The following links feature hikes in the Elbow Valley region of Kananaskis Country, west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
When you look forward to hiking in the mountains, this post presents a few great early season hikes within a short distance from Calgary, Alberta. Highway 22x, along the bottom of Calgary, provides quick and easy access to Kananaskis Country.
Past the Highway 22 north turnoff to Bragg Creek (a great stop for refreshment), Highway 22x becomes Hwy 66. Soon, arrival at the Elbow Valley Visitor Information Centre reminds it is always a good idea to stop and check current conditions for the planned hike.
Inside Kananaskis Country, part of Highway 66 is open year round and part is closed by gate from December 1 to May 14. This is done to protect wildlife corridors, to reduce the need to clear roller-coaster mountain roads and to reduce public exposure to avalanche risk. The following links to hikes are separated into two distinct groups:
Before the Gate and After the Gate.
Click on the red links to access more detailed information about the hike.
Before the Gate:
Access year round:
3. Ings Mine
4. Ice Caves
The Prairie Mountain and Beaver Flat hikes are included in 'Before the Gate' because the trail-heads are a very short walk past the gate in winter and spring.
6. Beaver Flats
After the Gate:
Access between May 15 and November 30:
9. Elbow Loop
(portion or on a mountain bike)
10. Nihahi Creek
Before beginning any hike, consult a good hiking guide, obtain current conditions from the Visitor Centre and tell someone where you are going and how long you expect to be there. On completion, call to tell them you have completed your day hike.
An area trail map is always a good idea. There is a huge assortment of hikes in this Elbow Valley area. Only a tiny portion of them are included here.
Stay safe, carry layers and pack everything you may need to enjoy a great day.