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Adam, Christina, Jenn, and Shawn at Rae LakeAdam, Christina, Jenn, and Shawn at Rae Lake
Tombstone Backpack
Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country
September 3-5, 2011

Along with our friends Adam and Christina, and their dog Charlie, Jenn and Shawn backpacked into the Tombstone area for the 2011 Labour Day long weekend. The quickest access to Tombstone Campground is via the Elbow Lake and the Big Elbow Trail, starting at the Elbow Pass Day Use Area near the Highwood Pass on Highway 40. The hike from the parking lot to Tombstone Campground was about 8km gaining only a couple hundred metres.

After setting up camp, we took a short hike up to the two Tombstone Lakes just north of the campground. The next day we did a big circuit, visiting Sheep Lakes (more like ponds), Rae Lake, and then we traveled along Piper Creek towards Piper Pass. With the day's distance reaching almost 20km, we didn't attempt the last two kilometres (and 500m elevation gain) to Piper Pass. That one's for another day. The final day we spent a leisurly morning packing up, then making the 8km hike back to the car.

After spending so much time this year hiking in the rain, three clear, blue-sky days were a most welcome change, and the trails in the Tombstone area were a great place to spend a few days with friends.
Elbow Pass Parking LotJenn getting her pack ready at the trailheadAdam and Christina arrived a bit late after a delay in getting their camping permitElbow Pass TrailheadElbow Pass TrailThe first kilometre was quite steep up to Elbow LakeElbow Pass TrailCharlie, Jenn, and Adam on the Elbow Pass TrailAdam and Jenn near Elbow LakeFirst views of Elbow Lake and the north shoulder of Mount RaeElbow Lake and Mount RaeMount Rae south shoulderMount Rae south shoulderMount Rae south shoulderChaelie at Elbow LakeChaelie at Elbow LakeWe took a short break to adjust layers at Elbow LakeJenn at Elbow LakeElbow Lake and Mount RaeChristina, Charlie, Jenn, and Adam on the shore of Elbow Lake, with Mount Rae in the distance