Albertawow

Elbow Loop To Upper Kananaskis Lakes

  Ratings:    Ratings 5 Star
Level: Difficult Time/Dist: 8 to 10 hours / 38K return Elevation Gain: 650m

Trailhead: Park at the Little Elbow Campground or Forget Me Not Pond 40 minutes west of Calgary. Note Highway #66 is closed at Elbow Falls from Dec 1st to May 15th.

Description: This is an extension off the Elbow Loop trail continuing on towards Elbow Lake and arriving at Boulton Creek Campground located at Upper Kananaskis Lakes. Allow 8 hours one way by mountain bike, 2-3 days on foot. The first partial section of Elbow Loop is considered one of the best Mountain Bike routes in Kananaskis Country. You can approach the loop in either direction with the right south west approach being the favorite. Since the 2013 flood the Elbow Loop trail has several wide washouts located in either direction. From the Little Elbow Campground follow the gravel road until you reach a roadblock gate. Ride or walk around the gate and stay on the old fire road until you reach the washed out bridge over the Elbow River. Ford the river and continue on as the road slowly gains elevation towards the summit of the pass, and nearby Tombstone Lakes. Keep going past the Tombstone Lakes junction, within a short distance you'll arrive at the meadows. This is good spot to rest before descending down the other side of the pass. Follow the dirt road as it descends towards the trail junction leading to Tombstone Backcountry Campground. Go past the the campground towards another washed out bridge. Cross the stream and stay on the gravel road until you reach the Elbow Pass junction located on top of the low ridge straight ahead. At this junction take the Elbow Pass trail heading west towards Elbow Lake.

Continue on to Elbow Lake then follow the trail as it passes by Elbow Lake Campground and descends towards the Elbow Lake trailhead parking lot on Highway #40. Follow the highway north for approximately 3.2kms looking for a gravel road with a gated pull out on the west side of the highway. Follow the gravel access road past the Kananaskis Fire Lookout junction then down towards Boulton Creek Campground.

Near Here: Local campgrounds include Goose Berry campground, Little Elbow, Beaver Flat campground, Paddy's Flat campground. Trailheads to Elbow Falls, Prairie Mountain, Moose Mountain, Moose Mountain Ice Cave, Prairie Mountain, Powder Face Trail, Elbow Loop and Forgetmenot Pond day use picnic area are all located near here. You are in bear country.
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Elbow Lake Elbow Loop Travers  Kananaskis Country
Start At Little Elbow Campground  
   
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Elbow Loop Elbow River Flood Damage
 
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Tombstone Lakes Tombstone Lakes
   
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Elbow Lake Campground Upper Kananaskis Lake
   
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