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Kananaskis Hikes: Don’t Miss Family-Friendly Troll Falls

Kananaskis Hikes: Don’t Miss Family-Friendly Troll Falls

The hike to Troll Falls is a standout as a year-round family-friendly hike. It’s only 3.4 kilometres round-trip and it climbs just 60 metres to end at the falls. It’s especially lovely in winter when the waterfalls turn to ice.

You can do the Troll Falls hike on foot, snowshoes or even by fat tire bike which you can rent from Kananaskis Outfitters. You could also do the short spur to the falls either before of after skiing to Skogan Pass – a cross-country ski outing I highly recommend.

The hike to Troll Falls is easily accessible from Calgary via a dramatic drive on Highway 40 off of the Trans-Canada Highway.

 The falls are popular with ice-climbers

The falls are popular with ice-climbers

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Route description for Troll Falls

The trip into see Troll Falls is a perennial favourite. Despite the short distance there’s quite a lot of variety in the terrain – and the trail is easy to find even with the web of trails in the area.

Start the hike in dense evergreen forest. Once you’ve dispatched with that you’ll reach a nice wide open area of aspens. From there follow the directions that takes you along a narrower trail that hugs the left bank of Marmot Creek. You can’t miss the sight of the debris left over from the 2013 floods.

You’re practically on top of the falls when you you reach them. Icers might come in handy if you want to explore around the falls. Otherwise exercise caution as it is very slippery. I recommend going behind the falls at the bottom for the beautiful otherworldly view through the ice.

Shop: These are the icers I like the best – and have been using for years. They never fall off.

It will take fast hikers about an hour to do the hike. Families with young kids might need a couple of hours especially if you want to play at the falls.

Retrace your steps to return to the Stoney Trail parking lot. The hike to Troll Falls can be done in any season but I personally think it’s best in winter.

The hike starts off through dense ramrod straight trees

The hike starts off through dense ramrod straight trees

 The trail is dog-friendly but keep your dog on a leash

The trail is dog-friendly but keep your dog on a leash

There's more drama in the winter at the falls

There’s more drama in the winter

The view from behind the icefall

The view from behind the icefall

 I think it's prettier at the falls in the winter

I think it’s prettier at the falls in the winter

Explore more of the trails in the area but never walk on the ski trails

Explore more of the trails in the area but never walk on the ski trails

An Easy Hike to Troll Falls in Kananaskis Country

Fun in the snow for Rosie

Finding the Troll Falls trailhead

Take Highway 40 South to the Kananaskis Village turnoff also called Mt. Allan Drive. Follow the road for past the first junction and then turn right into the Stoney Trail parking lot. If you’ve reached Nakiska Ski Resort you’ve gone way too far.

For an up to date trail report check out the Kananaskis Parks link here.

The hike to Troll falls in late spring is a study in green

The hike to Troll falls in late spring is a study in green

Troll Falls in late spring

What Troll Falls looks like in late spring

Where to stay near Troll Falls

There are a couple of places to stay nearby. The Kananaskis Wilderness Hostel is a great choice if you’re looking for something affordable. But if you want to splurge – and perhaps visit the Kananaskis Spa as well, choose Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.

In the summer you can stay in tipis and trappers tents at nearby Sundance Lodges.

Other winter hikes in Alberta you might enjoy

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest board.

The year-round hike to Troll Falls in Kananaskis Country

 

 

 

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Thanks for the great ariticle! We are going to stay at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge during Christmas and thinking about going to Troll Falls. Would you recommend a hike directly from the Lodge? Thanks!!

    1. @Ed You could though on this one it might be easier to drive. We biked down from the lodge one winter and I’m trying to remember if it was on a trail. I think it was but it’s all uphill on the way back so make a decision based on how much exercise you want. Lots of lovely winter trails nearby – also perfect for snowshoeing. And you can rent right there.

  2. @ Leigh We decided to drive from the lodge. Thanks for all the tips. We enjoyed the hike and the frozen waterfall was amazing!

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