Canyon to Boulton Creek

This section of the High Rockies Trail is paved all the way to Boulton Creek. Tough on summer hikers. In winter the route is almost all on groomed ski trails. While there is already conflict between skiers and snowshoers on Elk Pass trail, there is not much to appeal to snowshoers between Canyon and Boulton Creek.

Canyon to Elkwood parking 3.7 km

Opals from height of land.

From the end of Pocaterra Dam follow Canyon Road downhill into Canyon Campground. Pass A Loop on the right, then B Loop on the left. The road bends right and climbs through C Loop to the turn-around at road’s end. En route, opposite site #34, the connector trail from Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre comes in from the left. You are now on Lodgepole bike trail.

Follow the paved trail that after crossing Canyon Road swings right into the forest. Higher up, at a T-junction with grassy, boggy Lodgepole ski trail it bends back left onto the power line right-of-way. From this vantage point there are views back to the Opal Range somewhat spoiled by the power lines. Mounts Blane, Brock and Wintour are predominant.

As you cross over the height of land, the great wall of mounts Sarrail and Foch rises up ahead. Descend, at the bottom turning left into the forest. Keep left at a T-junction. (Right is the access to William Watson Lodge and Lower Lake trail.) Shortly cross Kananaskis Lakes Road to Elkwood parking lot. Ahead is Wheeler bike trail and the continuation of the High Rockies Trail.

Elkwood parking to Boulton Creek 4.8 km

Marl Pond with Elpoca & Gap Mountains.

From Elkwood parking follow the Wheeler bike (and ski) trail past the amphitheatre. On entering Elkwood Campground, cross a campground road, then the main campground access road. The paved bike trail then turns sharp left along a bench, running parallel with the campground road past a picnic table.

The trail bears right down a hill and bridges the outlet from Marl Lake. After the next little uphill, it’s worth taking a side trail to left for an unobstructed view of Marl Ponds. Shortly after, the trail winds up right onto a bench top above Elkwood Fen. A second picnic table gives better views of mounts Sarrail, Foch and The Turret. To their right you can see Warrior Mountain.

Leaving the bench, the trail climbs to the junction with Amos ski trail, then meanders on toward Boulton Creek campground access road. The High Rockies Trail turns right off Wheeler and descends alongside the campground access road, then crosses it. and runs topside of the upper Boulton Creek parking lot from where you can access the parking lots and Boulton Creek Trading Post at a Trans-Canada trail sign. Otherwise, continue on the paved bike trail. At a 4-way turn right down a paved hill. Turn next left onto Boulton Creek Interpretive Trail, which is not paved.