Panorama of the Powderface Ridge hike near Kananaskis and Canmore
Panorama of the Powderface Ridge hike near Kananaskis and Canmore

Powderface Ridge hike

Bragg Creek and Sheep River
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View of the valley on the Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek, KananaskisViews from the Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek, KananaskisView from the top of the Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek, KananaskisBeautiful ridge on the Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek, KananaskisBeautiful mountains as seen from the Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek, KananaskisStunning ridgeline on the Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek, KananaskisMountain on the Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek, KananaskisPowderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek has beautiful views of the valleyDense pine forest on the Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek, KananaskisBeautiful views on the Powderface Ridge Hike near Bragg Creek, Kananaskis

Powderface Ridge hike

Distance: 8.9mi
Elevation: 2,152ft
Time: 4.5-6h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.9 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

Powderface Ridge is a popular early or late season hike at the end of Highway 66. There are several variations of the trail, all with decent views, making it suitable for a variety of fitness levels.

Powderface Ridge hike Map

Getting there

The trail starts at the end of Highway 66 (about 40 minutes from Calgary). Do not be confused by the signed trailhead with a similar name further to the east on Highway 66. Park on the shoulder of the road immediately before pavement gives way to the unpaved Powderface Trail (a road; currently closed).

I’ve done this 40 people have done this
I want to do this 48 want to do this route

About

When to do

May 15 - October

Backcountry Campsites

Yes

Toilets

Yes

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate to High

Route Type

Circuit


Powderface Ridge
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Powderface Ridge

The trail to Powderface Ridge begins here as we head north (to the right) away from the highway, ascending the small gravel hill by the road and continuing north up the ridge. The ascent is moderately steep and unrelenting, climbing 0.2mi over two kilometres before the first open views are obtained.

A further 0.4mi (262ft vertical) brings you to a small col between Powderface Ridge (west) and an eastern outlier, just 0.0mi higher to the east. Many people ascend this outlier and call it day; the views are excellent and the hike is short enough to be completed after work in the spring.

The official trail to Powderface Ridge decends into the trees at this point, undulating up and down for about 1.4mi before ascending to the northern end of the ridge.

From the northern end of the ridge after passing the summit descend west to another low point. Where the trail turns to the north into the trees, you can follow, or we recommend continued to the west to gain another great view point. You will shortly ascending a small hill, when you peak, descend NNW towards an obvious clearing and trail junction.

At the junction you can head east down Powderface Creek, reaching, in about 5.0mi, Highway 66 several kilometers to the northeast of where you started, or head west and connect up with Powderface Trail (the road). We did the later and hiked 3.7mi along gravel Powderface Trail to our car. This was pleasant, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it when the road is open as the dust thrown up by passing cars would be terrible.

Insider Hints

  • Oddly, as we pass the col, the trail dips back into the treeline and avoides 80% of the ridge! A far better approach for the adventurious would be to ascend to the ridge at or near the col, then follow the ridge until you link back up with the trail.

Comments

JohnCan 2 years ago

There were plenty of other hikers, but I enjoyed this hike a lot!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
4h 00m Time Taken
Greenlife 2 years ago

Cool views! we had some detours and it was fun.

10.0 Overall Rating
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MartiniC 2 years ago

Easy hike with pleasant views.

8.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
3h 45m Time Taken
Paul D. 2 years ago

Easy with good viewpoints. Finished the trail in 4 hours.

10.0 Overall Rating
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LyleM 2 years ago

It's steep but not as steep as Prairie Mountain. When you get up to the east ridge it levels out and you even have some downhill. There was a good amount of mud going forward from this point but you can get around it. The views are amazing!

10.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
Jeremy R. 2 years ago

Visually appealing hike with little physical effort. Easy to reach and fairly accessible. It's more fun when you do this hike with friends.

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Coll A. 2 years ago

I really enjoyed the hike. Easy hike with bewildering views. Great for photography sessions.

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SebClyde 2 years ago

On a sunny day, awe-inspiring photos can be taken at every turn.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Luna M. 2 years ago

Powderface is heaven on earth! Would visit again, the views are unbeatable.

10.0 Overall Rating
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havedogwillhike 2 years ago

good for spring or fall, nice views along the way, just dress for the weather. there's another trailhead right next to this one so don't be a dolt like me and start off in the wrong place.

25 Comments Show all

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