Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area is a picturesque park located about 22 miles (35 km) west of Bragg Creek in Alberta, Canada. Offering a large collection of shady tree-lined campsites for RVs and trailers as well as walk-in wilderness and equestrian campsites, the Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area has something for everyone.
Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area is perfect for family-style camping. Spend your days hiking, biking or horse riding along the park’s many multi-purpose trails, strolling the self-guided interpretive trail, or fishing for rainbow trout in Forget Me Not Pond. Pack warm clothes whenever you visit as the park can get cold and windy at any time - snowing is also possible year round so pack accordingly.
The campground is fairly relaxed and offers a self-registration kiosk. While some of the sites can be reserved ahead of time, the rest of the sites are available on a first come, first served basis. We recommend that you arrive prepared with everything you need for your stay as the closest convenience store is in McLean Creek, about a 20-minute drive away. Bears are also frequently spotted so make sure you are equipped with bear-proof storage, particularly for wilderness camping. Please note that the campground is closed between December and May each year.
Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area can be found on Highway 66, approximately 22 miles (35 km) west of Bragg Creek in Alberta, Canada. Drive slowly when you enter the park and keep an eye out for deer, children, and low-hanging branches.
Parking is available at various locations within the park as well as in the campground loops if you are staying overnight. As there are many multi-purpose trails available in the park, you can get around the park by foot, bike or horse if you’d prefer an alternative method to driving.
Little Elbow Campground consists of three loops (Loop C, D and E) with approximately 60 unserviced campsites for tents, RVs and trailers up to 35 feet. Larger campsites may be available so campers are advised to call ahead and check. There are also 30 walk-in wilderness tenting sites.
Facilities include a self-registration kiosk, restrooms with pit or vault toilets, a garbage and recycling station, and water pumps. Campers are advised to bring their own drinking water with them. Firewood is also available for purchase.
Little Elbow Equestrian Camp offers two loops for camping with horses: Equestrian A and Equestrian B. There are 46 shady and unserviced campsites with hitching rails, horse corrals, and a loading ramp. When you book a campsite here, the price includes the fee for two horses. There is an extra fee for any additional horses.
Facilities include restrooms with pit or vault toilets, fire pits, and a water pump. Guests are advised to bring their own drinking water from home. Firewood is available for sale. These equestrian sites are well-positioned for accessing the park’s backcountry equestrian trails.
Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area is a hiker’s playground with 11 multi-purpose trails to choose from. The trails range from 3.3 miles (5 km) to about 25.7 miles (41 km) and have differing elevations so you can choose one that suits you. The trails are all well-groomed and are fairly easy for most fitness levels. If you’re looking for something more leisurely, there are many flat hiking trails beside the river or you can walk the self-guided Little Elbow Interpretive Trail. Keep an eye out for deer and frolicking squirrels!
Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area is a popular spot for horseback riding with a variety of specially demarcated equestrian trails to explore. There are also various equestrian-friendly campsites available with everything you’d need for horse camping, from hitching rails and loading ramps to horse corrals. There are plenty of multi-purpose trails in the park but make sure you stick only to the equestrian trails, such as the Wild Horse Trail.
Whether you’re an avid cyclist or an adventurous mountain biker, you’ll find some exciting biking trails to explore in the Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area. Pack a picnic and hit the trails for the day! While the trails are well-groomed, punctures are always likely so be sure to carry a puncture kit with you just in case. Please note that it is mandatory to wear a bicycle helmet in Alberta.
When the campground is closed, Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area is much quieter. This is a great time to test out your scavenger hunt skills with a geocaching adventure. If you don’t know what geocaching is, it’s essentially a treasure hunt where you follow GPS coordinates to find a hidden stash left behind by other visitors. The geocache location is listed near the Big Elbow Trail. See if you can find it!
Fishing is a popular pastime for campers and day visitors at Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area. Forget me Not Pond which is located nearby the campground, is stocked with rainbow trout. Please note that you may require an Alberta fishing license in order to try your luck here. For those who prefer not to fish, Forget Me Not Pond is also a scenic spot for a winter picnic.
While the campground within the Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area is closed between December and May, you should still be able to access the park’s many multi-use trails. There are plenty to choose from - some are designed for hikers, some for cyclists or mountain bikers, and others for horse riders. The self-guided Little Elbow Interpretive Trail is also worth a stroll in the off season when you can spot a variety of winter wildlife and birds.