right past the trail head for this hike. We finally found our way to the trail and once on it, it was great. Good steady incline. Because of the poor signage our 5km hike ended up being over 12...oh well

horseback riding
11 months ago

a lot of exploring to do up top, check it out, take a look around.

Tricky to find trail around the river crossing. Bring crossing shoes. Nice steady climb.

Diverse trail with a river crossing early on, so prepare accordingly. You'll also find some steep sections towards the end to make this a bit more challenging than advertised. We had trouble figuring out where the actual trail ended, so keep an eye on the map! Great views once you're up there, though, and lots of nice spots to stop for lunch.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Had really nice views along the way, we went right off the trail head, then we had the beautiful views as we came back down

The river crossing is quite high!! Be prepared!

Love this place

Sunday, July 12, 2015

I backpacked a piece of this trail anti-clockwise to Big Elbow back country campground and back out the same route, 20k in all. Very little elevation gain, wide open fire road, excellent views all the way of the surrounding mountains. There are 4 major washouts from the 2013 flood, 2 to be wary of. The first is the trailhead, it's gone from its original location at the Trailhead parking area. The trail has to be accessed via the suspension bridge a little further up. The second is at about 8km in, the trail is completely gone and a little skirmish up the river bank is required to get back to the trail. Temps in the high 20's in and out the next day. Camp ground had wood, an axe, toilets, bear lockups for your gear and great views. This was a training hike for me carrying 30lbs so I aimed for little elevation and short distance. My preference is elevated views hence only 3 stars

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Me and a couple friends hiked this loop over 3 days, with camping planned one night at Mt Romulus backcountry campsite, and the other at Mt Tombstone backcountry campsite, and had a great time. The only concern for bikers is the LONG high pass between the two campsites (NW and SW corners of the loop), but otherwise is a good hike. We went in July, and woke up to snow the first morning, which quickly melted. The paths are good and worn for bikers and hikers alike, don't recall any real complications.

22 days ago

1 month ago

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