Go light on the land to see remnant glaciers, wildflowers and old-growth forests of Elk Lakes, a wilderness sanctuary for backpackers, canoeists and kayakers. No vehicle camping, motorized boating or mountain biking permitted.
Key Access Points to this State or Provincial Park
Elk Lakes Provincial Park is located about 104 kilometres (65 mi) north of Sparwood.
Highlights of this State or Provincial Park
Nestled in the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains on the Alberta-British Columbia boundary, is 5,625 hectare Elk Lakes Provincial Park and adjacent 11,700 hectare Recreation Area, a delicate sub-alpine area of outstanding mountain landscapes, natural lakes and remnant glaciers (north of Elkford). Rugged, rock-faced peaks encompass the park. The mountains and glaciers of the north and west boundaries are a roll call of French leaders of the First World War: Mount Petain, with Petain Glacier, the largest glacier in the park, clinging to its flanks, Mount Nivelle, Mount Joffre and Mount Foch. Wildlife is present in the park. Near the entrance are scores of chipmunks and ground squirrels. Beavers are resident near Upper Elk Lake and at Elkan Creek. Elk and moose frequent the meadows near the upper and lower lakes. Occasionally a mountain goat, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, grizzly bear or black bear may be seen by the observant visitor. Bird life is fairly common. The park includes numerous hiking trails, Petain Creek Waterfalls, wilderness camping, fishing; winter use includes cross-country skiing.
Driving Directions to Key Access Points
Turn off Highway 3 at Sparwood and go north on Highway 43 till you reach the community of Elkford, a distance of 35 kilometres (22 mi). 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 (3.5 mi) from the crossing to the Cadorna Creek trail head; the Elk Lakes trailhead is a further 16.1 kilometres (10 mi). Driving time from Sparwood to the park is approximately two hours.