Head out for a weekend of easy family hike, memories by the campfire and a little exploring in David Thompson Country.
This weekend itinerary is filled with 2 days of hiking, waterfalls and great views on trails that the whole family can enjoy. The Kootenay Plains offers a rustic experience making this a great option for those looking to get away from the crowds.
- Activity: Camping and Hiking
- Driving Distance: 475 km return from Red Deer
- Challenge Level: Easy
- Season: May to October
- Congestion: Minimal (busy on weekends)
- Dogs Allowed: Yes
- Permits / Restrictions: None
- Cell Reception: None
Make your way to Two O’Clock Creek Campground on the Kootenay Plains east of the Icefields Parkway. From Red Deer, the campground is approximately 2.5 hours west on Highway 11. If you’re coming from Calgary or Edmonton plan on 4 hours to get there.
Two O’Clock Creek is a smaller campground with great views of the surrounding mountains. On summer weekends it can fill up early, with all sites are on a first come first serve basis so you’ll want to arrive before 6 pm if you’re starting your adventure on a Friday or Saturday. If the campground is full nearby options include random camping, David Thompson Resort and Thompson Creek Campground.
Stop for dinner in Rocky Mountain House on the way or plan an easy dinner like these Lemon Rosemary Foil Packs.
Today is all about exploring the area on a fun family hike. There’s lots of options in nearby but if it’s your first visit to the area we recommend Siffleur Falls or Heritage Trail.
The Siffleur Falls trail is an easy 7 km hike taking you along a canyon, great scenery and up to a waterfall plunging in the gorge below. We wouldn’t recommend going with a stroller but younger kids can usually do the hike in 3 to 4 hours. A word of caution: there are railings and viewing platforms but any trails near rivers and canyons require extra supervision. You can get the full trail guide here.
A shorter option is Heritage Trail which at 4 km takes you past the remains of an old ranch dating back to the early 1900’s before taking you along the North Saskatchewan River for some great views of the valley. While it’s an easy and short option for the younger ones, it’s not suitable for strollers. Plan on spending 1 to 2 hours on this hike. You can get the full trail guide here.
The trailhead for both hikes is only a couple minutes drive away from the campground, starting at the Siffleur Falls Staging Area. On weekend the Siffleur Falls trail and parking lot can be quite busy and we recommend starting the hike by 10:30 am to avoid the crowds.
Try something different for dinner today and bake a pizza on the campfire. The kids will love it and it’s much easier than it sounds.
After dinner head out for a short stroll through the Cavalcade Group Campground. There are many trails linking the two campgrounds and the open meadow makes for great views of Mount Peskett, Tuff Puff Ridge and Mount Ernest Ross in the evening. If you’re filling adventurous, follow the path behind Site 6 in the group camping area where you’ll often find wildflowers and an abandoned car.
Start the day with a full breakfast of pancakes and campfire roasted peaches. Check-out time isn’t until 2 pm, so take some time to enjoy your morning at this pretty campground.
On the way home make a stop for a short hike. If you’re pressed for time, Flag Hill is a great option to get some good views of Abraham Lake in a hike that will take about an hour as a family. If you have a little more time, head to Whitegoat Falls. You’ll want to plan a couple hours for this one but the double punch bowl waterfalls makes for a great lunch spot before driving back.
If you’re heading to Flag Hill, the trailhead is part way down the hill leading to Preacher’s Point when you’re coming from Two O’Clock Creek. The trail isn’t very obvious for the first section but once your reach the ridge you can’t miss it. You can get the full trail guide here.
The trail to Whitegoat Falls starts at the Cline River Waste Transfer Station, a short distance past David Thompson Resort. Don’t let the starting point turn you off, the trail is easy and takes you to one of our kids favourite waterfall. You can get the full trail guide here.
After your hike plan on making a stop to the Miners’ Cafe in Nordegg for a slice of pie or some ice cream.
- For your safety and the protection of the area please follow trail signs, stay on the trail and respect all trail closures
- Be respectful of wildlife and familiarize yourself with wildlife safety techniques including keeping your pet on a leash and keeping your group together.
- Always use the bear proof garbage bin, keep a clean site and store your food in a bear safe fashion.
- Always be prepared when travelling outdoors.
- This area has no cell phone reception. We recommend carrying an InReach on your hikes. A pay phone is located near the Siffleur Falls Staging Area on the side of the highway.
- Information provided here may be inaccurate or outdated. Always make sure to obtain current information before going on your adventure.
There are inherent risks in outdoor activities. Although we strive to provide accurate information and to alert you of potential dangers, trail conditions may change quickly due to weather conditions and other factors. Using the information provided on this site is entirely at your own risk and Pursuit Adventures is in no ways liable for any injuries or other damages that may be sustained by anyone using the trails or information described on this site.