Elkwood Loop Snowshoe Trail in Peter Lougheed Park is a great first-time snowshoe trail with beautiful mountain views from Marl Lake.
Starting from Elkwood Amphitheatre parking lot, follow the red snowshoe trail markers through the trees to the Marl Lake Interpretive Trail. Here, the views begin to open up as you pass snow covered fens (boggy areas). Interpretive signs describe the geography in more detail.
There are benches along the way if you need a break, but the best lunch spot is at Marl Lake where you can enjoy panoramic mountain views. Mount Indefatigable dominates the skyline across the lake.
To complete the loop, follow the trail markers along the north shore of the lake, then snowshoe through the campground to the parking lot. The trail is well marked the whole way and is lots of fun after a big dump of snow!
Elkwood Loop At a Glance
Distance: 3.4 km Elevation Gain: 23 m
Nearest Washrooms? Peter Lougheed Visitor Centre
Chariot Friendly? Yes.
Terrain rating: Elkwood Loop is an Alberta Parks official winter trail. Stay on trail to avoid avalanche danger.
Directions: Head west on Highway 1 (Trans Canada Highway), take the Kananaskis Trail/AB 40S turnoff and stay on Hwy 40 for 50 km. Turn right onto Kananaskis Trail. Continue straight for ~6 km. Turn left at Elkwood Amphitheatre.
Parking: Elkwood Amphitheatre
What to Bring
Our Snowshoeing Gear List has everything you need to pack – and wear – on a snowshoe trip.
For a longer snowshoe outing (6.9 km loop), take the William Watson Connector trail – cross Kananaskis Trail (carefully!) – cross the lodge parking lot, and look for the red snowshoe marker near the front of the lodge. Then take Marsh Loop to Bill Benson Lookout at Lower Kananaskis Lake. It’s a stunning viewpoint year round (you can bike or walk there in the summer).
It’s also possible to snowshoe Frozen Toad Loop (8.1 km loop) from Marl Lake.
For more information, see the Alberta Parks Snowshoe Brochure or pick up a copy at the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Visitor Centre.
More Snowshoe Trails Near Calgary
For more fun snowshoe trails in Kananaskis or Banff, check out my story: Where to Snowshoe Near Calgary.