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Rockies :: Kananaskis :: Marmot Creek

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Beautiful waterfall on Marmot Creek above Troll Falls.  Trail climbs up and over on the right side


Overall Difficulty D3 Occasionally steep and scrambly bits on creek banks.  Unbridged rock-hop of Marmot Creek below Troll Falls. Creek crossing on slick log with help of handline in upper part (optional).
Snow Factor S3 Marmot creek will be icy in winter and require micro-spikes for traction.  Snowshoes for approach and/or loop return
Scenery Spectacular set of waterfalls.  Open viewpoint of Kananaskis valley and several major peaks in Nakiska area
Trail/Marking Good Wide trail with marked junctions to Troll Falls followed by narrow but well defined trail up the creek.  Orientation issues for navigating maze of X-country ski trail on optional loop return
Suggested Time 3-4 hr Hike itself will take 2-3 hours, but you will want to spend extra time for photographing the waterfalls!
Elevation Start: 1450m     Max: 1610 m    Total: ~250 m  Round Trip: ~7 km
Gear Light hikers. Single hiking pole could be helpful for stability.  Micro-spikes and perhaps snowshoes in winter.
Water Marmot Creek.  Hike is short - no need to carry more than 0.5L
Dog Friendly Yes Troll Falls trail is very popular - please keep control of your pet. 



Kananaskis River and Mt. Lorette from Hay Meadows

Troll Falls.  Marmot Creek trail climbs on right side

Troll FallsTroll FallsThis is one of waterfall shots I am most satisfied with. Easy access (20-30min easy walk from parking) -- well worth hauling your gear. Area is popular, so solitude on weekend will not be easy to find

Aperture: F 22
Exposure: 4 sec
ISO: 100
Alternate view of Troll Falls

Marmot Creek WaterfallMarmot Creek WaterfallOne of several waterfalls of Marmot Creek in Nakiska area. F22, 10 sec exposure, ISO 100, tripod. Beautiful waterfall reached some 10 minutes above Troll Falls

Marmot CreekMarmot CreekCascades of Marmot Creek above Troll Falls in Nakiska area of K-country. F22, 15 sec exposure, ISO 100, polarizer+tripod Lovely cascades in middle part of Marmot Creek

One of several smaller falls in upper part of Marmot Creek

Deep Canyon just before upper creek crossing

Crux: crossing on slick log.  Marmot road is 5 minutes away





Marmot Creek is hidden gem in close proximity of Kananaskis Village and Nakiska ski-area.  While majority of visitors walk only to Troll Falls, real reward lies in continuing above and up the creek. This is the trip for photographers; few other areas in K-country offer so many beautiful waterfalls and cascades in such a short proximity!  The trip is short and can easily be completed as after-work hike or in case of inclement weather.  Loop return via Marmot X-country ski road is possible, but necessitates one tricky creek crossing. Several options for extending the day exist, but they all involve walk on forest enclosed roads;  historic Hummingbird Plume lookout being one of them.


Start at north end of Stoney Trail - turnoff is on right side of Nakiska ski area access road, immediately after Kananaskis Village turnoff.  You can follow Stoney Trail along the powerline or hike forest trail on left (west) side, but more pleasant and scenic approach is to follow Hay Meadows trail on the right side.  There are some beautiful open views of Kananaskis River about 15 minutes from parking.  Junctions are marked. Upon reconnecting with Stoney Trail follow signs to Troll Falls. This is beautiful waterfall any time of the year, but do not expect solitude. After practicing your photography skills (did you bring the tripod?) cross the creek to north side.  Easiest spot is just slightly downstream where large log jam makes it fairly straightforward.  Steep trail climbs on the right side then levels off and continues up the creek.  There are many side trails descending to creek level, but major waterfall is reached about 10-15 minutes above Troll Falls.  Several beautiful gorges lie above - if coming for the first time, leave yourself plenty of time to explore in relaxed pace.  Higher up trail moves away from the creek on hillside, where short side walk brings you to open viewpoint of Hwy 40 corridor and Kananaskis valley.  Final part is deep and beautiful canyon;  be careful as slip and fall would certainly be fatal.  Finally you reach the site of old bridge which has been destroyed in 2013 floods. This is the turnaround point. If you desire loop return, find the spot to cross the creek shortly after the site of old bridge.  Trail climbs on the other side and soon exits to Marmot Ski road. Turn left and descend on a wide forest trail back to powerline and Stoney trail.  Turning right at Marmot Junction leads to about 40-45 minutes of steady but moderately angled ascent to junction with Skogan pass trail whereupon Sunburst trail continues to Hummingbird Plume lookout.  This will extend the day by several hours and is described in Kananaskis Country Trail guide by Gill Daffern (Trip 22, Vol 1 - 4th Edition).