Turbine Canyon to Three Isle Lake Backpacking Loop

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Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Turbine Canyon to Three Isle Lake Backpacking Loop is a 47.5 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Kananaskis Improvement, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 47.5 km Elevation Gain: 2,487 m Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

lake

river

views

wildlife

rocky

snow

off trail

Two night backpacking loop with amazing views! Beatty Lake backcountry campground does not require a permit, however Turbine Canyon campground does. You could also camp at Three Isle Lake rather than Beatty Lake if you prefer.

blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
6 months ago

I hiked this loop solo middle of August and it was a beautiful experience! I completed in 3 days and 2 nights. My suggestion is clockwise to Three Isle first and then make your way to Turbine through Beatty lake, the descent to the scree slope and the scree slope are something I would rather not do towards the end of the longer second day. If you go counterclockwise, camp at Beatty Lake (only 4 sites) as it's at the top of the slope and you'll have more time to rest your weary legs after a tough battle. Turbine was overbooked when I got there, I got the last campsite but several people said they booked and there were no sites left available so they had to pitch their tents in the open areas or by the river... So people either didn't book or overstayed their welcome. The views are beautiful, the trek is long but the results are 100% worth it! Good for a moderate backpacker, a beginner may be a little intimidated by middle section of the hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Did it over 3 days from Sep 10-13. First night we slept at Turbine Canyon campground and second night at Three Isle Lake campground. Both sites have bear boxes and picnic tables. The trail was in great condition. As others have said, the BC side is more overgrown than AB, but someone has recently went trough and cut back all of the bushes. It is very easy to find and stay on the trail the entire way. This time of year. It was starting to snow a small amount in the morning. Over all this is an amazing hike because of the amount of diversity in terrain, vegetation, and views. It never got boring or monotonous feeling. Give it a go.

I would recommend this trail to everyone the views you get at both continental devides is spectacular, if doing I would suggest going clockwise as when you go past Beaty lake you follow a creek bed down and the scree slope trail is easy to navigate clockwise it’s easy to loose the trail and makes for more difficulty. Completed this hike solo in a day, started at 1:15AM waited for sunrise to descend down the scree slope at the south Kananaskis pass talked with BC forestry folks and few other groups on way back. Got to parking lot around 3PM so just under 14 hours to complete! If your not looking for a workout take a few days to enjoy..

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
9 months ago

Beautiful trail! We completed this trail in three days, beginning August 18th, completed August 20th. We went counter-clockwise, going to Turbine Canyon the first night, going through the North and South Kananaskis passes on the second day, staying at Three Isle Creek Campground the second night, and hiked back out to the car via Forks campground on the final day. We parked at the Interlakes parking lot at the Upper Kan lake. AB side had great trails, very well taken care of and easy to follow. The hike out to Forks campground is nice but flat, for about 7-8km. We stopped for lunch at the Forks campground and then went on to Turbine Canyon campground. The hike up to Turbine was really nice, quite the elevation gain in the first hour or so, then levelled out to lots of meadow breaks and small stream crossings (with bridges). Turbine was very buggy. First day took ~6 hours with some breaks and a lunch break. Second day was the trek through the BC side to Three Isle Lake via the North and then South Kan passes. The North pass was beautiful - huge descent to the river below. We noticed right away that the BC side was overgrown and not as well kept as the AB side. We made sure to have our AllTrails map loaded in the app before we lost service on the drive up so that we didn't get lost. There were 2 river crossings down at the bottom of the North pass - we managed across on some logs that were placed strategically. Definitely needed some poles but probably could have taken boots off and crossed in sandals across as it wasn't very deep. The final trek up to Beatty Lake campground was really tough. First through overgrown bush, and then about an hour up a scree slope. The scree slope was steep and very narrow at some parts, but doable and had great views (even for me, not very experienced with scree and very afraid of heights). We did get lost at the top of the scree slope, we looked at previous recordings that other people had done and took a hard right up the creek bed to the top of the lookout, and found a trail and some paper someone had put on a few trees. We followed that trail into the campsite and it seemed to work out. On AllTrails, it said to walk up the creek and around which I'm sure would have worked as well because we saw that on the map at Beatty campground. The second day was definitely the hardest but most rewarding. We took a dip in Beatty Lake (about 2km from the Three Isle campsite) and then continued on to Three Isle! Beatty Lake was beautiful and we debated camping there instead of Three Isle but decided to continue on. Second day took us ~8 hours. Third day was the hike down from Three Isle into the Forks and then back to the Upper Kan lake. The descent down from Three Isle was beautiful, so many gorgeous views! Final day took us about 5 hours with a lunch break again at Forks, and we were especially slow on this day even on the flat walk from Forks to the car. Overall a great hike!!! Highly recommend.

hiking
9 months ago

This was a great backpacking trip, we did in 3 days, stay left at Beatty lake over the little creek as you can easily go down the wrong path.

hiking
over grown
scramble
9 months ago

Would agree with Leah, it was swaggy. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but very fun! Take your time, pack water and filters, and make time for breaks. Saw two grizzly cubs on the way down from Three Isle to the Forks!

hiking
over grown
rocky
9 months ago

swaggy hike. did it in four days and three nights. none of our group were super experienced hikers and it proved difficult but fun nonetheless.

hiking
10 months ago

What a great hike

backpacking
10 months ago

First off, this trail has STUNNING views... coming over the North pass just makes you stop in your tracks. Then you're in for an incredible downhill over scree and some overgrowth before bottoming out in the valley. Watch for the cairns at the creek crossing to stay on trail. If you're taking the shoulder up, it's just a steep straight-up-the-mountain go before another rough and steep scree slope to conquer. After that it's easy-peasy to Three Isle and a wonderful end. Did the full loop in three days but this day was the hardest!

hiking
Wed Apr 24 2019

Fun backpacking trip. Trail was well defined for most of the route. Some cairns in the stream bed on the BC side that were easy to miss, but otherwise no trouble in staying on the trail. Did it in three days, and enjoyed the solitude and the views. Quite the slog going up and over the passes (did it clockwise), but well worth it.

hiking
Mon Oct 22 2018

Did it this week end, 2 days and one night out. Very nice trail! Snowshoes welcome at this date !

Mon Sep 10 2018

Completed the first week of sept. 2018. I loved this loop. We went from 3 isle to turbine via south and north kananaskis passes. The trail on the bc side is a bit overgrown but very easy to follow. Clearly marked with flagging. We took 3 days and two nights. I only wish we had taken more time to enjoy the passes and Beatty lake more. Beautiful hike all around.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
Mon Jul 23 2018

hiking
Mon Jul 23 2018

hiking
Sat Jul 14 2018

hiking
Wed Jul 26 2017