A long day hike from the Elbow Pass Day Use area on Highway 40 in Kanananskis Country, the route to Piper Pass skirts picturesque Elbow Lake, crosses expansive meadows where abundant and colourful wildflowers bloom, includes the option for a short side trip to Edworthy Falls, requires fording the Elbow River, passes many waterfalls in Piper Creek Canyon, leads to an expansive alpine meadow and ultimately to a challenging, steep scree climb to a pass with amazing views both north and south.
Compared to the old Ha Ling Trail, the upgraded and realigned route is significantly improved. But it's still challenging - short and steep. If you opt to give this one a try, I strongly recommend hiking/urban poles. There's not water, so be sure to pack lots. And it's pretty exposed up top, so pack one more layer than you think you'll need!
So many great hiking trails, so little time...It's challenging to choose just one hike, but we eventually opted for the 8 km (5 mile) loop comprised of a long section of the Brins Mesa, Soldier Pass, Jordan Road and Cibola Pass trails. Highlights included fantastic views, the Seven Sacred Pools, Devil’s Kitchen and The Mitten. We completely missed the Hole in the Sky and Soldier’s Arch in our trip planning, so that means we have a ready-made reason to return some day.
After Zodiac excursions in Placentia Bay and Aviron Bay, we looked forward to going ashore for a short hike in Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The easy Lookout Trail was a great introduction to this fascinating part of Canada.
Chester Lake is a great shoulder season hike, can be done on snowshoes in winter, and has a lake for skipping stones, dipping toes or watching fish rise. It's pretty easy, with less than 400 meters elevation gain. And there are a few options to extend your hike past the lake: a loop around the lake, the Elephant Rocks, or continuing up to Three Lakes Valley.