Best backpacking trails around Kananaskis and Canmore in the Canadian Rockies
Great backpacking routes near Kananaskis and Canmore in Alberta

backpacking trails in Kananaskis Country

Region in Alberta, Canada
Kananaskis Country Backpacking Map

Backpacking in Kananaskis Country allows you to explore this stunning part of the Canadian Rockies. The Kananaskis is a wonderful and beautiful place to go backpacking. K-Country tends to be much less crowded than the nearby national parks, making is a great place to plan a backcountry escape.

Many of the well-maintained backcountry campsites are situated along stunning lakes, or near pristine waterfalls. Whatever your backpacking checklist includes, you’ll be sure to tick some boxes by going backpacking in Kananaskis.

THE TOP BACKPACKING TRIPS IN KANANASKIS

  1. Turbine Canyon and Three Isle Lake (27.3mi, 6978ft, 4 - 5 days): The backpack to Turbine Canyon and Three Isle Lake leads you through two alpine passes, canyons, glaciers, and alpine lakes. A backpack trip to Turbine Canyon and Three Isle lake offers a bit of everything for the avid Rockies backpacker.
  2. Weary Creek (31.1mi, 11483ft, 3 - 4 days): A backpacking trip to Weary Creek Gap and Carnarvon Lake offers a truly wild experience in the Canadian Rockies. There are no official campsites in the area, so you are free to random camp where you see fit! This trip offers plenty of opportunity for scrambling, wildflower viewing, and overall sightseeing.
  3. Elk Lakes and Petain Basin (22.2mi, 4186ft, 2 -3 days): Petain Basin is a wonderfully remote and isolated meadow lying at the base of some of the tallest peaks in the Rockies. Backpacking to Petain Basin gives you access to one of the largest waterfalls in the Rockies, just a short hike from the campground!
  4. Rae Lake (9.9mi, 1230ft, 2 -3 days): Rae Lake is often completed as a day hike, however it is a great place for a quick backpacking trip. Lying at the base of gigantic Mount Rae, Rae Lake is a wonderful place to spend a night, take a swim, and admire the wildflowers and larch forest on nearby ridges.
  5. Big Elbow Loop (28.3mi, 3445ft, 3-4 days): The Big Elbow Loop is a classic backpacking trip. This easy trip is in country located between Highway 66 and Highway 40. The trek offers scenic campsites next to the Elbow River with wonderful scrambling opportunities near each site.
  6. Tombstone Lake (9.2mi, 1283ft, 2-3 days): Resting at the base of jagged Tombstone Mountain, the Tombstone Lakes are a spectacular sight, and the journey to them along the open upper reaches of the Elbow River is equally scenic.
  7. Elbow Lake (2.7mi, 427ft, 2 days): The best family backpack in the Canadian Rockies, this easy backpack is great for families. With an approach to Elbow Lake that’s just over 7ft from the car, this makes it easy to get supplies in and also get out if bad weather or little ones need it.
  8. Lillian and Galatea Lakes (13.1mi, 3658ft, 2-3 days): The backpack into Lillian Lake is a Friday-night classic. Finish work, get to the trailhead and get to pretty Lillian Lake. The highlight is the easy Saturday wander up to Upper Galatea Lakes and nearby Guinn’s Pass, both incredible places. A great introductory backpack.
  9. Upper Kananaskis Lake (10.3mi, 968ft, 2 days): Another classic introductory backpack in Kananaskis, this trail is often done as a day hike, but it is so pretty that doing it as an overnight makes it a great way to test your gear and enjoy the stunning outdoors.
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The best backpacking trails in Kananaskis Country

Backpacking the Turbine Canyon near Kananaskis

01. Turbine Canyon
Difficulty

29.9mi 7,589ft 3-5 days

The backpack to Turbine Canyon and Three Isle Lake leads you through two alpine passes,… Read More

User Rating

9.7Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery of Weary Creek backpacking trail near Kananaskis, the Canadian Rockies

02. Weary Creek
Difficulty

22.4mi 8,983ft 3-4 days

A backpacking trip to Weary Creek Gap and Carnarvon Lake offers a truly wild experience… Read More

User Rating

10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Elk Lake Backpack

03. Elk Lakes and Petain Basin
Difficulty

22.2mi 4,186ft 2-3 days

Petain Basin, just past Elk Lakes, is a wonderfully remote and isolated meadow lying at… Read More

User Rating

8Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Rae Lake backpacking trail near Kananaskis, the Canadian Rockies

04. Rae Lake
Difficulty

9.7mi 1,230ft 2-3 days

Rae Lake is often completed as a day-hike, however it is a great place for… Read More

User Rating

8.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Big Elbow Loop backpacking trail near Kananaskis, the Canadian Rockies

05. Big Elbow Loop
Difficulty

26.3mi 4,659ft 3-4 days

The Big Elbow Loop trip is a classic Kananaskis backpacking trip. This is an easy… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Backpacking to Tombstone Lake near Kananaskis

06. Tombstone Lakes
Difficulty

11.7mi 1,965ft 2-3 days

Resting at the base of jagged Tombstone Mountain, the Tombstone Lakes are a spectacular sight,… Read More

User Rating

9.3Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Beautiful hike to Rae Glacier around the Elbow Lake on Elbow Lake backpacking trail in Kananaskis, Canmore

07. Elbow Lake
Difficulty

2.7mi 449ft 2-3 days

A family backpacking trip to Elbow Lake is one of the best backpacking trips in… Read More

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Scenery from the Lillian and Galatea Lakes hike from Kananaskis near Canmore

08. Lillian and Galatea Lakes
Difficulty

11.1mi 3,986ft 2-3 days

Another classic Kananaskis backpacking trip is the backpack to Lillian and Galatea Lakes, with a… Read More

User Rating

9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from the Upper Kananaskis Lake hike in Kananaskis, the Canadian Rockies

09. Point Campground and Upper Kananaskis Lake
Difficulty

9.8mi 682ft 2 days

Backpacking around Upper Kananaskis Lake is another classic introductory backpack in Kananaskis. While this trail… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

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