Scenic Stop: Gap Mountain in Kananaskis Country

Mountains of Kananaskis

Located 1 hour west of Calgary or 30 minutes east of Banff, Kananaskis Country is a collection of provincial parks and wildlife reserves that make up a large sanctuary along the continental divide. Many residents of Calgary consider "K-Country" their playground. Gap Mountain, shown in the photo, is a steep & jagged peak - beautiful in itself, and with great scenery from its viewpoint.

This photo was taken in mid-July when the alpine meadows are painted green with wild grass and flowers. Near the Highwood Pass, just south of Gap Mountain, snow pockets were still present at the side of the road. The Elbow Lake hiking trail is located just minutes away and is a short but difficult path.

The towering mountains in Kananaskis are in the front range of the Rocky Mountains. You'll find grassy meadows and crystal clear rivers which make for a perfect home for bear, elk, moose and mountain sheep. This is a spectacular alpine recreation area for outdoor enthusiasts.

Gap Mountain is more specifically located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. It's too rugged for the average hiker or climber. Further into K-country, you can drive to the tree-line of some mountains and hike to the peak. Kananaskis is particularly popular with hikers, cyclists, and kayakers, especially during the summer. Highway 40 winds through the foothills and up to the alpine peaks near the tree line. This makes for a perfect day trip from Calgary.

A viewpoint is located on the lower base of the Gap Mountain. Look for the Elpoca Viewpoint turnoff or the Little Highwood Pass turnoff. The Lakeview picnic area is located on the gravel road on the side of Gap Mountain and offers glimpses of Lower & Upper Kananaskis Lake.

Year-round access is available to Upper & Lower Kananaskis Lakes but access to Gap Mountain is from June 15 - December 1 of each year. The higher altitude area of the park is closed for the winter.

Mountains of Kananaskis

This photo was taken about 40 minutes south of the Highway 40 junction with the TransCanada Highway (hwy #1).

Follow the Google driving directions to this spot.

View Daytrip in Kananaskis, Alberta (K-Country) in a larger map


Gap Mountain in Kananaskis, Alberta is located approximately 140 kilometers from Calgary, Alberta.

There's lots of hiking to choose from in K-Country ... or discover more of Alberta! Check out more great hikes in Alberta, amazing scenic stops, and roadside attractions (both interesting and downright strange).