A big wilderness mountain park located within the western ranges of the Rocky Mountains north of Fernie.
Elk Lakes Provincial Park is an easily accessible wilderness park characterized by outstanding sub-alpine landscapes, remnant glaciers, rugged peaks and productive lakes.
Elk Lakes Provincial Park is 104 kilometres north of Sparwood. Turn off Highway 3 at Sparwood and go north on Highway 43 till you reach the community of Elkford, a distance of 35 kilometres. From here, travel the gravel road on the west side of the Elk River. Approximately 47 kilometres north of Elkford the road crosses the Elk River and joins the Kananaskis Power Line Road. It is 5.8 kilometres from the crossing to the Cadorna Creek trailhead; the Elk Lakes trailhead is a further 16.1 kilometres. Best for vehicles with all-wheel-drive and higher clearance.
Driving time from Fernie to the park is just over two hours. Access to the park is also possible from Alberta’s adjoining Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Biking is permitted between the Lake Parking and the Campground. Dogs in backcountry parks must be on a leash or under control at all times because of potential problems with wildlife such as bears. Care should be taken to avoid disturbance of wildlife, particularly nesting birds. They must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in the cabin at Elk Lakes. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement.
View more park information about Elk Lakes.
Elk Lakes offers a variety of hiking experiences including some maintained trails that are appropriate for all family members with some experience in back-country hiking. There are designated areas for backcountry tenting (leave no-trace behind when camping) and the Alpine Club of Canada manages a small cabin for use but reservations are required. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroy plant life and soil structure.
All distance and elevation figures are measured from the Lower Lake Camping Area.
View Point Trail | 2.4km Return | Elevation Gain: 122m
Short hike to reach a stunning view overlooking the Lower Elk Lake
Upper Elk Lake Trail | 2.0km Return | Elevation Gain: 30m
A mild climb to the larger shoreline of the Upper Elk Lake.
Petain Falls Trail | 12.4km Return | Elevation Gain: 150m
Glacial melt feeds this spectacular waterfall before becoming apart of the Elk River carving a path through the Elk Valley into Fernie and ending its journey in Lake Koocanusa.
The hike contours around Upper Elk Lake providing beautiful views of the lake and surrounding peaks. South/West of the lake you will encounter a flood plain; Travel through this area (1 km) will require route-finding and may not be possible during periods of high water. Gradually gains elevation through a mature forest. The view of the falls and the surrounding area is very rewarding.
West Elk Pass / Fox Lake | 4.8km One Way | Elevation Gain: 205m
This well-defined trail leads to West Elk Pass and the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park boundary. You'll be climbing and crossing several avalanche chutes providing exceptional views of the Elk Valley and Neville basin. The trail passes by Fox Lake and levels off towards West Elk Pass. There is no camping at Fox Lake.
Frozen Lake | 7.3 km One Way | Elevation Gain: 475m
After passing Fox Lake, you'll begin climbing steeply as you head west towards Frozen Lake.