The North Saskatchewan River and the Kootenay Plains
History and Amazing Views along the Kootenay Plains
Based on a visit to the area on July 16, 2013
The North Saskatchewan River
Plan Your Adventure
Trail conditions can change quickly. The map and directions below are based on our hike in the area on July 16, 2013.
- Activity: Hike
- Distance: 3.8 km return
- Elevation Gain: ~55 m
- Challenge Level: Easy
- Family Friendly: Yes – no strollers
- Trail Type: Loop
- Trail Conditions: Trail can be hard to see in section
- Season: April to October
- Congestion: Minimal (busy trailhead)
- Alternate Descriptions: The David Thompson Highway – A Hiking Guide includes this hike.
- Trailhead: Approximately 62 km west of Nordegg and 21 km east of the Banff National Park boundary. The trail starts at the Siffleur Falls Staging Area which provides ample parking space and dry washrooms.
Enjoy the comfort that comes with a guide who knows the area’s trails, wildlife and terrain so that you can focus on your adventure, while the rest is taken care of.
- Management: Alberta Parks
- Protection Status: Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve
- Other Trail Uses: Horses / Mountain Biking
- Dogs Allowed: Yes – on leash
- Permits / Restrictions: Camping and fires are not permitted
- Cell Reception: None
Head Out With A Guide
Make the most of your adventure and head out with a guide. Pursuit Adventures offers guided hikes from April to November. Get in touch with them to plan your custom hiking adventure on the Kootenay Plains.
Head Out On Your Own
Sometimes you just want to head out on your own to explore the area. We get it. Here’s the guide for the Heritage Trail.
- 1.1 km | Barnes Ranch
- 1.4 km | Dirt Road
- 1.6 km | Tom Wilson’s Cabin
- 1.9 km | North Saskatchewan River
- 3.5 km | Siffleur Falls Trail
From there the trail is a pleasant walk through the open area along the highway. Keep an eye out for the mountain bluebird boxes installed by Ellis Bird Farm along the way.
The trail soon starts to veer from the highway, heading into a more forested area. While the trail may look faint in section, continue on the visible path until you reach a fence representing the edge of the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve.
From there head toward the end of the field where the trails becomes visible again. This is a great spot for a short break with amazing views of the North Saskatchewan River.
The trail then follow the river all the way back to the Siffleur Falls trail.
- For your safety and the protection of the area please follow trail signs, stay on the trail and respect all trail closures
- Be respectful of wildlife and familiarize yourself with wildlife safety techniques including keeping your pet on a leash and keeping your group together.
- Always use the bear proof garbage bin, keep a clean site and store your food in a bear safe fashion.
- Always be prepared when travelling outdoors.
- This area has no cell phone reception. We recommend carrying an InReach on your hikes. A pay phone is available near the trailhead at the highway pullout across from the Cavalcade Group Campground.
- Information provided here may be inaccurate or outdated. Always make sure to obtain current information before going on your adventure.
There are inherent risks in outdoor activities. Although we strive to provide accurate information and to alert you of potential dangers, trail conditions may change quickly due to weather conditions and other factors. Using the information provided on this site is entirely at your own risk and Pursuit Adventures is in no ways liable for any injuries or other damages that may be sustained by anyone using the trails or information described on this site.
Have you been to this trail? Let us know about your adventure in the comments below.