Hoodoos and Abraham Lake
Hoodoos, a cave and great views of abraham lake
Based on a visit to the area on August 17, 2013
An unofficial trail takes you in and out of the creek bed, making your way up the narrowing valley pass two hoodoos on the way to the shallow cave.
An oasis on the cliff where you’ll find the cave
Hoodoos along the way
Hoodoos like the ones you’ll see on this hike are evidence of the glaciers that once covered the area. As they advanced and retreated over the region, they carried rocks of various size and deposited them along the way.
The deposit, called till, contained a mixture of clay, sand fragments and occasionaly larg rocks. In some cases like here, the calcium carbonate in the limestone cemented the deposits together.
A the water eroded the deposits, those hardened deposits remained as pillars called hoodoos.
Plan Your Adventure
Trail conditions can change quickly. The map and directions below are based on our hike in the area on July 28, 2013.
- Activity: Hike
- Distance: 3.8 km return
- Elevation Gain: ~360 m
- Challenge Level: Moderate
- Family Friendly: No
- Trail Type: There and back
- Trail Conditions: Unofficial trail – easy scrambling and creek walking
- Season: April to November
- Congestion: Moderate
- Alternate Descriptions: The David Thompson Highway – A Hiking Guide includes a version of this hike.
- Trailhead: The trail starts along highway 11, 2.8 km west of the Windy Point access. There is a cairn with an informal marker on the side of the road where the trail starts and Hoodoo Creek is now marked with a green highway sign. This is 52 km east of Saskatchewan Crossing and 39 km west of Nordegg.
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 Environment
- Protection Status: Kiska/Wilson PLUZ
- Other Trail Uses: None
- Dogs Allowed: Yes
- Permits / Restrictions: None
- Cell Reception: Limited
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 adventure to Hoodoo Creek.
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 Hoodoo Creek trail.
Access Trail | 1.9 km
- 1.0 km | Hoodoos
- 1.8 km | Cave Access
- 1.9 km | Cave
Return Trail | 1.9 km
- Retrace your steps back to the trailhead
Unfortunately this trail can be a little hard to find at first. Alberta Transportation has now added a green highway sign for Hoodoo Creek, making it easier to find the trailhead but there is still no trailhead parking lot. On weekends it’s often easier given the number of cars parked on the side of the road, otherwise it is the first major creek after Windy Point when you’re heading west. There is a cairn on the side of the road with a stick and quite often flagging tape marking the start of the trail.
The trail is on the right side of the creek and right from the start there are some great views of Abraham Lake and surrounding mountains.
Extending Your Hike
If you have time after visiting the cave it is well worth continuing up the creek for 300 to 600 metres. At a fork in the creek there is a nice cascade down the side of the mountain and going further on the right fork gives some nice views of the V shaped valley, Mount Michener and Abraham Lake below.
To head back to the trailhead, simply retrace your footstep. Walking down the creek all the way to the highway is an option but the trail is faster.
A Word of Caution
This is a pleasant hike usually suitable for families. Too often however we encounter unprepared groups on this hike. You will be hiking on a creek bed, over boulders and up a scree slope which all require proper footwear.
The creek is very shallow, not much more than a stream, on most days. It is obvious however from the width of the creek bed, the size of the boulders and the signs of slides that this hike can be treacherous on a rainy day or during a storm.
- 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. The nearest phone is at David Thompson Resort.
- 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.