Family Hiking Weekend On The Kootenay Plains

Trails, campfire and family fun

Head out for a weekend of easy family hike, memories by the campfire and a little exploring in David Thompson Country.

This weekend itinerary is filled with 2 days of hiking, waterfalls and great views on trails that the whole family can enjoy. The Kootenay Plains offers a rustic experience making this a great option for those looking to get away from the crowds.

While this adventure isn't far from civilization it will definitely give you a chance to disconnect from the day-to-day as you head to explore as a family.

Whitegoat Falls

At a Glance

  • Activities: Camping + Hiking
  • Duration: Weekend - 2 Nights
  • Great for: Outdoorsy Families
  • Challenge Level: Easy
  • Season: May to October
  • Reservations: The campground is first come first serve and all other activities are self-guided.

Day 1

Start your adventure by making your way to Two O'Clock Creek Campground on the Kootenay Plains, east of the Icefields Parkway. The drive from Banff is approximately 2 hours, from Calgary 3 hours and from Edmonton 4 hours.

Two O'Clock Creek is a smaller campground with great views of the surrounding mountains. On summer weekends it can fill up early, with all sites being on a first come first serve basis so you'll want to arrive before 6 pm if you're starting your adventure on a Friday or Saturday. If the campground is full nearby options include random camping, David Thompson Resort and Thompson Creek Campground.

David Thompson Highway
Two O'Clock Creek Campground
Chilling in the Hammock
Two O'Clock Creek Campground

Day 2

Today is all about exploring the area on a fun family hike. There are lots of options nearby but if it's your first visit to the area we recommend Siffleur Falls or Heritage Trail. The trailhead for both hikes is near the campground, starting at the Siffleur Falls Staging Area. On weekends the Siffleur Falls trail and parking lot can be quite busy and we recommend starting the hike by 10:30 am to avoid the crowds.

The Siffleur Falls Trail is an easy 7 km hike taking you along a canyon, great scenery and up to a waterfall plunging in the gorge below. We wouldn't recommend going with a stroller but younger kids can usually do the hike in 3 to 4 hours. A word of caution: there are railings and viewing platforms but any trails near rivers and canyons require extra supervision.

A shorter option is Heritage Trail which at 4 km takes you past the remains of an old ranch dating back to the early 1900s before taking you along the North Saskatchewan River for some great views of the valley. While it's an easy and short option for the younger ones, it's not suitable for strollers. Plan on spending 1 to 2 hours on this hike.

Try something different for dinner today and bake a pizza on the campfire. The kids will love it and it's much easier than it sounds.

After dinner head out for a short stroll through the Cavalcade Group Campground. There are many trails linking the two campgrounds and the open meadow makes for great views of Mount Peskett, Tuff Puff Ridge and Mount Ernest Ross in the evening. If you're feeling adventurous, follow the path behind Site 6 in the group camping area where you'll often find wildflowers and an abandoned car.

Suspension Bridge over the North Saskatchewan River
The Siffleur River Canyon
Siffleur Falls

Day 3

Start the day with a full breakfast of pancakes and campfire roasted peaches. Check-out time isn't until 2 pm, so take some time to enjoy your morning at this pretty campground.

On the way home make a stop for a short hike. If you're pressed for time, Flag Hill is a great option to get some good views of Abraham Lake in a hike that will take about an hour as a family. The trailhead is partway down the hill leading to Preacher's Point when you're coming from Two O'Clock Creek. The trail isn't very obvious for the first section but once your reach the ridge you can't miss it.

If you have a little more time, head to Whitegoat Falls. You'll want to plan a couple of hours for this one but the double punch bowl waterfalls make for a great lunch spot before driving back. The trail to Whitegoat Falls starts at the Cline River Waste Transfer Station, a short distance past David Thompson Resort. Don't let the starting point turn you off, the trail is easy and takes you to one of our kids' favourite waterfalls.

After your hike, plan on making a stop at the Miners' Cafe in Nordegg for a slice of pie or at the Nordegg Canteen for some fries and ice cream.

Mornings on the Kootenay Plains
Camping Breakfast
The Views from Flag Hill
Whitegoat Falls

Book Your Adventure

This itinerary requires no advance bookings. Two O'Clock Creek Campground is a first come first serve campsite and all the other activities are self-guided.

Nordegg Adventures does offer guided hikes to Siffleur Falls and Whitegoat Falls if you prefer to head out with a guide.

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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 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 to very limited cell phone reception. We recommend carrying an InReach or Zoleo on your hikes. 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.