19.4 miles
3,227 ft
-3,880 ft
1.5 miles
High Point


  • AKA
    Misty Range
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical rating
  • Season
    July - Oct
  • Global Ranking
  • Land Manager
    Alberta Parks

Arduous. That is how Doug Eastcott describes this ride in "Backcountry Biking in the Canadian Rockies". This ride is great - the views alone should put it on your "must ride" list. The descents are old-school - rocks, roots, creeks, more rocks - no buff stuff here. The trails are largely unmaintained, so keep your eyes open.

The route is Elbow Pass trail [fairly easy riding, wide trail] to Sheep Pass trail [mostly a fast descent through babyhead rocks with many stream crossings], then TURN RIGHT AT THE COAL PILE and push/carry/drag your bike up to the top of Rickert's Pass. From the top of the Pass, the usual route is to bomb down the other side on singletrack to the Mist Creek trailhead, but there is a route along the ridge that some have taken with success.

Cellphone reception is largely non-existent, so if anything goes wrong, you will likely have to self-extract. Not really a good ride to do solo. First aid kit, bear spray, etc. Don't go past the coal pile unless you intend to get to Bluerock and/or Sandy McNabb.

Access Info

The start and finish of this ride are on Hwy 40. Two options:
1. Leave a vehicle at the Mist Creek trailhead and shuttle up to the Elbow Pass trailhead.
2. HTFU and ride from Mist Creek up and over Highwood Pass to the start of the ride.

Local Trail Association
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Friends of Kananaskis Country (www.kananaskis.org)
Please consider joining or donating to the local riding association to support trail development & maintenance.
More Stats for Around the Misty Range mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -654 ft
  • Altitude min
    1.1 miles
  • Altitude start
    1.2 miles
  • Altitude end
    1.1 miles
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    6.1 miles
  • Distance down
    13.1 miles
  • Distance flat
    819 ft
  • view trail stats
on Sep 26, 2016
Avg: 4.5 (2 votes)

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Around the Misty... Trail Reports

Sep 26, 2016 @ 11:59am
Sep 26, 2016
Major erosion since the 2013 floods. Mist Creek Trail is in really rough shape. Too many horses on the trail in wet conditions = destroyed...
view all reports »

Technical Trail Features (TTF)


more »
292 |
Dec 1, 2015 @ 10:33am
Dec 1, 2015
Around the Misty Range
418 |
Dec 1, 2015 @ 10:13am
Dec 1, 2015
| 3 comments Around the Misty Range
368 |
Aug 27, 2010 @ 12:47pm
Aug 27, 2010
Around the Misty Range
363 |
Aug 27, 2010 @ 12:46pm
Aug 27, 2010
Around the Misty Range

4 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
flag tommo17 (Jun 27, 2016 at 9:18)
 Arduous is right! a small group of us took on this challenge yesterday, all solid riders and we spent close to 7 hours on the "trail".

Elbow pass trail was easy going, with some punchy climbs and nice views.
Sheep river trail is where things get interesting, most of it is downhill double-track with some river crossings, at km 15 or so the trail is completely flooded out, (zoom in on the Sat image) bushwacking and routefinding along animal trails will slow you down. The gps route must be really old while the Sat imagery shows that the trail is more of a lake.
Up the Pass was a slog, we attempted the ridge but it didn't look possible, too much elevation between the peaks for it to be accomplished in one day.
The singletrack down has some nice flow and techy roots. Bear scat every 100m so make lots of noise.

This trail has the best views in the area, I'm happy to check it off the list and not ride it again for quite some time.

  • + 1
flag pebeto (Jul 24, 2016 at 8:38)
 24/07/2016: 2 of us rode this trail yesterday. Sadly, I can only confirm the above. Trail to the pass hard to find at the coal pile. It is on the right side of the creek bed! Take your time to find it...... We headed up left and ended up bushwasking to the pass. Horrible....We did not attempt the ridge route and the downhill was enjoyable, as described above.....
  • + 1
flag toowheeler (Sep 18, 2016 at 8:43)
 I prefer this ride from South to North. You can ride all the climb from Misty Creek Parking to the Pass, then the ride down to the Sheep Valley is a run steep pitch.

Works great as a loop parking at Little Elbow and riding the highway over the Pass to Misty Creek.

Don't forget to check the K Country website for possible closure of the Sheep River Trail through private Property.
  • + 1
flag cbdtvm (Sep 26, 2016 at 12:04)
 Rode a modified version of this trail in a loop configuration. Start at Mist Creek parking lot, ride of Mist Creek Trail to its junction with Mist Ridge Trail. Stay right and continue the long ride on Mist Ridge trail to its connection with Mist Creek trail at the top of Rickerts Pass. From here, descend down Mist Creek Trial as usual. A long day with amazing vistas while high on Mist Ridge.

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