The Canadian Mount Everest Expedition trail is located in the heart of Kananaskis country in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. The trails original name was Interlakes trail and was renamed in honour of the first Canadian to summit Mount Everest in 1982. The whole area used to be covered in water but I will let you read about all those facts on your own adventure.
The hike was a perfect for our 4 year old and slightly more challenging for our 2 year old. Our youngest jumped in and out of the carrier only a few times mostly because I wanted us to make it up the incline that day lol. At the end of the hike make sure to head past the bathrooms up the hill and enjoy a picnic alongside Upper Kananaskis Lake.
Canadian Mount Everest Expedition Trail, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Alberta
Difficulty: Moderate (Easy for Etta and hard for Julia with stairs etc)
Distance and Elevation: 2.5km RT; ~120 m
Hike Highlights: Mountain Lakes; Glacier; Mountain Views;
An hour and 45 minutes from Calgary. From Highway 1 take the 118 exit and turn onto highway 40 towards Kananaskis. Follow the road until Kananaskis Lakes Trail and turn right into Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Continue down the road until you reach White Spruce parking lot just before the Upper Kananaskis Lakes parking lot. There will be signs for White Spruce parking lot and the Canadian Mountain Everest Expedition Trail.
From the White Spruce parking lot there will be a wide set of stairs with a large sign that reads Canadian Mountain Everest Expedition Trail indicating the start of the trail.
If you go past the outhouse on the trail you can access Upper Kananaskis Lake. Pack a picnic blanket in the car and enjoy some extra mountain time post hike beside the lake.
The trail starts off through thick forest and continues for the first 1.5 km without any views. The trail is well maintained and has many interpretive signs and benches along the hike. After slowly gaining in elevation for the majority of the hike the trail starts to climb significantly with a sets of stairs.
After the climb, the trail follows the unsteady rock but opens to views of the surrounding mountains and Upper Kananaskis Lakes. There is a spot with a bench and more interpretive signs to take a rest. Views continue for the majority of the hike (~1 km) back down to the parking lot.
Note: The steep stairs and rocky top make the trail more challenging younger hikers but the short distance makes it easier to carry them.
Fun Facts: The trail was renamed the Canadian Mount Everest Expedition trail after the first Canadians to summit Mount Everest. The hike in no way is as challenging as climbing up Mount Everest.
Check out these other great hikes for preschoolers/toddlers near Calgary here!