North York Creek Plane Crash Trail is a 12.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length12.4 miElevation gain2,217 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingMountain bikingNature tripsBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeMuddyRockySnowHistoric site
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Reviews (116)
Photos (57)
Activities (72)
Completed (242)
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Dawson Johnstone
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Went March 22/2021 with Snowshoes and poles. With the amount of snow near the plane I wouldnt recommend not wearing snowshoes although it is still possible to do just with boots since the snow was 'mostly' hard packed but some deep spots. Bringing a phone with the all trails map open is helpful to follow along as the end part is kind of confusing as the path is all snow drifted in. Parked at the fork as others recommended(could get to it with a car) Did the left loop and came back on the right. Left side is a Road that turns into a quad trail and right is a quad trail through the trees. No signs of bear yet but make lots of noise just in case

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Cristin Vollrath
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HikingGreat!

This hike was a challenge but worth every step to see the plane at the end.

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Dayne Francom
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HikingGreat!

Nice trail. Watch for atvs and blind corners.

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Andrea Horning
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Hiking
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Susan Sosick
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HikingGreat!

Doubletrack ATV trail not too muddy or wet to hike this time of year. Drove up to fork to start the hike to cut off some time - turning what AllTrails lists as a 20 km hike into a 16 km one. Bring bear spray. We started counterclockwise and there are a lot of blind corners and hills so make noise. There is a picnic table situated within view of a waterfall and mountains that overlook the solemn plane crash site.

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Brad Schafer
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We found that because the trail is also a quad trail there are lots of places to turn off. Luckily we downloaded the map and just had to back track a little. Great hike, with a great story at the end

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Lucy Dunne
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HikingGreat!

Great trail! Lots of quads and bikes as others mentioned. We walked up on top of the waterfall and the views are worth the little bit of an extra hike it is to get up there. It took us 6 hours and that was with a fair bit of time spent hanging out at the top. We parked at the bridge 2.5km past the staging area as others us suggested! Thanks friends!

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Mac Sanderson
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Hiking

Trail head is actually very easy to find. After leaving paved road in Coleman, drive past the North York Staging Area and continue along the gravel road. The road will dip down to the creek and go over a bridge. Immediately BEFORE the bridge, on the right hand side, are several orange markers on a single post, and beyond them is a very small parking area. Walk past the parking area and you will find the trail head, which is an ATV/snowmobile trail. You will immediately cross the creek on an ATV bridge and walk beside the creek for a while. Then the trail splits. We went to the right, up a very steep slope covered with loose rocks. At the top is a clear cut area, which descends sharply into the forest. The walk in the forest is pleasant, but then the last 2+ km of trail has several very steep sections with plenty of loose rock that made hiking very challenging. Beautiful views of the valley along the way. Took us about 7 hours total time, hiking at a leisurely pace, which included a 50 minute break for lunch and exploring at the crash site.

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Erica Petays
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Hiking

Park just past the bridge and walk up the left side. (save yourself the boring walk up from the staging area) I would recommend coming down that way as well, we came down the other way and found it quite boring. The trail head can be hard to find, but use the alltrails map/your gps, it will get you on track. The waterfall at the top is refreshing! and the plane wreakage is fascinating!

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Jody Evanson
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HikingRocky

You can park as for 'Mount Coulthard' and save a couple miles. We biked in a ways, then hiked the rest. It's a wide ATV trail with undulating short steep ups and downs; through forest and open meadows; easy and enjoyable. The mountains are stunning and the plane crash site is one of the most unique hiking destinations I've been to. There is wreckage all over. Make sure to explore, especially down by the creek. Hiking on a Saturday we saw only a handful of ATV's and were lucky to have the crash site to ourselves. We continued up to summit the 4 peaks of Mount Coulthard. There is a trail on both sides of the creek up to the top of the waterfall. There is a beautiful cirque up there that is worth an extra trek even if you don't go on to summit. Beautiful bowl valley surrounded by Coulthard, and Andy Good Peak. If you go high enough up the valley there is an incredible view of Crowsnest Mountain behind you.

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Danielle Crawford
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Hiking

Decent hike, especially since there is no entrance fee. When the trail splits, your options are go right where the trail is a little easier, longer and with less variation in the ecology, or left, which has some pretty steep climbs and more bugs, but more differences in scenery. The trail leading to the plane is pretty steep, so be prepared.

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Ashtin Callaghan
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HikingGreat!

I found my self thinking I missed the plane... but as a fun fact it’s literally impossible to miss just keep walking. Hehe. Very cool some snow still at the top but I was still too hot to wear anything but my shorts and a T! Pretty buggy in some spots

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D W
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HikingGreat!

Nice trail. We did it on foot on a week day with kids. The trail head was challenging to find but very nice once we found it. The wreckage was cool to see and my kids loved being able to find scattered plane pieces. We continued above the crash site which was quite steep though my 5 year old was able to do it. Beautiful view above. Encountered a young black bear on the trail on the way back. No casualties, be prepared. Overall an excellent family experience.

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Terisha Weber
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HikingBugsRocky

We parked up at the bridge and 2.5km past the staging area. I suggest doing that to save you 5 km of walking on a gravel road. We went left at the Fork and came down on the right side. Mosquitos are bad this time of year, so put your spray on as soon as you start. Very beautiful flowers. We took 6 hours, and spent about half an hour at the top for lunch. Quite a few atv’s on the trail. No snow along the path. You can ride your ATV right up to the plane crash site. Dusty when the ATV’s went by. Excellent hike, distance could be difficult for some. Lacking signage, stay right at the second fork after the loop.

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Melanie Wiede
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HikingBugsMuddyRocky

Apply bug spray before you even get out of the vehicle. Swarmed as soon as you got out. The starting point was extremely hard to find but luckily came across some atvers that directed us. No sign for the plane crash site until half way through the hike. The views at the top are worth the pain. Highly recommend.

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Mackenzie Fleming
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HikingBugsRocky
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Jayne Werry
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HikingBugsMuddyRocky

The trail is wide but full of large muddy sections. Plenty of ATVs on the trail. we did this hike in 6.5 hours round trip with kids ages 6 and 8. There was still snow at the top and the mosquitoes were bad for the first 2/3 of the trail. We took the right fork.

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Trish Jones
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HikingGreat!

Took this hike yesterday. Absolutely beautiful. As if the mountain views weren't enough, the wildflowers were everywhere and beautiful. We parked at the bridge past the staging area saving us some walking time. The quads and bikes weren't a problem, however it had rained the previous night and there were some large puddles to work around. We made it to the crash site and continued on to the waterfall. Though the waterfall part was a steep climb, the view from the top was totally worth it. We are not the fastest hikers. We stopped many times to take photos of the views and just enjoy the day. Took us 9 hours to complete round trip, but we also stayed at the top for over an hour. Great hike and the views are worth it.

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Sarah Nicole
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HikingBugsNo shadeRocky

There weren't too many ATVs when we were there but I can see how it'd be annoying to have to keep stepping off if there were but it is an ATV trail so you have to expect it! Pretty much all of the elevation is in the last 3km, so it's not a nice steady incline the whole way. Don't go on the path to the left when the trail splits off unless you have the map downloaded because it's easy to go the wrong way from that side. We found the path to the right much easier and it's just one trail, no turns or splits until you get there. Lots of mosquitoes and no shade! The airplane is really cool though!

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Paul Satas
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HikingMuddy

A lot of ATVs and dirt bikes which is annoying as you need to stop in order to let them pass every 5-10 minutes. Overall a very easy hike, unfortunately not very scenic until you get to the crash site. Once you there it’s really nice and I do recommend going past it to the waterfall which was the part we enjoyed the most - very quiet as ATVs and bikes can no longer go there oh and views from there are amazing!

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Kari Gugala
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Hiking

Amazing hike! I thought this was a bit harder for my liking as some spots are quite steep but overall amazing views! Take snacks and lots of water because you will need it. Those that are on atv's need to have patience as there is a lot of hikers. We saw the aftermath of someone falling off the atv and numerous people to help get the ladies back to safety.

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Unky Dimmy
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Hiking

Trail head is not so easy to find. If you start at the North York staging area, you will have a long hike, with a lot of it on well worn gravel road. We drove to the first bridge after the staging area and took the trail from there. It's not a difficult hike, but the last 2k is where you gain a lot of elevation - there's at least two spots where it is quite steep. If you're fine with that, this is a easy hike. The payoff is great. Beautiful views, etc. We encountered a bit of mud but it wasn't an issue.

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