Little Elbow Trail
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Little Elbow Trail connects with Big Elbow Trail to form a loop that connects three backcountry campgrounds. It’s a beautiful hike with views of Mount Romulus, Mount Glasgow, and more. You can go as far as you like on this trail, and it’s largely family-friendly.
View Little Elbow Trail on Map
- Map Data: ©OpenStreetMap
- Tiles: ©CyclOSM
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Route Description for Little Elbow Trail
The Little Elbow Recreation Area gets busy on the weekend, so pay close attention to where you choose to park. While there tends to be ample parking, certain lots are restricted. The trailhead is at the far west end of the equestrian campground, but take care not to park in the equestrian lot. Signage is good in this area.
Little Elbow Trail connects with Big Elbow Trail to form Elbow Loop, a fantastic Backpacking trail connecting three campgrounds. If you’re just out for the day, you can enjoy hiking as much of the trail as you please before heading back. The trail enjoys views of nearby Mount Romulus, Mount Glasgow, Mount Cornwall, and more depending on how far you go.
From the trailhead at the equestrian campground, the trail is hard-packed and easy to follow. It winds alongside the Little Elbow River, with a crossing at Nihahi Creek early on. The elevation gain is light and steady, and the trail is obvious.
If not completing the full 40.7 km trail, you can hike as far as you want. We like stopping where the Little Elbow River obviously widens out, which is a few hundred metres before the intersection of the Mount Remus trail. Wherever you choose to finish, simply turn around and head back the way you came.
Insider Hints for Little Elbow Trail
- During the spring and summer, the flies can be bad on this trail. Bring bug spray!
- Powderface Trail (the western terminus of Highway 66) is closed from December through mid-May each year.
- Those wanting to complete a longer backpacking route can continue on to connect with Big Elbow Trail, camping at Mount Romulus, Tombstone, or Big Elbow sites.
Getting to the Little Elbow Trail Trailhead
From Calgary, head west on Highway 8. At the traffic circle, take the exit onto Highway 22 South. After 14.0 km, take a right at the T intersection onto Highway 66. Turn left at the intersection with Powderface Trail and follow the Little Elbow Camp Access Road. The trailhead is at the far west end of the equestrian campground.
Little Elbow Trail Elevation Graph
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Little Elbow Trail Reviews
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