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Allstones Creek Winter Hike

An interesting hike from start to finish

A fun little canyon hike filled with rock features and a frozen waterfall.

Published on March 6, 2021 | Last updated on April 6, 2022

Allstones creek is a great hike for most abilities and families. You enter a deep canyon with lots of interesting, exposed rock that ends at a frozen waterfall.

It’s not too long that you get tired and not too short that you barely stretch your legs or have time to explore. It is not often there is a fun-filled route this close to the highway and of this length. What are you waiting for!

A frozen waterfall on Allstones Creek
The Allstones Creek Canyon

At a Glance

  • Distance: 3.2 km return
  • Elevation gain: ~80 m
  • Challenge Level: Easy | Family Friendly
  • Trail type: There and back
  • Congestion: Moderate
  • Management: Kiska/Wilson PLUZ
  • Other Trail Uses: None

Trailhead: The trail starts at the Allstones Lake Staging Area, approximately 31 km west of Nordegg and 52 km east of Saskatchewan River Crossing. Toilets are available at the trailhead.

The Map

Distances

  • 1.2 km | Frozen waterfalls
  • 2.4 km | Trailhead

Distances are from the highway. 

The Journey

The entrance to the canyon near the highway
The canyon walls on Allstones Creek

There are two options to park for this hike, one on the north side of Allstones Creek and one on the south. Both have toilets available but no garbage cans. The north lot fills up quickly when it is accessible and is often filled with snow during the winter months. The parking lot on the south side is usually accessible all season long. 

Cross the highway and enter the creek from the left side (south) or if you want to start with an adventure, you can take the culvert from the parking lot side to cross under the highway. Immediately, you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful, vertically exposed rock ribs. Start heading up the frozen creek bed past the vibrant coloured rock as the canyon starts to constrict around you.

Allstones Creek Canyon
Frozen falls on Allstones Creek

Follow the creek for multiple twists and turns, snaking your way past water-carved cliffs and overhangs. Be sure to take the time to appreciate the artwork created over many years of erosion by the persistent creek. Most years the creek freezes and covers the rocks in the creek bed, creating an easy pathway to follow.

In a mostly flat 1.6 km you will reach an intimate waterfall, frozen in time, as it cascades over a headwall. See if you can hear and see the water moving behind the ice! There is a homemade ladder on the left side of the icefall; it is highly suggested that you do not try to climb it as you never know what it is attached to or how old it is. There is also nothing special to see above unless you commit to exploring for several hours upstream.

The Return Trail

Retrace your footsteps back to your vehicle.

Contributors to this Story:

Contributor

  • They have been exploring the Canadian Rockies and the world's mountain ranges for close to four decades combined. They manage HeLa Ventures, an outdoor education centre located between Rocky Mountain House and Nordegg. Brett also guides for Nordegg Adventures in the winter and Annabelle is a freelance translator. When they are not working you'll find them hiking and scrambling in the region with their daughter Tessa.

Outdoor Safety

  • 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 bear-proof garbage bins, keep a clean site and store your food in a bear-safe fashion.
  • Always be prepared when travelling outdoors.
  • This area has no to very limited cell phone reception. We recommend carrying an InReach or Zoleo on your adventures. A payphone is available at David Thompson Resort and across the highway 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.