Elbow Falls Loop
The Elbow Falls Loop is a popular trail for good reason. Only a short drive from the city, this beautiful trail shows off the wonders of the Elbow River Valley in a short distance. Bring the whole family, and plan a good half-day of relaxing and outdoor activity to make the most out of this area.
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Route Description for Elbow Falls Loop
The Elbow Falls Loop trail is an easy trail with almost no elevation. Know that this hike won’t take you long, and you shouldn’t expect a particularly strenuous day. Instead, plan for a relaxing and scenic walk through the woods to an incredible viewpoint. Plan for a full or half-day outing by preparing food and activities to occupy your time at this great day-use area.
For such a short approach, Elbow Falls remains one of the most incredible waterfalls in the area. It is heavily populated for a good reason. The falls are powerful, and the river is pristine. Gigantic rocks create flat platforms to view the water from, and the trail is well signed and maintained for all abilities.
From the parking area, bypass the picnic tables and washrooms, making your way to the sound of rushing water. Stay to the left of the main trail sign to make complete your hike in a clockwise direction. After 200 m, you’ll pass a second set of washrooms along the trail. Continue on and come to a short incline in another 100m. This change in grade may be difficult for some with accessibility needs.
Come around the corner to face the river and the jaw-dropping Elbow Falls. This is the main viewpoint that will provide you with excellent viewing and photo opportunities. The falls cascade into the pool below, spewing crystal clear turquoise water back into the river.
Descend from the high point and continue hiking along the trail. The path leads hikers alongside the river, where incredible flat rocks rise from the water. Continue hiking along the gentle trail and make your way back to the parking and picnic area.
Elbow Falls is a set of incredible waterfalls along the Elbow River in Kananaskis. The falls are located west of Bragg Creek, Alberta. The falls change in size varying from 3 m-6 m in height depending on the season. There are plenty of areas to picnic and enjoy the area if you plan to spend a day here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the Elbow Falls hike?
The Elbow Falls hike is 0.8 km long.
How far is Elbow Falls from Calgary?
The Elbow Falls hike is roughly 45minutes from Calgary.
Find other amazing hikes in Kananaskis Country
- Kananaskis - Smith Dorrien Trail: Chester Lake, Tent Ridge, Burstall Pass, West Wind Pass and Rummel Lake.
- Bragg Creek and Sheep River Provincial Park: Prairie Mountain, Powderface Ridge, Nihahi Ridge and ForgetMeNot Ridge.
- Kananaskis Trail: Troll Falls, Rawson Lake, Wasootch Ridge, Sarrail Ridge and Pocaterra Ridge.
Insider Hints for Elbow Falls Loop
- Avoid the crowds by heading out early in the morning or on a weekday
- Enjoy a picnic by setting up at the day-use area
- If you are looking for something more strenuous, try one of the many surrounding trails like Prairie Mountain or Prairie Creek and finish up with a relaxing stroll to Elbow Falls
Getting to the Elbow Falls Loop Trailhead
From Calgary, join Highway 8 westbound from the city centre. Follow this highway until you reach the roundabout, where you will join AB-22 South on the third exit. Follow this for 14.0 km and turn right onto AB-66 West. Follow the 66 for 18.0 km until you reach the sign for Elbow Falls on your right.
Elbow Falls Loop Elevation Graph
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Elbow Falls Loop Reviews
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