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Elbow Falls Alberta

Updated on July 3, 2011

Recently went on a short day trip to Elbow Falls, which are located in Alberta, Canada in a region called Kananaskis Country; the Falls are the main attraction of the Elbow Valley. The drive is approximately 80km from Okotoks or about 45 minutes southwest of Calgary Alberta; if you know how to get to Bragg Creek, the falls are 22 kms west of it, on the south side of Highway 66. If you are coming in from the west and are in the vicinity of Banff National Park the driving distance to the Elbow Waterfalls is 136km from the city of Banff, Alberta

Elbow Falls is a nicely set up park, there are several great picnic sites and well maintained pit toilets are onsite. The picnic tables are not the old standard wooden ones; they are a built to last composite, not only pleasing to the eye, made to endure the rigors of time. There are individual fire pits at each picnic table but please bring your own wood for burning as it is unlawful to burn any of the wood you find in the park; it does not matter whether it’s already dead on the ground, you are still not allowed to gather and burn it,

Since there is a paved parking lot that provides space for nearing 60 cars, you should not have much of an issue finding a parking spot; weekends can be a bit iffy though. Bring enough food for the day so that you can stay a few hours and take in all that nature has to offer at Elbow Falls. If you have a dog, feel free to bring him or her along too, dogs are allowed on leash.

There are a 3 lookout points for viewing Elbow Falls and all are joined together with a paved path. A very well set up site with guard rails and stairs leading up to the higher lookout points; there is also a gently sloping pathway that is wheelchair accessible to access the lookout points.

Wildlife in Kananaskis Country

The Elbow Falls are in Bear Country and from the video you will see that garbage disposal units have been bear proofed. Please ensure that you store all your food items and refuse properly.

Kananaskis Country also has it's share of Cougars, keep your pets on a leash so that they can't wander off into the woods. Make sure that your children know where they can and can not go, do not leave them unsupervised. The same safe storage rules apply for food and refuse items with Cougars.

Elbow Falls Area

Elbow Falls’ height changes with the high and low water seasons; maximum height of the falls is around 6 metres and the minimum is approximately 3 metres. In the summer months the water runs crystal clear with a turquoise tint; if you look at the rocks where the falls start it appears that the water comes directly out of the rocks at the top of the falls

Facts about the formation on Elbow Falls are posted on informational signs along the pathway. An unhurried meander around the whole site takes around half an hour, if you are taking some great nature shots, perhaps a bit longer.

I have taken several pictures of the falls to entice you to make the trip; it’s definitely worth the drive. Bring along your picnic lunch, the dog and of course the rest of the family and enjoy the scenery; take a break from the city life and relax in nature’s splendor.

The surrounding area offers many opportunities for hiking and make sure you go and see Forget-Me-Not Pond if you are in the area. Forget-Me-Not Pond is a tranquil setting that is a place to remember, many of the structures have been dedicated as remembrances of beloved family members that have passed on.

Get away from the rush of every day living and breathe in some fresh mountain air. There are several well set up campsites in Kananaskis Country, make sure you plan ahead to ensure the availability of a spot.


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    • Magdelene profile image

      Magdelene 6 years ago from Okotoks

      Thanks Prairieprincess, much appreciated. Alberta has some nice parks to go to, a lot of nature to behold. I must have a visit over at some of your hubs in the near future.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Magdelene, I lived in Alberta for most of my life, and have visited Elbow Falls a few times. Beautiful hub, and great job!

    • Magdelene profile image

      Magdelene 6 years ago from Okotoks

      Thanks freecampingussie, it makes me feel it was all worth while when people enjoy what I have created. I have yet to go and see Australia, will get there someday.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 6 years ago from Southern Spain

      Love this hub, the pictures are beautiful, we have visited some waterfalls on our trip around Australia .

    • Magdelene profile image

      Magdelene 6 years ago from Okotoks

      Thank you very much Peggy, it actually took quite a bit of work, glad you like it. There is some truly beautiful scenery out there, if you are ever in the area I would highly recommend this area in the Kananaskis.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Elbow Falls looks like a beautiful place! Enjoyed the accompanying video very much. Thanks! Rated beautiful.