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6 to 8 hours / 42K 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: Tombstone Lakes is accessed from the Elbow Loop trail. Hikers should allow for an overnight stay. Mountain bikers can complete the return trip in one day. Since the 2013 flood bridges and several sections of the Elbow Loop trail have been washed out. Locate the trailhead at the west end of the Little Elbow Campground where the road ends at a roadblock gate.

Walk around the gate and stay on the old fire road until you reach a washed out bridge that once spanned the Elbow River. Ford the river and continue on as the road slowly gains elevation towards the summit pass and Tombstone Lakes. Near the top of the pass locate the signed trail junction, turn right and follow the trail until you reach Lower Tombstone Lake.

Keep right to the lake shore and head towards the outflow located at the south end. Cross the outflow continue on a few meters to the adjoining Tombstone Lakes Backcountry campsite. From here day trips can be made to Upper Tombstone Lake located in the bowl below Tombstone mountain. Tombstone Lake holds nice size Cutthroat Trout. You’ll need a fishing license to try your luck. Ice is off Late June to early July. An alternate route to Tombstone Lakes can be achieved by hiking the Elbow Loop trail in the opposite direction however it is a longer approach. You are in bear country

Elbow River Area Map PDF

Items Reviewed - 1

Mark Townsend

Nice lakes close to the Elbow Loop trail and worth the short diversion when completing the loop.

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