King Creek Ridge

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3.5-4.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
7.3 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
740 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.8
Physical Difficulty
This 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.
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This 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.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of the King Creek Ridge hike from Kananaskis near Canmore

The hike up King Creek Ridge is spectacular – offering the chance to get up close with the spectacular Opal Range, views of Mount Wintour and the valley of the Kananaskis Lakes. Although this is a very steep hike in Canmore, it’s absolutely worth it for adventurous, fit hikers.

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Route Description for King Creek Ridge

This exciting, yet challenging hike seems easy on paper, but the steepness of the early ascent is deceptive. From the parking lot, walk out to Highway 40, and cross the bridge over King Creek. Immediately turn right and continue up on a well-marked path.

The path feels like it is going straight up, with only the slightest of switchbacks. Many braids have been created by various animals and people at certain junctures, but alas, the ascent is ever-continuous. Luckily, frequent breaks give you the chance to look behind at the wonderful views unfolding below.

Eventually, you’ll come to a T-intersection. Remember this location, as you may get confused on the return. Turn left and continue through the light forest, making sure to look out for the sporadic views to your right. As you emerge from this forest, however, prepare to be amazed. Early season wildflowers will dot the open areas as you wander up. Just make sure to frequently stop to look back at the ice-cream-cone-shaped Mt. Wintour.

A final mild scramble (though with some major exposure to your right) takes you to the pinnacle – a great place to break for lunch. Enjoy the variety in the rock color, the greens of the meadows in the Opal Range and the views of Kananaskis Lakes to the South. If you look north up the valley, you can even see the former Fortress Ski Resort as well.

The descent on the way down is tricky, and poles help. Keep in mind that the ground is easier to grip after rain, and it can be quite challenging when it is dry and hard.

Would you like to do a similar level hike? Check out the Pocaterra Ridge.

Insider Hints for King Creek Ridge

  • This hike is much easier with two poles and good hiking boots for grips on the way down.
  • Head down to Boulder Creek Trading Post on the Kananaskis for an ice cream and to explore the lakes once you’ve finished.

Getting to the King Creek Ridge Trailhead

To access the trail, park at the King Creek Day Use Area, located at the winter gate on Highway 40, which is just before the turn-off to Kananaskis Lakes Trail.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June through October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Trailhead

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    None

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

King Creek Ridge Elevation Graph

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King Creek Ridge Reviews

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