Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Ptarmigan Cirque is a 2.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Kananaskis Improvement, Alberta, Canada that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 2.7 mi Elevation gain 1,164 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

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. Note: The highway leading up to the hike is closed Dec-June. In winter conditions (that includes early spring and later in fall) this trail is considered backcountry and avalanche hazard exists.

washroom.

http://www.albertaparks.ca/albertaparksca.aspx

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (625)
Photos (708)
Recordings (310)
Completed (1450)
Laura Osborne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 13 2020
Hiking

We got to the parking lot at about 5pm. It was busy but there were still spots left and we did not encounter masses of people, but we did run into a few groups, but people were polite! We also saw mountain goats before we got on the trail! I’m a rookie/beginner hiker. This trip was beautiful - the first part was pretty steep, but do able and the path is really good. I did have to stop a lot as I’m pretty out of shape! But beautiful views and I loved the wild flowers!

Keith Traber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 13 2020
Hiking

07-11 arrived just after 8am and managed to get 1 of 3 spots left. This lot is busy, but considering it serves a few mountains and trails that to be expected. A Very relaxing and enjoyable hike. Once you reach the plateau your options open up and you can head further up the pass to mount Rae ( not recommended unless you’re an advanced scrambler ) or just stay in the meadow and enjoy the waterfalls and wildflowers and most definitely the views. It got very busy but people seemed respectful to others and the surrounding environment. Once we got back the cars were lined up along the main highway, this was far from ideal and posed a bit of a hazard and should probably not be allowed, just an accident waiting to happen.

kat kulich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 13 2020

Short hike good for the whole family.Kids enjoyed to play with the water. The scenery is beautiful and it was cool to see some fossils at the top.

Kien Tran
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020
Hiking

Great trail to do with the family. We went in the mid-afternoon. Found a parking spot in the lot. Was busy but not annoyingly busy. Just the right level of busy for us. Nice to see that there were outhouses there. Trail had it all. Wildlife, flowers, mountain vistas, creeks, waterfalls, snow, mud, fossils. Very enjoyable.

Jordan Adams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020

This is one of our favorites! Absolutely stunning views almost the entire time. Your heartrate will definitely increase on the way up, but the trail overall requires little effort. Get there VERY early if you don't want an absolutely packed parking lot and busy trail. We got there around 8 and it wasn't too busy, but the parking lot was overflowing when we got back around 10 with little social distancing happening. Carry bear spray and make noise on the trail, as we saw both a mom and cubs and a juvenile male on the road heading to the trail, fairly close to it.

Courtney MacLean
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020
Hiking

This is a very popular trail for a reason: it is stunningly beautiful for little work. The first part of the trail is where you gain all your elevation (so for anyone struggling, know that's the worst part). There were tons of families with young children, dogs, and seniors out today on the trail so it is very doable. Condition is great. A few snowy/muddy/wet patches but all easy to navigate. I hiked it in runners and was fine, but hiking shoes would be an asset as there is a lot of loose rock at the waterfalls and creek crossings. We had so much fun eating our lunch among the rocks and waterfalls. There is a steep scramble past the big waterfall but be warned this is not part of the loop and definitely jumps up a difficulty level. It is good to get there early as the this trail does get very crowded. Parking lot was almost full when we arrived at 8:30AM but people seemed to have no problem parking on the shoulder of the road. We passed four grizzlies on the drive in (a mama with two cubs) and a lone adult so they are out there. Always a good idea to make plenty of noise and carry bear spray just in case.

Christine McLennan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

So busy. Just hiked it today. Super busy, we started at 11:30, wished we started at least an he earlier.

Jennifer Minier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 10 2020
HikingMuddyRockySnow
View Jennifer's Recording
Peirçe Ackroyd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
HikingMuddyRockySnow

This was such an amazing hike! We read that its a busy trail so we got up really early and we arrived at the trail head at 7:05. We had to be done by 8:30 so we rushed it but still had plenty of time to take in the amazing views and waterfalls. Im glad that we were there early because we didn’t see anyone until one group about 10min from the trailhead on our way back. We’ll definitely do this one again before the summers over. Our dogs really enjoyed it too so its a good choice! A bit of snow and ice this morning on July 10th

View Peirçe's Recording
Stephanie White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

Nice, quick, and easy hike. Very beautiful views and lots of wild flowers. Parking lot was full around noon. Momma and two cubs were crossing the road in the area just past king creek ridge

jennifer wang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
HikingRocky

Great trail with amazing view of the mountains and valley. You could get really close to the bottom of the mountain,waterfall and glaciers. One of the best trail in the area. Also get to see some wildflowers along the way !

Sylvain D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
Hiking

Did it on July 9. Beautiful trail. Stunning view. Tons of wild flowers. Can get quite busy around lunch time so I recommend you go early.

D Thiessen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
Hiking

Good condition. Bit of snow and mud but fine for running shoes and kids of all ages (we went with ages 5-12). If you’re going with young kids allocate about 2.5-3 - 45 minutes to get up, an hour or more to run around and play and/or explore up by the waterfall, and then or so to get up, and then 45 minutes back down.

View D's Recording
Mahesh Jayaraman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 08 2020

wonderful hike. was quite busy but the views were amazing!

Erin Dumenko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 08 2020
Hiking

Nice little trail for a hike with kids (or a young puppy in our case). Steep initially but great views for how short it is. Saw lots of glacier lilies when we were there last weekend!

Jess A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 08 2020
HikingGreat!

Trail was in great condition - dry and a bit rooty; some snow at the top. Uphill most of the way which was tough for a beginner like me so I was glad I had my poles. The rest of my group (including several kids ages 8-14) had no issues whatsoever. Great views at the top, lots of rocks to explore (fossils too.) Pretty wildflowers. My group went up the rocky scree past the 2nd waterfall but said it was not really worth it to see more snow. Wear layers as always - shady and cool in the forest but no cover at the end.

mike yyc
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

Went July 6. A couple of snowy muddy sections near the top. Minor. Excellent conditions otherwise. Not too busy.

Anna Vafadar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
HikingMuddySnow

my very favorite kid friendly hike!. we had a late start, 5pm so by the time we were in the last part of the cirque we ran into mama Grizz and three cubs. the hike is whatsoever beautiful, some snow and icy mud on the trail, nothing bad, we were not planning to do this one and we still did it no problema with runners and no poles... 1hr20 minutes round trip with kids as young as 5year old. the views of the Alpine altitude in such a short time and small effort are absolutely breathtaking!

Alexandra Burchill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
HikingGreat!Icy
T D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020

Short and sweet! Incredible views.

Robin A.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
Hiking

Nice short hike. Still a bit of snow and water on the trail. We went on a Saturday and I’m glad we started early as by 9:30 am the trail was very busy as we were coming down. Gorgeous scenery.

Jenn D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020

Hiked July 4th with 8 & 6 year old. Amazing experience for all!

Shar J.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Please watch out for several herds of Mountain Sheep on Highway 40!!! Completed on June 3rd around 1pm. Moderately trafficked and we saw at least one raven! It was a steep incline going up for a bit, but it’s definitely doable. Aside from that, it’s a relatively easy hike. The snow is packed and trail blazed. There’s a rocky area at the top to explore through, and it’s worth doing so, and there’s a medium sized waterfall near the end of the rocky playground. Overall, a wonderful easy little hike. I was able to do Yam the following day.

Showing results 1 - 23 of 625