hiking

views

forest

nature trips

walking

birding

dogs on leash

wild flowers

mountain biking

wildlife

trail running

river

no dogs

Kananaskis Country is a park system situated to the west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada in the foothills and front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Kananaskis Country can be accessed by three highways that run into or through the area: Highway 40, a 66 km (41 mi) segment of the Bighorn Highway and also known as Kananaskis Trail; Highway 66, a 28 km (17 mi) highway originating near Bragg Creek known as Elbow Falls Trail; and Highway 68, a 42 km (26 mi) gravel highway originating from the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1 known as Sibbald Creek Trail. An ecological and environmental research station of the University of Calgary is located nearby, at Barrier Lake. A "Tim Horton Children's Foundation" summer camp is also located in the area. Easter Seals Camp Horizon is also located within Kananaskis along Highway 66.

I would say this hike is worth the views! Lots of wild flowers, butterflies and birds. We spotted some deer and came across a black bear about 20m off the trail- no problems. It is not an easy hike- definitely a lot of elevation gain- but enjoyable half a day. The loop took my bestie, two dogs and myself 3.5 hours to complete with a stop for lunch. Trail is getting worn in spots and there are lots of exposed roots and rocks- so wear appropriate footwear!

hiking
22 hours ago

Hiked to the top on Sunday, had some fresh snow to slide down on!

Shorter trail with rewarding views!

hiking
5 days ago

PREPARE TO RELY HEAVILY ON GPS AS THE TRAIL ISN’T APPARENT OR VISIBLE, THE DEADFALL IS AN OBSTACLE COURSE :(

Downsides: Only about 5% of this trail (the first segment from the campground to the campground overlook) is hard packed and visible / apparent. Don’t waste time by trying to chase your GPS to find the track after the overlook, as the track is just a “suggestion”. The suggested track does make sense though and should be roughly adhered to for the most reasonable route that minimizes abrupt elevation changes. Any coincidental stumbling upon an actual, visible trail will be short-lived, as the trail will be guaranteed to disappear into oblivion again after a few minutes. **I assumed that any trails that exist beyond the overlook are just animal tracks. Still, you can’t help but get excited when you see them from time to time! The forest beyond the overlook is generally not too thick, but consists of numerous, large areas of large crisscrossed deadfall which would make it very difficult for all pets and anyone with short legs (under 10 years old). I found myself plowing straight ahead to save time and to minimize elevation changes, but my ankles got pretty cut up from the late-spring thick bushes, dead twigs, thistles, thorn bushes, etc., and it becomes an exhaustive over-under obstacle course. Take thick, high socks or wear ankle / calf protection. Bob Spirko’s website review suggests that “this deadfall can be completely avoided by using an animal trail a bit south”, however, I never found this route as thin or spare as I had hoped (6 years has elapsed since his review), and just kept pressing on anyways. The trail starts at the rear of an actual campsite so please go around and don't disrupt the campers to access this trail. The trailhead parking lot gets full on the weekends due to the number of campground visitors.

Upsides: The views at the end are worth the relatively minor frustration caused by having to spend extra time route-finding and zig-zagging around deadfall, and this trail is relatively short overall. Only the initial section is steep, but at least it’s short too. There are lots of great places to stop and admire the views if you want to only stay on the initial section above the campground. The number of cairns and cleared rest areas make it apparent that many people have gone only as far the top of the campground overview, and there is no abandoned garbage in this area, thankfully. The knob at the end is a fantastic place to have lunch, catch some rays, meditate, etc. so budget to spend some time here and explore all around. Any kids that make it this far would have a blast running around and exploring the outcropping of rocks at the summit.

Conclusion: This trail was ambiguous (1 star) and should be supplemented by a GPS unit if you’re not familiar with the area, want to save time, or lack route finding skills. However, it was relatively short, easy, and had some amazing view (5 stars) on top.

starting from the road, the trail is easy to follow, until it disappears. by that point, the ridge line and summit is obvious. takes a bit of figuring out how to get from A to B, but manageable. the Ridgeline is good without having too much exposure (in low wind), and you can find a good scree line down for the descent. at the end of the scree, STAY LEFT to avoid a waterfall/cliff. you'll find a web of trails in the trees - one of which will take you back home. it's best to have some GPS or other tools to help navigate

We loved this trail with our kids. Great view plus lots of area to adventure and check out up at the top! Found cow and moose skeletons on the way up, so that was a really neat find too!

hiking
16 days ago

Really good fun , challenging as you get to the summit but worth it views are amazing !!

hiking
22 days ago

Trail was dry and in good condition, a few fallen trees but that added to the adventure. Not well marked from the Indian Oils parking lot but the path is clear enough. Luckily the trail was flagged as you go higher. We made a bit of a wrong turn and accidentally summited a mountain next door - not too out of the way so we still had time to double back a few hundred meters and continue to summit Mt Hoffman. Very steep section 3/4 of the way up, but it is relatively short and not too bad. Great, truly moderate hike if you don’t mind a bit of a puzzle.

hiking
25 days ago

Went just to see the small hot springs on the side of the mountain. The trailhead was a bit hard to find, we used the directions from guidebook which helped a lot! The hot springs were a great temperature at sunset. Would be an amazing sunrise hike if you are camping in the area!

hiking
29 days ago

Apple maps will lead you past the trailhead so watch for the trail sign or you will miss it. A steep climb but well worth the effort. The view is amazing and it is was quiet when we were hiking (late Sunday morning). We would definitely do this hike again.

This was a wonderful spring hike with the whole family. 4 Boys age 3-11. There is some nice elevation gain at the beginning for some nice views, but nothing too strenuous. Stopped for lunch half way. No real difficulty and total moving time was about 2 hours.

Beautiful views. Finished this hike with 4 adults, 3 children under the age of 3 years old and 2 dogs. There was a bit of standing water along the path and a bit of snow but all in all, the path was in good condition (nothing unexpected for spring). We did this hike with a stroller but I would recommend a carrier for small children. The path is rocky in some areas and there are areas with tree roots, but otherwise it is pretty tame. A great day hiking trail for the family.

road biking
2 months ago

Amazing ride to start the season. can't wait for 2018 season. Still some snow near summit.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Great quiet trail. No traffic. River is frozen so you can cross. Spring will be different.

Loved this hike! We didn't summit and opted to visit the tiny hot springs instead. Will definitely be returning.

hiking
6 months ago

Good moderate hike, we started early and no one was on the trail. As we descended from the lakes the trail became a bit more busy. Round trip 4 1/2 hrs.

hiking
6 months ago

Following the cut line from the Gorge Creek parking area, this is a straight, uphill slog through a perfectly plain pine wood. Not much to look at until the top.

In the final climb it was very difficult to pick out trails of any kind, perhaps due to snow obscuring them. As a result gaining the escarpment was challenging and not somewhere to bring a first timer who is scared of heights, especially with any wind to speak of.

Once on top you get a great view of the carpeted foothills and the front ranges behind them. Not your top priority, but worth doing at some point if you have a few hours and have exhausted the more exciting stuff.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike today; it was a little icy in certain spots but still great.

If your on your way back from another hike in the Sheep River area and you don't really feel like you've "earned it", pull off here and do this. Quick little hour long hike with a good amount of elevation and decent veiws. Dont worry about following the trail, theres dozens of different cattle trails. I suggest keep right on the way up for the best views. If your knees are sore take the mapped trail down, its a wee bit easier but without the great veiws

Way too much wind. Broke my string and my kite flew away. Looks like it ended up in Turner Valley. If you see a Hello Kitty kite in Turner Valley, it's mine.

hiking
6 months ago

If your reading trips reports post 2013 floods saying the bridge is gone, dont worry its back. With the new bridge in place there is no reason this shouldnt be more popular. Good enough to be the Prairie Mountain of Sheep River. When you get near the top, the trail breaks up in the overgrowth and deadfall, watch for the pink marking tape. Pretty strait forward and short. When you get to the top, you are greeted by a Who's Who of the Front range peaks right up in your face. Junction, Shunga, Bluerock, Rose, Threepoint, Ware, Highwood, etc. Probably the best vantage point to see all these at one time.

I really gotta come back here in the summer, looks like it would be gorgeous. Decided to make it out here before the road closes Dec 1. Hit the trail during a chinook, while warm, it did make for a strenuous slog through the snow. Didn't have enough time in the day to make the full summit but got to the South summit. Great views of Calgary and mountains to the Southwest. Could not locate the new trail down the middle, had to take the old trail that cuts to the North, which added distance to my plan.

Excessive amount of bear droppings, got some on my nice new boots. Wish they'd pick up after themselves.

Did about a month ago for first time. Up to the meadow peak was fine and had to find the path from there on as it was covered in snow. Be prepared for wind gusts causing full white out conditions from time to time and pant legs freezing from snow. Crampons were helpful. Still a great adventure!!!

Fantastic hike! We did it at the end of oct and it was snow free. There is a steep section at the end where hiking poles came in handy.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail for a fall hike. There is a new bridge put in sometime in the last year. Park at Indian Oils and go from there.

Nice moderate fall or spring hike.Some limited views west of the mountains. May be cattle in the area. Very similar in distance, elevation and views as Fullerton Loop.

hiking
8 months ago

great place

Good, short but steep hike. Nice views of Bluerock Mountain and others. Lot of birders watching for golden eagles.

Did this Sept 29. Beautiful warm day. Views are terrific at the top and the trail is easy to follow with flagging through parts of it. Quite a bit of deadfall through one section but this makes it all the more interesting. My new favourite hike in the Sheep area.

hiking
8 months ago

I agree, my wife and I both liked this trail a lot. We hiked on Sept 20. It was bitter cold and windy at the top with snow threatening across into Mount Gibraltar. I was looking for a fairly short trail with a good view of the mountains covered in early snow and this one fit the bill. The trail was easy to follow. The confusing section through the old growth forest at the top of the ridge was well travelled and marked with flagging tape. I can imagine the situation changes constantly as more deadfall collects in the area. The section up to the forest is steep but manageable. One might expect switchbacks up the slope but this time it's like Prairie Mountain, straight up. I was pleasantly surprised by the bare rock knob on top. I thought the trail ended in a high meadow but the summit was bare, windswept rock just metres above tree line. The short detour to the area called The Knobs is worthwhile for a place to rest and have some water. We found 2 Geocaches, quite by accident, one in the meadow at the old logging camp and a second on top. Construction of the new bridge over the Sheep River has created a great opportunity to hike Mount Hoffmann. On a good day Calgary can be seen 38 miles to the north east (see photos).

9 months ago

Great hike. Harder than it looks! The approach through the woods has a lot of ups and downs, which can add a lot of time.

Lovely views and a tough, but not impossible summit.

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