Ribbon Creek

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
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.
1.5-3h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
11.3 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.
288 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.
9.0
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.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more 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.
Read Reviews
Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of Ribbon Creek XC ski trail near Kananaskis and Canmore

We love to ski at Ribbon Creek when conditions are good. This is some of the closest cross-country skiing to Calgary, and the trails are fun and usually kept in good condition.

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Route Description for Ribbon Creek

Cross-country skiing at Ribbon Creek is a fun, lively trail, and is one of our favourites, but only in good snow conditions. If there hasn’t been much snow it can get icy and hard, so make sure you choose a trip when there has been recent snow and grooming.

There are a series of trails accessible from the Ribbon Creek Day Use Area as well as from Kananaskis Village. So, if you’re staying at the new Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge you can access these ski trails without getting in your car!

From the Ribbon Creek parking lot, we like to head out to the left on the Terrace North trail. This is a nice green trail which ascends mostly to start, great for a cold morning and getting the body warm.

The terrace trail heads roughly south, and in roughly 1.8 km passes by the rear parking of Mt Kidd Manor, near Woody’s Pub and Patio.

After this area, the trail descends and then the trail changes into the Kovach cross-country ski trail, which is a blue trail. Here also marks the start of a long ascent.

As the trail splits, we like to stay on Kovach and always take the trail on the left, as this keeps us on the longest circuit here. You’ll ascend for roughly 3.0 km, the last 500 m being a fairly steep ascent. The highest point is reached roughly 6.0 km from leaving the car.

Almost immediately the descent starts, and it is steep. This is a fun descent for stronger intermediate cross-country skiers in good conditions. This is a nightmare in icy, hard conditions or for novices, as the trail loses 80 m in about 500 m.

At roughly 7.5 km you cross Ribbon Creek, and the trail turns into the Ribbon Trail ski trail. The route continues to descend, with beautiful views in the forest.

Part way down there is a turnoff on your left to the Coal Mine Trail. This is a fun, but steep trail with very nice views at the top. It seems to be popular with snowshoers who go for the fine views back of the Kananaskis Valley. Our map doesn’t show this route.

Eventually you come to a junction with a crossing trail. Go right here and back to the parking lot.

Insider Hints for Ribbon Creek

  • The new Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge or the Mt Kidd Manor are great options for weekend getaway. The kid’s activities when staying there are incredible, and make for a very fun stay.
  • You could combine this ski with a hike to nearby Troll Falls, a fun family outing.
  • We have had a great meal (and drinks) at the Blacktail Bar.

Getting to the Ribbon Creek Trailhead

From Highway 40, take the turnoff for Kananaskis Village / Nakiska. Go up Mt Allan Drive and take the first left onto Centennial Drive. Take your next right onto Ribbon Creek Road and park in the 2nd parking lot by Ribbon Creek.

Route Information

  • When to do

    December to March

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Ribbon Creek Parking Lot

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Avalanche Risk

    Simple

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Circuit

  • Type of XC Route

    Double Track-set

Ribbon Creek Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Ribbon Creek Reviews

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