Cross-Country Ski and Scramble to Oldforgetmenot for Sunrise

Rate this Adventure Canada Little Elbow Campground

Added by James Hueser

Watch as a sunrise embraces the picturesque peaks of the Elbow-Sheep Wildland. This is a doable objective with snow on the ground with skiable portions. Keep in mind that the road to the trailhead is only open between May and December. Set aside around 8 hours for this adventure.

I think it's because I tend to watch football on Sundays that I've started doing more sunrise hikes --- can't say I regret it either! Oldforgetmenot is a perfect objective to take in a sunrise on: elevation gain isn't too intense, distance isn't too trying, and there are quite a few stretches that you can pick your way through on skis.

The trail begins at the Little Elbow Campground parking lot. Follow the road until you come to the suspension bridge on your left. After cross the bridge, keep following the trail as it veers left -- you'll want to turn onto the Whitehorse trail so keep an eye out for signs that tell you where you are. The Whitehorse trail takes you across a tributary to the Elbow which is typically dry during shoulder season. Straight across the river is where the trail starts back up again. Keep following it until you come to a washed out area -- look for some flagging tape to mark this point because the trail to Forgetmenot Ridge heads off to the right. You'll know you're on the right path because it gains some wicked elevation and will tucker almost anybody out.

Even with a fair amount of snow, the path was still a fair dent in the snow and pretty easy to follow. We put on our skis when we gained the first ridge and were able to make it the rest of the way up -- much better on the way down! Once up the next hill, keep heading south along the ridge to get to Oldforgetmenot.

Oldforgetmenot or the north end of Forgetmenot Ridge are great places to take in the sunrise - straight shots of the sunrise as well as mostly unobstructed views of the east. I always see these peaks as I'm driving out to the mountains and it was great to spend some quality time in the Little Elbow area.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots/cross country ski boots
  • Hiking/ski poles
  • Cross country skis (and a pack that you can carry them on)
  • Headlamp
  • Appropriate clothing and layers
  • Water and snacks
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Bear spray
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Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Skiing

Skill Level:




Trail Type:



9.9 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2395 Feet


Easy Parking

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Added by James Hueser

On weekdays I'm a hydrogeologist for a contaminated sites group which involves a ton of fieldwork throughout the spring, summer, and fall, but leaves most of my weekends to get out to (and hopefully on top of) the Rockies. I'm originally from Saskatchewan, so I've become rather obsessed with bagging peaks ever since I moved to Calgary in 2014.

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