Elk Lakes

Can anyone offer advice?

Hi Bob,

Love your website, great job! 
Have you by any chance been around the Elk Lakes ACC hut this month? A group of us are heading to the hut this weekend but the usual trail reports haven’t been update lately, and ACC and Peter Lougheed have no info either. We’re just trying to figure out if we should bring skis, snowshoes or hikers.

Thanks in advance, happy skiing.
Alex Harle


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  1. I concur with Alf. The skiing (skating) has been great in the mornings when it has dropped below zero, and if the freeze has been deep it has lasted decently to the early afternoons. The crust skiing has been amazing on these mornings as well. When it has not frozen, however, anything off the previously packed trails would not be pleasant for any mode of transportation and the trails are slow and slushy very quickly as well.
    In the Elk Pass area there is still over a meter of snow in many places and although the surface is getting a little pock-marked with this sunny warmth, the crust skiing should be great many mornings into June. Like Alf says, plan to finish early- watch for deteriorating crust and make sure you are back to your trail head before you start punching through.
    I’m looking forward to some good crust skiing somewhere on the Smith-Dorrien this weekend, and maybe one more ski at the Nordic Center before the snow is completely gone there.
    Enjoy this sunshine with whatever outdoor pursuit is your favourite, it is great to just change locations and/or time of day and be able to engage in any activity you like!

  2. Too funny, heading out for a weekend at Lake Louise, I was going to call the info centre and ask the very same question, which of these three options??

  3. I’ve been skiing every day this week, but not at the Elk Pass area. I have been in the Smith-Dorrien Valley at the Sawmill trails, at Buller Pass in the Spray Valley, at Nakiska-Ribbon Creek and in Banff. There is still a lot of snow out there. Definitely bring skis and climbing skins. In the morning, if there have been freezing temperatures, you should expect hard, icy snow. If it does not freeze overnight, the snow may not support your weight.
    After a few hours of sunshine, the surface snow softens to create a wonderfully skiable corn snow. By afternoon, the snow can become very soft and slushy. Plan to finish your ski day early!
    Please don’t hike. You’ll post-hole up to your waist and you’ll make a mess of the trails for those who are skiing.

  4. I haven’t been out recently, but my guess would be deep, slushy snow.

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