Where to Snowshoe in Kananaskis Country

Where to Snowshoe in Kananaskis Country

Dan Scheuerman
4 minute read

where to snowshoe in kananaskis

Kananaskis is a world class mountain park and a short one hour drive from Calgary.

If you want to get out snowshoeing in wild nature, Kananaskis is the place to be!

If you want to download a PDF of this guide, click HERE

The park is accessed from Calgary one of two ways via HWY 1: South on HWY 40, or South on the Smith-Dorrien Trail via Canmore. 

The southern access to HWY 40 is closed at HWY 541 from December 1st to June 15th.

 Kananaskis Snowshoe Safety Tips

It is important to be prepared, even if you plan on sticking to the designated trails. Cell phone coverage in Kananaskis is unreliable and often non-existent.

  • Bring water and snacks.
  • Pack an extra toque and gloves. They will save the day if you, or someone in your group, gets cold or wet.
  • Pack first aid supplies.
  • Bring a flashlight. The sun goes down fast in winter and it's easy to lose track of time when you're having fun snowshoeing!
  • Consider carrying spare straps in case one breaks on your snowshoe. 
  • Bring Bear Spray. Even though bears are asleep, there are other animals.


These trails are the highlights, grouped from North to South.

Where to Snowshoe in Kananaskis Country

 Kananaskis Village

  • Troll Falls Trail

This out and back is 1.7km one way. It's an easy trail that ends in a view of the scenic frozen Troll Falls. A great choice for all abilities or to get the family outside.

  • Ribbon Creek Trail

This 3.7km 60m out and back trail is the longest in the Kananaskis Village area. It follows Ribbon Creek and is the perfect option for a longer day of snowshoeing.

  • Kananaskis Village Loops Trail

Two loops that make for 2.5 km of scenic snowshoeing. Can be walked in either direction. Either way, you end up at Kananaskis Village for your post snowshoe hot chocolate and treats!


Smith Dorrien Trail

  • Hogarth Lakes Loop

A 3.9km flat loop around the scenic Hogarth Lakes. This loop is great for beginners. You'll find it easy to combine this trail with the many others close by for a longer day in the mountains!

  • Chester Lake

This 3.7km one way trail with 287m elevation gain is one of the most popular snowshoe destinations in Kananaskis!

This intermediate trail features amazing views of Mount Chester as you approach Chester Lake. 

Although it's tempting to tour around the Lake once you make it to the meadow, it is avalanche terrain. Be sure to stick to the trail, unless you are properly trained and equipped.

The trail is shared with skiers when you start from the lot--keep your eyes peeled for the snowshoe signage.

  • Sawmill Loop

A longer 5.1km loop with a modest elevation gain of 155m. If you want to go for a longer snowshoe there are several trail options, including some that link with the Chester Lake trailhead.

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

  • Penstock Loop

Starting at the Peter Lougheed Visitor Centre this is a relatively flat 4.7km loop with 40m elevation gain. Most of this trail is through the forest, although it does offer some sweeping views.

  • Lower Kananaskis Lake Trail

This 3.3km 14m out and back starts at the Canyon Trailhead, off the Canyon exit of Kananaskis Lakes Road. It follows the Lower Kananaskis Lake Shoreline.

  • Elkwood Loop

A flat 3.4km loop with 23m elevation gain. This loop starts at the Elkwood Trailhead and boasts spectacular views of Marl Lake and the surrounding Elk Range.

  • Marsh Loop

A short 1.8km 21m loop starting at William Watson Lodge. This loop showcases views of Mount Indefatigable and Lower Kananaskis Lake and is the perfect addition to the Lower Kananaskis Lake Trail or Elkwood Loop.


So that's where to snowshoe in spectacular Kananaskis Park.

If you found this information useful and want your own copy, click HERE.

For more information about the trailheads use the Alberta Parks Kananaskis Snowshoe Trails Brochure.

Or use Google Maps: Where to Snowshoe in Kananaskis.

If you need snowshoeing gear, be sure to check out AQ Outdoors' Snowshoeing Collection.

If you have further questions about snowshoeing around Calgary, or snowshoeing gear, please contact us at either our Edmonton or Calgary locations.

Edmonton:  (p) 780 463-4892 (e) info@aquabaticsedmonton.com

Calgary:  (p) 403 288-9283  (e)  info@aqoutdoors.com

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