Hike to Ribbon Falls

Canada Ribbon Creek Trailhead

Added by

This is an amazing day hike in Kananaskis Country about an hour outside of Calgary, Alberta. It follows Ribbon Creek up the mountain until you reach the stunning Ribbon Falls.

Ribbon Creek trail is accessible via Highway 40 at the turn off for Nakiska Mountain Resort. From there take a left at Centennial Drive and then a right onto Ribbon Creek Road. The hike begins at the far end of the Ribbon Creek Trailhead parking lot. There is an old coal mining cart at the start. There is also washrooms available in the parking lot area before you begin.

To begin the hike follow the sign that says "Ribbon Creek Trail". You will follow this trail for the next 10km until you reach Ribbon Falls. The trail follows Ribbon Creek up the mountain to the falls. The trail follows the river bank for the most part, but also goes through the forest. As you make your way to Ribbon Falls there is a few mini waterfalls along the way to stop and admire.

Once you reach the falls you can sit and enjoy your packed lunch. There is also tenting sites available at Ribbon Falls Backcountry Campground close to the falls for those you want to stay the night and tackle the surrounding trails.Firewood is provided at the campground. For the more adventurous hikers you can continue 2km up the mountain to Ribbon Lake. This portion of the hike requires use of the chains bolted into the side of the mountain. Getting to the lake is not recommended during the spring and winter months due to the snow at high elevations.

Snowshoeing in the winter is available as well as mountain biking in the summer. However bikes are only allowed for the first 5.7km of the trail.

I would give yourself about 6 hours to complete the hike, but it is doable in a little less time than that. The roundtrip is 20km, but if you go to Ribbon Lake it is about 22km.

Pack List

For those who are only doing a day hike:

  • Water Bottle
  • Bear Spray
  • Camera
  • Packed LunchFor those staying overnight:
  • Permit Link
  • Tent
  • Water Purification
  • Food (storage lockers available)
Read More

How to Get There

3 months ago

Lovely Waterfall but...

I did this last summer as a day trip. The waterfall was stunning and I would go back however, only if I was spending the night. Totally personal preference though!

3 months ago

about 1 year ago

Humbling Mountain Views

My GPS showed 11.1km to the Ribbon Falls Campground, and it was just a couple hundred meters before the falls. The campsites are just big enough for a small 3-person backpacking tent. The hike runs through a valley with massive humbling mountains on both sides, and at the campground you're surrounded on 3 sides by peaks.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

My First Backcountry Camping Experience

Ribbon Falls holds a special place in my heart as my first backcountry camping experience. If a plucky 10 year old carrying a pack twice her size can do it, so can you! Great for beginner hikers and campers. Not sure if they're still there but last time I was up there the campground also provided bear lockers to keep your food and other "smellies" in! I have only been back once since then and did the bike and hike. There are bike racks at the point where you must dismount to lock up on, and a flat area that works well for a lunch break.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Great Hike To Start The Season

We hiked Ribbon Falls today. It has recovered rather nicely from the 2013 floods. All of the bridges are in place. It's a nice and steady hike. Great way to start the hiking season! It definitely got muddier as the day went on.

over 1 year ago

Added by Tory Yont


Camping, Photography, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



12.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1148.3 Feet



Easy Parking
Picnic Area

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Bonnell Creek Falls

Canada / Bonnell Creek Falls Trail

This trail isn't much to look at but it's all about the destination here as you will stumble upon scenic waterfalls nestled in the quiet Nanoose Bay area.

Tanner Thompson
11 Saves

Hike to Singhampton Caves in Ontario

Canada / Singhampton Caves

Singhampton Caves Trail is a 1.

Alina Pavlova
22 Saves

Photograph Old Woman Bay

Canada / Old Woman Bay

This 3km pebble beach in Agawa Bay boast of a spectacular view and a good afternoon. Simply park your car and enjoy! Close in the area is a trail (if you wish to hike) to explore the area as well.  

Nicole Cote
3 Saves