Ptarmigan Cirque is a 4.3 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.3 km
ELEVATION GAIN
355 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

This is a beautiful hike with such little effort required for stunning views. The short distance and incredible views make a great quick hike good for young children. You will likely see lots of wildlife (squirrels, chipmunks, big horn sheep) with nice small waterfalls and great scenery. This is a fragile alpine area and people should respect that and stay on the trail. It is also advisable to carry bear spray.

hiking
10 days ago

Amazing views of mountains! We went in Mid Oct before the larch trees lost their needles. Beautiful fall colours! Trail was slippery with fair bit of snow at the top. Traction aids and hiking poles were definitely a benefit for this hike especially for the descent. This hike is a gradual climb up with some steep areas in the trees, flattens out near the top, then gradual climb to reach the top. It’s a nice moderate hike. Would recommend it and will definitely hike it again.

hiking
29 days ago

Great short hike with some very good views of the jagged peaks that surrounded. just missed out on larch season but was still a solid hike. Not strenuous but a decent little workout

1 month ago

Gorgeous views! Saw a big moose on our way up as well, definitely will be back to do this one again in the summer.

hiking
1 month ago

Went on Oct. 6, snow is packed down, definitely bring crampons. That being said, beautiful hike with larches still out. The loop was not well indicated as there were no more tracks in the snow so we did out and back. Loved every minute!

1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful and a lovely little Sunday hike. Did this today and there is a lot of snow but packed down. Easily manageable with winter boots (no spikes or gaiters). Still lots of larches to be seen. Paired this with Pocaterra Cirque which made for a more adventurous day. Highly recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely stunning display of larches in late September. Had my 10 month old in the hiking pack and my dog. Definitely a family friendly hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Went here today with 4 adults and three kids 2, 5, and 6. It was very muddy, wet, and slippery so poles and cleats probably would have helped, but we all made to the larch trees which were just gorgeous. We will definitely come back.

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike! Took about 2 hours round trip with a break for a quick lunch. The first 20 minutes or so were steep and wooded but then the trail opens up and flattens out. Well marked the whole way. The larches were golden and the views were incredible from the start. Well trafficked in September when we went, but not overly busy. Some families and dogs were on the trail. A bit slippery on the way down, so hiking poles would have been useful. I will definitely be coming back!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice, moderate hike. Not too busy during July! Worth a day trip to Peter Lougheed- you will more than likely see a mountain goat or two! Only complaint is that it wasn’t longer. This hike could easily be tacked on to another day hike while in the park.

hiking
2 months ago

Such a beautiful hike! Not too hard to get up and such rewarding scenery. It was quite chilly and windy even in the middle of summer so bring a jacket in case. I will definitely be going back on this hike <3

2 months ago

Gorgeous! Colours are starting to change. Lots of people out yesterday. Short hike with amazing views. Steep ascend. Easy if fit but will still wind you. Take your time and enjoy. It’s short and spectacular!

2 months ago

Great short hike with the first km a steady slope but doable for most levels. Don’t rush it to the top as it is a fairly quick hike. Take a couple of rests and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. Highly recommend it in early fall as you can see a celebration of colors! At the end of the rocky path (after the second mini-waterfall) there is a very small remainder of a glacier which is nice to see.

2 months ago

Short, but has great views! Definitely worth the hour and a bit to do! If I had enough time I would have sat and ate lunch while taking in the views. I started hiking at about 8:50am, not many people to run into at this time, then by the time we started heading back the people started coming.

2 months ago

Low key for great reward

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with beautiful views. Elevation gain is achievable for all levels. We followed Mt. Rae trail beyond the cirque up to the glacier. Very pretty but poles are recommended if you want to go past the original hike.

2 months ago

Very pretty hike for not much effort!!! You get a bit of everything on this hike.

walking
2 months ago

gorgeous short hike! kid friendly and not really demanding during summer, cooler than other locations for sure, so bring a windbreaker!
my 3 year old hiked it with ease as its pretty short but sweet, oh how beautiful qre the views!
just the beginning is a little steep, nothing too serious though! and the same incline allows you to get down way faster lol!

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice hike. Popular parking lot so come early on weekends. Once you start the trail (after crossing the road), it is pretty narrow and steep all the way to trail stop 3. Beautiful views.

3 months ago

pretty easy for the views...well worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

beautiful.
fyi.. super short hike.
I finished it in 1hr.

hiking
3 months ago

Fantastic trail to a gorgeous mountain meadow with meandering stream and varying degrees of waterfalls. We went with a friend, and between us had children between ages of 4-9. It was a fairly easy hike for all of them, with a bit of hand-holding for the youngest. We loved all the wildflowers still in bloom.
Always bring a sweater when you're in the mountains!

3 months ago

Gorgeous hike, steady uphill into the Cirque the amazing views around the loop. Option to go higher/farther into the Cirque. Lots of people, we started at 11, and by 1230 the parking lot was overfilling

3 months ago

Great for a short first hike with family and dogs!

hiking
3 months ago

Great short hike. Weather was around +14 and a little Smokey our. I arrived at 9:45am and there was plenty of parking available, the hike was not busy until on our way back. Then it got busy and the parking lot was full. Took it slow as I had my puppy with me. It took us about 2 hours to complete with breaks.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Went with kids ranging from 3-12. Beautiful scenery and worth the small grind at the beginning.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this twice so far this summer and loved it. excellent meadow for lunch and relaxing time. Pretty easy hike, bit of an incline.

3 months ago

Loved this hike. A little steep through the trees to get your lungs and legs firing but it's over fast and then there’s nothing crazy after that. Lots of different scenery, saw a couple of marmots too. Still some snow to check out at the top even in August. Beautiful, quick trek.

3 months ago

Beautiful afternoon walk with the family! Perfect for a nice picnic at the top!

3 months ago

Amazing views for little work! Lots of pikas out when I was there on Friday.

hiking
3 months ago

Fantastic quick hike. Steep at the beginning and then it opens up into a beautiful high valley. Great place if you wanted to set up a picnic, read for a few hours, paint, ect. Also a really nice hike in the fall, the colours really show!

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