Elk Lakes Cabin

The ACC operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. The Elk Lakes Cabin is a log cabin close to Calgary that is a cozy base for hiking, ski touring and ice climbing. See all of our huts here

Summer: Family-friendly hiking hut

Elk Lakes in the summer is a welcome base for families exploring the wonderful hiking in the Park. Sparkling lakes, majestic peaks and nearly limitless hiking options are waiting to be explored.

A reasonable 3 to 4 hour hike from Peter Lougheed Park makes this a popular family destination and a first-time backcountry hut experience for many.

Winter: Ski touring and ice climbing that’s closer than you think

The Elk Lakes Cabin in the winter is a cozy and warm base for ski touring and ice climbing adventures. Ski tourers often refer to Elk Lakes as a lesser-known Lake O’Hara, with outstanding terrain and fluffy BC powder.

Fat, pure-ice routes and skinny, modern mixed climbs abound in the area, mostly on the south face of Mt. Fox that overlooks the upper Elk Lake. Tick off classic Rockies ice climbs by day, dry your ropes in the cozy cabin by night.

At A Glance

General: In Elk Lakes Park, BC, but usually accessed from Peter Lougheed Park in Alberta.
Map and Grid Reference: Map 82J/11; Grid ref 364016
Hut Elevation: 1,740 m (5,709 ft)
Lat / Long:
Open: Open all year
Rates: See below

Quick Description:
Elevation Gain to Hut: 200 m gain (and 200 m loss)
Approach Time: 3 to 4 hours
Approach Description: Printable PDF
Trail Conditions: BC Parks
How To Book

Check Availability

ACC Hut in BC Parks

The Elk Lakes Cabin is one of five huts operated by the ACC which reside in the BC Parks jurisdiction. ACC Membership is not required to advance book or receive a discounted rate at these huts.

Lower Elk Lake Wilderness Campground

There are 10 wilderness walk in campsites at Lower Elk Lake. This area offers toilets, fire rings, food cache, and tent pads on the north side of the lake in the trees.

You can pre-pay for a backcountry permit online through BC Parks’ Backcountry Registration System. Permits are $5/person. Please note that this is NOT a reservation, simply an alternative way to pay for a permit (versus on-site) - sites are subject to available space and are not guaranteed.

Elk Lakes fact: In summer the Elk Lakes Cabin can be accessed by mountain bikes (although all of the other trails in the park are hiking-only)


All hut pricing is subject to change without notice.

Summer (May 1 to October 30)

  Rate (both for ACC member/non-member)
Price per night $25

Check Hut Availability


Sleeps 14
Mattress pads provided, bring your own sleeping bag
Propane stove and oven – propane is supplied
Propane lighting – propane is supplied
Wood stove – firewood is provided
Snow melt, Creek
Camping available on site

Recreational Opportunities

  • Trail Hiking
  • Scrambling
  • Ski Touring


Hiking from Peter Lougheed Provincial Park: From Elk Pass trailhead near Upper Kananaskis Lakes, 4.8 km uphill hike (200m elevation gain) is followed by 4.2km downhill hike (200m elevation loss) to the hut.

Biking/Skiing/Snowshoeing from Peter Lougheed: The same trailhead is used as in the hiking approach (above). After 2km the Fox creek is crossed to follow the hydro cut line. The hydro line comes out a couple hundred metres east of the hut. In winter this route is track set as far as Elk Pass (half way).

Driving approach from Sparwood, BC: Highway 93 north to Elkford (35 km), followed by 70km on gravel road. Summer access only, high-clearance vehicle recommended.

Seasonal road closure: Hwy 40 from Longview to Highwood Pass.

Printable detailed approach description

References and Links

The Hut Experience

Staying in a backcountry hut is a shared, rustic experience. Sleeping, kitchen and living areas are communal, and foam mattresses, cooking and eating utensils are provided. Guests area expected to bring their own sleeping bags, food and personal items.

All of our huts are user-maintained, meaning that the custodial work of keeping the hut clean, chopping firewood and shovelling snow is done by the guests. The ACC provides major service and renovations to all of our huts each year to ensure they are in good repair.

There are no transition days between bookings. Guests are responsible to sanitize before and after use of the huts.

Download our hut cleaning and sanitation guidelines here.