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8 to 10 hours / 33K return

Elevation Gain



Trailhead: Park at the Little Elbow Campground or Forget Me Not Pond 40 minutes west of Calgary. Note Highway #66 is closed at Elbow Falls from Dec 1st to May 15th.


Description: This is an extension off the Elbow Loop trail continuing on towards Elbow Lake and arriving at Boulton Creek Campground located at Upper Kananaskis Lakes. Allow 8 hours one way by mountain bike, 2-3 days on foot.

The first section of Elbow Loop is considered one of the best Mountain Bike routes in Kananaskis Country. You can approach the loop in either direction with the right south west approach being the favorite. From the Little Elbow Campground follow the gravel road until you reach a roadblock gate. Ride or walk around the gate and stay on the old fire road until you reach the washed out bridge over the Elbow River.

Ford the river and continue on as the road slowly gains elevation towards the summit of the pass and nearby Tombstone Lakes. Keep going past Tombstone Lakes junction. Within a short distance you’ll arrive at the meadows. This is good spot to rest before descending down the other side of the pass. Follow the dirt road as it descends towards the trail junction leading to Tombstone Backcountry Campground.

Go past the the campground towards another washed out bridge. Cross the stream and stay on the gravel road until you reach the Elbow Pass junction located on top of the low ridge straight ahead. At this junction take the Elbow Pass trail heading west towards Elbow Lake.

Continue on to Elbow Lake then follow the trail as it passes by Elbow Lake Campground and descends towards the Elbow Lake trailhead parking lot on Highway #40. Follow the highway north for approximately 3.2kms looking for a gated pull out on the west side of the highway. Follow the gravel access road past the Kananaskis Fire Lookout junction then down towards Boulton Creek Campground.

Elbow River Area Map PDF

Elbow Lake Loop PDF

Items Reviewed - 1

5.0Very Good
Mark Townsend

We left a tent and camping gear at Lower Lake campground then shuttled to Little Elbow Campground and biked back one way. Awesome day.

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