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Elk Lakes Cabin



GPS Coordinates: 50° 33' 06" - 115° 04' 40" NAD83 11U 0636495 5601673

For more detailed information, view these printable pages on Elk Lakes Cabin

Elk Lakes Cabin
Elk Lakes Cabin, Elk Lakes Provincial Park, B.C. Photo by Bruce Hardardt.

Excellent base for hiking, skiing and mountaineering. Access involves an easy 3-4 hour hike or ski. In summer there is vehicle access via a gravel road. Sleeps 14.

The Elk Lakes Cabin is nestled between the French and Italian Military Groups of the Rocky Mountains; set amongst massive cliff faces, waterfalls, lakes, craggy summits, and hanging icefalls in Elk Lakes Provincial Park, B.C. The area has many easy trails for hiking while also providing access to more serious mountaineering objectives should you desire to climb. In winter, ice climbs abound, and backcountry skiers will find plenty of great terrain with loads of B.C. powder to play in. Overall, the terrain around the Elk Lakes Cabin is quite similar to that near the Elizabeth Parker Hut at Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park.

Access on foot or cross country skis from Alberta is through Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country. Drive to the Elk Pass trailhead and follow the trail for 5 km to Elk Pass on the BC/Alberta border. From here, follow the trail for 4.2 km until you reach the Elk Lakes Cabin (there is a sign indicating that you are at Elk Lakes Provincial Park; 200 metres beyond is the cabin). Most parties will take 3-4 hours to hike or ski from Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. You can also use a mountain bike on the designated trail to access to the cabin, but cycling is not allowed elsewhere in the park. To cycle to the cabin, you must follow the hydro line trail through Elk Pass (it runs parallel to the hiking path).

Elk Lake
Elk Lake. Photo by Bruce Hardardt.

Dogs are not permitted on the Elk Pass trail (whether leashed or not) or at the Elk Lakes Cabin itself.

For complete information on the Elk Lakes Cabin, download this Word document you may also find more information about Elk Lakes Provincial Park here

If you are going to be a custodian at the Elk Lakes Cabin, please download this Word document.

Reference materials available

In summer, vehicle access from BC is through Elkford. From Calgary drive south on the #2 Highway to Fort McLeod, head west through Crowsnest Pass to Sparwood, and turn north towards Elkford. After Elkford, drive 70 km along a forest service logging road to the Elk Lakes Provincial Park boundary. The drive takes approximately six hours from Calgary or 2.5 hours from Fernie. Cars with low clearance are not recommended.

Elk Lakes Cabin
Elk Lakes Cabin, interior. Photos by Barbara Budenz.

The Elk Lake Cabin sleeps 14 and has propane cook stoves and lights. There are pots, pans, dishes and cutlery in the kitchen. Fresh water is nearby. Sleeping is dormitory style and mattresses are provided. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and food.

Download complete information on the Elk Lakes Cabin here:

Elk Lakes Cabin information (Word document)
Elk Lakes Cabin information (PDF document)
Joffre area guidebook description (from Rocky Mountains of Canada - South, by Boles et al)

If you are interested in being a volunteer custodian, contact


Backcountry camping is permitted at Lower and Upper Elk Lake on a first come, first served basis. Pit toilets, firepits, food caches, and tent pads are provided with the sites. Wood is available at the cabin free of charge.

Fees are $5 per person per night.

    VISION: Preserving, practicing and promoting Canadian mountain culture and self-propelled alpine pursuits.
Préserver, pratiquer et promouvoir la culture alpine canadienne et les activités non motorisées en montagne.