Little Elbow Trail
Little Elbow Trail

Little Elbow Trail hike

Bragg Creek and Sheep River
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Little Elbow Trail hike

Distance: 11.5km
Elevation: 238m
Time: 2-3h

Difficulty Rating:

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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.

Little Elbow Trail hike Map

Getting there

From Calgary, head west on Highway 8. At the traffic circle, take the exit onto Highway 22 South. After 14.0km, 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.

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About

When to do

June-October

Backcountry Campsites

Yes

Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Good

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Little Elbow Trail
Elevation Graph


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 40.7km 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

  • 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.

Comments

Rebekah L. 8 months ago

Very convenient place to visit if you just want a quick walk and breathe some fresh air. Perfect especially in the morning, but other times are not that bad either.

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Paul D. 8 months ago

Takes very little time to finish. Might as well do it with groups to enjoy it.

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Sean Kater 1 year ago

Nice and easy hike. Not very demanding and can be done before doing other short hikes.

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Coll A. 1 year ago

The trail is easy to follow. During the spring and summer, the flies can be bad on this trail. Bring bug spray.

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Meng Hin Jai 2 years ago

Awesome hike! The walks are not particularly difficult, despite the uneven path. Safe and family-friendly.

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Harry S. 2 years ago

Little Elbow Trail connects with Big Elbow Trail to form a loop that connects three backcountry campgrounds. The trail enjoys views of nearby Mount Romulus, Mount Glasgow, Mount Cornwall, and more depending on how far you go. It was an amazing hiking experience.

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Mike Constance 2 years ago

This brisk walk is a great way to refresh and bond with the family. Awesome location for sight-seeing. The nearby peaks look great.

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Perry K. 2 years ago

Easy and beautiful hike with views of Mount Romulus, Mount Glasgow, and more. Excellent for family-bondings.

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8 Comments

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