Troll Falls 2016 Evan-Thomas Provincial Recreation Area, Kananaskis Country, Alberta July 1, 2016
This was Walter’s second hike in the Rocky Mountains! After taking the short trip up the Barrier Lake Lookout (shawnbenbow.ca/barrierlake2016
), we made the trip to Troll Falls near the Kananaskis Village/Nakiska area.
The trailhead for Troll Falls is located at the Stoney Day Use Area. About 23 kilometres south of Highway 1 on Highway 40, take the Mount Allan Drive road about one kilometre before turning right (north) at the signed access for the Stony parking area. The parking lot is huge, but there are a lot of easy trails so there were lots of vehicles.
The trail starts at the north end of the parking lot in a powerline cutline. Within a hundred metres the trail turned northwest into the forest. Almost the entire trail to the falls was in the forest, with the only open mountain views into the valley at a cutline for sewer pipes coming down from Nakiska about 800m from the trailhead. However, the trail is super wide, and people could easily walk two or three abreast with room for hikers going the opposite direction. This was good, because there were a lot of people on the trail!
Taking care to read the signs at a couple of trail junctions, it’s easy to follow the route to Troll Falls. Within the last hundred metres or so to the falls the trail narrowed a bit, but was a couple people wide. Near the falls, there was a lot of debris and fallen trees near the trail. This must have been partially a result of the 2013 floods that had damaged so many of the trails and watercourses in the area. As this was the first time visiting Troll Falls, we have nothing to compare the current condition or how much things changed in 2013.
We reached the falls at about 1.6 kilometres from the trailhead. Shawn and James walked across some fallen logs over Marmot Creek to reach the far side of the falls where you can walk up and stand under the falling water. Sure-footed folk (and perhaps those not carrying children on their backs) can also climb up on the left side of the falls and literally walk behind the waterfall as the stream sort of flies off a little bench at the top of the ridge.
We took advantage of a short window where there were very few people around to take a few photographs. As the next wave of hikers arrived, we turned around and began to make our way back to the car. We retraced our steps and went back the same trail that we hiked in (the most direct route). However, there are a few different trails spread throughout the forest and it would be easy to pick another route back to the trailhead that would add a bit of distance and perhaps a bit more elevation to the hike.
After arriving back at the car, we drove back to Canmore. However, our day wasn’t over - Shawn took James cycling along the Legacy Trail from Canmore to Banff and back (shawnbenbow.ca/legacytrailjuly2016
Trip length: ~4.0km
Total Ascent/Descent: ~100m