Elbow Lake (& beyond)

Kananaskis Country

On a calm day, this lake is like glass. After a relatively short but steep hike up the mountainside from the parking lot, you arrive at a campground on the edge of this pretty mountain lake. Trails around the lake offer many shoreline spots to capture Kananaskis at its best.

For those looking for something even grander, take the trail on the left side of the lake to avoid walking through the campgrounds, cross the bridge and then carry on down the Elbow Pass Trail along the Elbow River for another few kilometers from the lake. The trail is relatively flat and well marked. You’ll enter the Elbow pass and valley. Its expansive meadows are surrounded by mountains on all sides, which makes for some epic views of the Rockies.

Edworthy Falls

Follow the trail as far as the Elbow Lake backcountry campgrounds (about 3 km from the lake). The pretty Edworthy Falls are nearby, but they’re not easy to find. Look for small cairn topped with a small inushuk on your left side (50.6645734,-114.9973918) and if you look closely ‘FALLS’ is painted in blue on one of the rocks. Take the short narrow path to falls through the trees from there. Might be tricky to setup a tripod above the falls, but a nice little gem at the end of the hike before turning back.

Overall Rating
Access Rating



  • Perfect mountain lake with loads of painting spots
  • Valley beyond the lake is spectacular
  • Getting to the lake is uphill and can be tiring with a heavy pack, so take your time!
  • If going further than the lake, be sure to come prepared with food, water, and other day-hike gear.

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