Black Prince Cirque Interpretive Trail to Warspite Lake

MODERATE 22 reviews

Black Prince Cirque Interpretive Trail to Warspite Lake is a 4.8 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Kovach, Alberta, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.8 km
178 m

dogs on leash



nature trips



trail running






bridge out


9 days ago

Went up to Black Prince Lakes (a ways past Warspite lake and cascade) last year in August. It was a great, varied trail. The first part, to the Warspite lake, is very gentle, no issues and in forest. Past that it is steep and farther than you think to get to the lakes, since you must go up past the cascade, into a bowl, and up another ridge (to your right hand side coming into the bowl) to see the lakes.
The trek was worth it though, as the water was cool and reflective. Earlier in the season I'm sure you could even jump in!

1 month ago

We’ve done this trail in the fall (in light snow) and in the summer. It’s a pretty easy trail, the road walking up is the hardest part so just take your time. I have seen coyote & moose on the trail so be aware if travelling with kids or dogs.

3 months ago

Beautiful! I had my snowshoes, but didn’t need them last weekend. It was quite easy (I’m out of shape ;) with beautiful views on the drive there & back, but also at the lake. Beautiful!!!

8 months ago

We took our kids (10 & 9) on this hike. It was not overly challenging, but the first climb might leave you a bit winded. Beautiful views from the top.

9 months ago

I agree this trail could be marked as easy. The hardest part is hill at the beginning. I really enjoyed this hike. Gorgeous views.

9 months ago

This trail should be marked as easy. The hardest part was at the beginning which has an uphill climb, once you've done that, you're on easy street for the rest of the trail. We went early in the morning so there weren't a lot of people on the hike with us. We counted 4 going in. It's great for beginners and young families. As with anything in that area, the scenery was majestic.

10 months ago

This review and trail description is about the Black Prince Lakes trail, which extends 2.9 km (1.8 mi) beyond the Black Prince Cirque trail.

For reference, the Black Prince Cirque trail is the 4.2 km (round trip) trail which starts at the parking lot. This trail is well marked and is suitable for casual walkers.

To pick up the Black Prince Lakes trail, take the Black Prince Cirque trail to Warspite Lake. At the lake, find marker 8 (these markers are at various scenic points along the trail). Just before marker 8, you will see a path leading to the right (the north). Follow this path, which will take you along the north side of Warspite Lake. Be watchful so you don't loose the trail, and look for little pink streamers tied to branches at random points, which mark the trail.

Once you emerge from the forest at the west end of the lake, the trail goes through waist-high scrub. Eventually you will come to a rock field. There are stone piles on the field to show you the way across.

It takes about 8-10 minutes to cross the rock field. If you miss the stone piles, or they have been knocked down, no worries. Look up the valley and aim for the right side of the opening, where the forest ends.

The path continues through the forest. You emerge into the valley, which has scrub-sized plants and lots of wild flowers (we did the trail in July). The trail is mostly dirt with some rocks.

The trail makes its way up the valley and towards the Warspite cascade which you can see and hear up the valley on the left. There seems to be a few parallel paths but they all end up at the cascade.

The cascade is the highlight of the trip. It took us about 70 minutes to get to this point.

You can turn around here or continue the trail up the right of the cascade. The trail gets pretty steep and is kind of tough going.

After an open section (tough climb) the trail goes into a forested area and eventually parallels the creek which forms the cascade. Look for a short path on the left which you can take to view the cascade from the top.

The path continues up the valley. It's hard to follow in places but the area is open so no worries. Looking up the valley you can see Mt Warspite and on the right is Mt Black Prince. You want to stay to the right of the valley and follow the edge of the forested area. At the end of the forested area the path goes up the slope to a plateau where you can see the Black Prince Lakes. This is the end of the trail.

Hiking time from the parking lot to this point was 1hr50min, including stops for pictures. Distance to this point is 5.1 km (3 mi), elevation gain around 1500 ft (estimated - reading from a topographic map, I'm a map-and-compass type). So plan for around 4 hours total time for the entire hike (10.2 km, 6.1 mi).

10 months ago

Great trail! We were there on November 8 2016 and the weather was perfect. Quite a bit of snow up the trail and the footing was kind of difficult but the view of the cirque at the end was great. We took our old dog Moby and she was fine. Not a lot of other users. The lake itself was 90% dry. Some of the photos show quite a large body of water earlier in the season.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Lots of snow still and the lake still mostly frozen over.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

We hiked the Black Prince Trail and continued past Warspite Lake, across the rock slide and then up past the Warspite Cascades eventually ending up in alpine meadow filled with boulders and beautiful flowers. Our goal was to reach Black Prince Lake but not all individuals in the group felt that they could continue on due to fatigue. The climb up past the cascades can take its toll on your legs if you are not used to a steady uphill climb. The most scenic part of the hike was definitely after we went past Warspite Lake.

3 days ago

1 month ago

8 months ago

9 months ago

11 months ago

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday, June 05, 2016