Hike to Ribbon Falls

12.4 miles 1148.3 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Tory Yont

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.

Read More


Easy Parking
Picnic Area


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

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.

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Centennial Ridge

    This hike can be done as a full traverse, starting at the Ribbon Creek Trailhead and taking you to Dead Man's Flats, just off of the Trans Canada Highway. Starting at the trailhead in the Ribbon Creek parking lot, go north on Hidden Trail. You wil...

    9.9 miles 4592 ft gain

  • Memorial Lakes

    History Note: This hike commemorates 13 passengers of three different air crafts that went down in the region in 1986. The first was a passenger plane, and the second two were search and rescue aircraft. There is a plaque at the top of the hike to...

    9.9 miles 2624.7 ft gain

  • Winter Climb Mount Allan

    Mount Allan is a 14 km hike that gains 1400 metres of elevation and was one of my favourite hikes when I first moved to Calgary. On a recent snowshoe, a couple I crossed paths with mentioned they had just done Mount Allan in December, so I knew I ...

    8.7 miles 4429.1 ft gain

  • Hike Old Baldy Ridge

    Park at the Evan Thomas parking lot to and the trailhead is in the south of that parking lot. It follows a well-defined trail up for most of the way before you start gaining elevation. When the trail starts heading south, keep an eye out for a sma...

    9.3 miles 2952.8 ft gain