Ptarmigan Cirque

MODERATE 181 reviews

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.

2 days ago

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

hiking
2 days ago

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

hiking
3 days 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!

6 days 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

7 days ago

Great for a short first hike with family and dogs!

hiking
8 days 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
9 days ago

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

hiking
11 days 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.

15 days 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.

15 days ago

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

15 days ago

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

hiking
18 days 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!

21 days ago

This was a great day trip from Calgary for us. There were a lot of people in the trail coming down as we were heading up around 1 pm. The climb was totally worth it when you get to the clearing and the loop. We took our dog and she was great and there were other dogs out on the trail as well.

21 days ago

excellent family friendly hike

21 days ago

Pretty easy trail for the whole family to enjoy. Gorgeous views.❤

hiking
21 days ago

Such a great trail-catch it in the summer for wildflowers! We’ve done this hike a few times and our kids enjoyed it as well. Best for the 4 and up crowd.

22 days ago

Did this hike with 3 kids, aging from 6-9. Fantastic hike. They are already asking to go back.

25 days ago

Quick and easy hike. Beautiful views and great for children.

hiking
26 days ago

Hiked this with a dog in about an hour up and an hour down not including a couple long breaks at the top. It’s an easy hike although the initial trail up can feel like a more moderate climb. We saw children, dogs, solo hikers, and senior hikers happily completing this trail. It was pretty busy for a weekday afternoon! The end point is a lovely place to picnic and take in the scenery. My dog loved laying in the little creek to cool off. We didn’t see any bears but listened to the funny yelps of marmots during our lunch by the creek.

hiking
28 days ago

We hiked this in a group with 8 kids ranging from 4-15. It took us 3 hours that is including a stop at the top and lots of pictures along the way. So many marmots out today! The kids enjoyed them. Beautiful views. I think it is rated well as easy, but our group hikes a lot.

28 days ago

As my first hike after a fairly long hiatus the stretch upwards was a bit strenuous but definitely doable. Lots of families and on trail so it’s definitely just me! Worth it in the end. Great views up top.

hiking
29 days ago

Beautiful views after a bit of a climb through the forest. Not sure I would peg this as “easy”, maybe easy-moderate. Lots of groups with kids of all ages. Follow signs from main parking lot that lead you to trailhead that’s across the highway. Note in parking lot stated grizzly and cubs were spotted in the area (July 20th).

30 days ago

Great for kids, beautiful views

Gorgeous hike! A bit moderate at the beginning then pretty easy. So many shades of green and interesting mountain ranges. Saw a huge marmot and many ground squirrels

hiking
1 month ago

We were camping at Elkwood and this was our first hike in the area. The first bit was a reminder that i'm still a little out of shape. Beautiful hike all in all. A couple nice waterfalls and a huge meadow area that is stunning. Highly recommend this for a family hike. You might want proper hiking boots and maybe even poles if you decide to go up the far scree wall at the very end... up seemed alright but down, we got to watch a lot of people who weren't properly prepared, struggle.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike, started off at as a moderate incline for the first km or so, then leveled off. A second trail goes up towards a small waterfall and then higher up the mountain, but what you can view from the first flat area is itself breathtaking. Had lunch beside the stream with a small "waterfall" on the rocks, not much shade in the flat meadow area, but beautiful views to enjoy there.

The parking lot had washrooms.

walking
1 month ago

walking
1 month ago

Breathtaking views at the end of the trail. It has 12 stop for total 6km.From stop 1 after crossing the highway 40 to stop 3 the trail has mild to moderate slope. After that really flat trail offering nice view of meadows with wild flower beds surrounding. Its great experience for kids, we hiked with 8 and 12 years old kids. They enjoyed snow balling at one stop where we found remnants of snow dump.Make a stop at the small water fall to feel the water.

1 month ago

Steep in the trees but then levels off to beautiful views

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent little hike. Feels like cheating since you’re starting off so high at the parking lot. Steep start then levels off into an alpine meadow with a creek and waterfalls. Good view of the Highwood Range to the west.
Going to the moraine and waterfall are good options, but not essential. The meadow and view will suffice most people.
Keep your dogs on leash and be bear aware.

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