ElevationAscent: 485' 148 m
Descent: -264' -81 m
High: 4,869' 1,484 m
Low: 4,475' 1,364 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)
Current trail conditions
Popular hikes nearby
Wind Ridge Out and Back
8.5 mi 13.7 km • Out and Back • 2,484 ft Ascent 757.14 m Ascent
Singletrack Canmore, AB( 1 )
Cory & Edith Passes
8.1 mi 13.0 km • Loop • 3,312 ft Ascent 1009.57 m Ascent
Singletrack Banff, AB( 8 )
Healy Pass Out and Back
11.6 mi 18.6 km • Loop • 2,181 ft Ascent 664.7 m Ascent
Singletrack Banff, AB( 1 )
Navigate on-trail with our free app
Hiked this trail?
Add details to help others plan their adventure.
“A nice hike in the woods with enough uphill to count as a decent cardio outing.”— Ken Campbell
Start at the Cougar Creek parking lot on Elk Run Blvd. Follow the right side of the creek upstream to the trail into the woods. Continue up, past minor junctions until the main trail takes an obvious turn to the right, away from the creek.
You'll be at a junction here, both go the same place, but the left route is steeper but shorter. It's best to continue straight, ignoring junctions, and go up the manufactured switchback trail.
At the top of the switchback, continue straight (yes, ignoring offshoots and junctions!) until the trail t-junctions. Take the climb to the right, this is the main uptrack of the outbound Horseshoe.
Follow this uphill and outbound to the East, using the 'left-shoulder/right-shoulder' orientation previously mentioned; there's junctions, of course, but the main trail is obvious. The steady uphill will eventually flatten out, then start to descend.
Eventually, you'll have to swerve around a fallen tree; 50 metres ahead the trail will T-junction. Take the right turn for the downhill return leg. Watch out for the right turn partway down and follow it. If you find yourself in the bottom of a gully, you've missed the turn - but don't worry, continue up the other side of the gully, turn right at the trail junction and eventually rejoin the main trail.
Continue to follow the main trail. You'll pass around the lip of a grassy ravine overlooking town, then through some rooty, occasionally muddy terrain to a short boardwalk. Cross it and continue straight down the rooty terrain, following the main track to the top of the manufactured switchback trail you climbed early in the hike. Follow this route back out to the parking lot.
Land Manager: Alberta Environment & Parks (AEP)