Snowshoe Elk Pass

Elk Pass powerline

Slogging up the Hydroline. The actual snowshoe trail is to the right of the ski trail near the trees.

Finally got around to looking at the official snowshoe trail to Elk Pass in Peter Lougheed park.

The well-marked trail starts from the end of Elk Pass parking lot and heads up the powerline right-of-way. Before the steep bit it cuts left, crosses Elk Pass ski trail and climbs an old track to the top of the ridge. It uses the ski trail to descend to Fox Creek where it turns left on Fox Creek trail, then almost immediately right for an enjoyable stint alongside Fox Creek — the nicest part of the whole route.  We would have liked to have continued up Fox Creek, but on reaching the bottom of Hydroline, we were disappointed to find that the rest of the route follows Hydroline up the steep hill and along the powerline right-of-way all the way to Elk Pass. This is a long and boring straight (particularly on snowshoes) and exposed to bad weather. And apart from having a picnic table and visiting Whisky Jacks, Elk Pass on the powerline is no great shakes as a destination either. We are wondering if anyone’s made a trail up the more sheltered environs of upper Fox Creek to West Elk Pass where the views are?

Elk Pass whiskey jack

A friendly Whiskey Jack at the high point of the ski trail.

Start Elk Pass parking lot on Kananaskis Lakes Trail. Distance 5.5 km to pass, height gain ~259 m (850 ft.)

Elk Pass map

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3 comments… add one
  • B Feb 17, 2015, 1:56 pm

    I skied to Elk Pass on the 9th. There were no tracks in upper Fox Creek. Off the trail, the snow was pure mush (on the trail too!) with snowballs rolling down the little avalanche tracks along side the trail. There are 2 crusty layers about 70 and 120 cms down that I could find and the snow has no support at all.
    So if anyone is trying I would recommend sticking to the packed trails!

  • Derek Ryder Feb 17, 2015, 11:17 am

    That section of Fox Creek was the new post-flood trail that the Friends of Kananaskis helped build in the fall of 2013. It’s pretty in there, and James picked a good route.

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