Crowsnest to Canal Flats
via Elkford

Note:  The route depicted in this ride crosses an Elk Valley Coal Corporation active mining area.  Crossing without permission is forbidden, this is strictly enforced.  An alternative route is to take this track. 

Four Day Ride

We left the Pass 10am on Friday Aug 26, 2005 and returned at 4pm on Monday Aug 29. We traveled from the Crowsnest Pass AB (Atlas Staging Area), to Elkford BC, then to east of Canal Flats BC, and back. 

The round-trip was 468km:

  1. 81km from Atlas Staging area to Elkford
  2. 125km from Elkford to Canal Flats
  3. 169km from Canal Flats to Elkford via Blackfoot / Quinn Creek
  4. 88km from Elkford back to Atlas

Definitely had to pack gas & food. The trails were mostly intermediate / advanced, but there are a few steep spots where even advanced riders may need help. By August things will be getting dusty, so we’ll likely split into 3 or more groups on the trail.

There are 3 overnights in the towns of Elkford (2 nights) & Canal Flats (1 night).

Crowsnest Pass

The Atlas staging area is located a few km west of the town of Coleman, head North up the “Atlas Road” (signs will say “Allison Creek Trout Hatchery”). The road is paved to a cattle guard, keep going north past the pavement about 3 km until you arrive at a “snowmobile staging area”.  We’ll be on your right.

Look for approximately 38 happy people with ATVs.  About 1/3 of those who have registered so far are couples.


Elkford is a small mining community with about 2500 people, located on the Elk River at Boivin Creek.  It has  four decent restaurants, two pubs, about 30 hotel rooms, a few bed & breakfasts and a small campground.  Also lots of random camping areas within walking distance of town.  

Plans are still forming, we’ll likely do a bonfire on Friday night at the campground.  

Elkford is ATV friendly, but not for going for groceries or to the pub.  

Canal Flats

Canal Flats has about 700 people, a grocery store, small restaurant and gas station, but has few accommodations.  

There’s a local hostel for accommodations.  They have 20 single beds in one large room ($20) and 3 private rooms each with two queen beds ($65).  There’s also camping available ($10), and room on the gymnasium floor ($10) for those who just pack a mattress and sleeping bag.  The price includes showers, linen & towels, a do-it-yourself kitchen and coffee.  There’s a small grocery store nearby.



  • Length : 464.87km
  • Positive Z : 5221.91m
  • Negative Z : -5229.99m
  • Z min : 815.34m
  • Z max : 2207.36m

*Please note our trail maps are 8 to 10 years old. Logging and new roads mean they may no longer be accurate. We are hoping to update our GPS tracks this summer.

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