Jumpingpound is a gorgeous hike located near Bragg Creek. If you’re coming from Calgary or somewhere east of the Rockies and are looking at getting your first taste of a hike on the edge of the prairies and Rockies then this is the one. Jumpingpound Summit Trail is only an hour and a half away from Calgary, so this one is an easy one to get to if you’re looking for a hiking trail near Kananaskis.

Pin for hiking in Kananaskis Jumpingpound Summit hike.

There are tons and tons of beautiful hikes around the province but you don’t always have to go too far to experience some great ones. Wasootch Ridge and Grizzly Peak are two fine examples of stunning Kananaskis hikes. It’s also where we’ve spent most of our time since it’s relatively close to home. Every time we make our way this way we end up having awesome experiences!

Jumpingpound is a great moderate hike that takes a few hours and is very rewarding with its incredible views. The trail is great and so is the distance and elevation gain.

It was a very nice peaceful hike that beautifully portrays the Rockies and just how huge they are. You’ll be able to compare the prairies on the one side to the mountains on the other and get a feel for just how big they really are. It’s one of the many perks off hiking near Bragg Creek. 

Practical information about Jumpingpound

Distance: 6.91km return / 4.29 miles return
Elevation: 438 m / 1437 ft. elevation gain
Type: Out and back
Length: 2 – 3 hours return
Difficulty: Moderate hike with a lot of incline
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jo enjoying the views of the Canadian Rockies.

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Why you should hike Jumpingpound Summit

First of all, Jumpingpound is at the beginning of the Rockies so it’s pretty easy to get there from Calgary and much closer than a lot of other hikes with similar breathtaking views.

We tend to try and do hikes in Kananaskis because they are closer to home but eventually we plan to share other parks as well. But if you’re looking for a hike that will give you a good challenge with a fair bit of elevation and cool views then Jumpingpound Summit is great.

Beautiful views of Canadian Rockies.

It does take some effort to get to the summit but it can easily be done under 3 hours while also taking pictures and enjoying the views up top. Since the views at the summit are absolutely amazing you will want to spend some time admiring them and taking some photos.

As soon as we got out of the forest and into the meadow we were greeted with flowers while also having the summit in sight. It’s easily the best view on the whole hike and we spent a good hour up and around the top just exploring and taking pictures of the views and flowers.

Wildflowers on a mountain in Alberta.

If you’re lucky, you may even be able to see Calgary on a clear day. This is similar to hiking up Black Rock Mountain (another great hike we did that we can highly recommend) since they are on the most eastern part of the Rocky Mountains. On both hikes you have the prairies to the east and the rest of the Rockies to the west. It’s a fun contrast being so high up and seeing such different landscapes.

There’s no doubt you’ll enjoy this hike in Alberta. We chose it because of the elevation and distance. We were driving from Red Deer and had a few other stops on the way so we didn’t have time to do too long of a hike. Jumpingpound ended up being a perfect 2.5 hour hike.

Here’s a map of the beginning of the trail

Here’s a picture of the beginning of Jumpingpound Summit Trail

Jumpingpound Summit trailhead map.

Jumpingpound Trail Guide

To start off you don’t need to bring too much for this hike. Especially if you’re hiking in Alberta during summer or fall you should be fine for most hikes under that 2000 meter summit.

You can expect to get some wind up in the meadow and at the summit but that’s why Jo always brings a light sweater for the summit. I (Dom) usually tough it out (so Canadian, eh?), and sometimes I end up regretting it – but on this fine summer day, it was ok.

From the moment you get on the trail you will zig zag and slowly gain elevation in between the trees where you don’t get a whole lot of views but regardless it is still amazing being out exploring the mountains. The smell of pine was amazing!

You will notice that mountain bikers may be going up and down the hiking trail since it’s actually a very popular place to go mountain biking in Alberta. It’s a little harder for them to start and stop so we usually move to the side whenever we see them to make their life a little easier.

Dom enjoying the views at the summit of Jumpingpound.
Dom exploring the Canadian Rockies!

This trail is very easy to follow since there aren’t really any animal paths or small trails that will lead you away from the summit. There are, however, a few checkpoints on the way up so that you know you’re going the right way. If you’re tracking your distance, you can plan to hike around 3.2km – 3.5km each way.

After about 2.8km going up, you should be out of the forest and have the summit in sight. Once you’re out of the woods and in the meadow you’ll be able to see the ridge line of all the mountain ranges and Jumpingpound Summit right in front of your eyes only a few hundred meters away.

Once you experience the amazing views from the summit, you can continue along the ridge and explore a little more. We unfortunately didn’t have time to continue past the summit but we’re sure you’ll enjoy it if you do! We weren’t 100% sure but a few peaks away it looked like there was either a hut or a helipad on one of the summits. If you end up going there, please let us know how it was! 🙂

A hut on the top of a mountain.

Anyways, we can highly recommend you spend some time at the Jumpingpound summit. This isn’t a hike where the summit is a tiny little platform so there’s plenty of room to wander off and get some amazing photos and just take in the views. We basically had our own little photo shoot up there while playing around with different angles and mountains.

When you’re done at the summit and want to head back down, you just go back to the trail you came up from. Since it’s an in and out trail it’s super easy to find your way back to your vehicle. One thing we loved on this hike was the fact that it wasn’t too steep so you can easily do a light jog down. We find this to be a lot easier on the knees!

Exploring the Alberta mountains.
Jumpingpound summit trail.

Camping near Bragg Creek

You’ll always be able to find somewhere to camp in the mountains but our goal is to try and share campsites close to the hike with you. We have a few options for you that are in the area and not too far from Jumpingpound. So after your hike, you will only have a short drive back to camp where you can sit back and relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

Jo laying in a meadow while hiking up Jumpingpound summit trail.

Little Elbow Campground

Here are the directions from Jumpingpound to Little Elbow Campground. It’s a short 20 km drive but because of the gravel road, it will take about 40 minutes. It’s absolutely worth it though because Little Elbow is gorgeous and it’s a wonderful place to camp.

A campsite is $29 a night and you can see the campground map here with all the sites and amenities. It’s a great place to stay for the weekend since there is so much hiking in the area. There’s a ton of hikes even closer than Jumpingpound too so you have many different options to pick from. Even though this campground isn’t right next to the hike it’s definitely worth the drive to stay at Little Elbow and explore its surroundings as well.

Beaver Flat Campground

This is another campsite between Jumpingpound and Bragg Creek. It’s 50 minutes to the trailhead of Jumpingpound. It has fire pits, toilets, and water pumps. The sites are first come first serve and cost $29 a night for a trailer or tent.

If you end up camping at Beaver Flat, you’ll only be a short distance away from the famous Elbow Falls. It’s a short 1-2km trail which has a gorgeous waterfall and viewpoints that overlook it.

You’ll be camping right next to the Elbow River and have the Canadian Rockies surrounding you from all sides. Basically Paradise if you ask us! If you want any more information on Beaver Flat then here is the Alberta Parks link.

Beautiful flowers on a mountain.

How to get to Jumpingpound

From Calgary

It’s roughly a 1.5 hour drive to Jumpingpound from Calgary. Depending if you’re coming from the south or the north there are two ways to get there:

  • These directions are better if you’re coming from the south of Calgary.
  • These directions are better if you’re coming from the north of Calgary.
  • When you get to the hike, you will just park on the side of the road where the hike starts. There should be other cars there as well.
  • The road is gravel for a good portion of it but there aren’t too many potholes so it’s ok to drive on. We did it in our Honda Odyssey and managed just fine!

From Bragg Creek

It’s about a 1.5 hour drive from Bragg Creek to the Jumpingpound Summit trailhead.

  • The directions can be found here.
  • If you need to fill up for gas then Bragg Creek is the last stop to do that.

From anywhere in Edmonton

It’s just over 4 hours from Edmonton to the Jumpingpound Summit trailhead.

  • The directions can be found here.
  • It’s a bit of a longer drive but totally worth it if you plan to camp and stay a night or two.
Jo taking in the views of the Canadian Rockies.
Jo admiring the view from Jumpingpound Summit.

Before you go

The very first thing you should do is check if the trail is open. It’s good to see if there are any warnings on it. If you’re familiar with the area you’ll know that hikes in Kananaskis tend to have bear warnings on them all the time. It’s definitely not uncommon to see a grizzly or a black bear while hiking in Alberta.

It’s a relatively safe trail since there are always people on it but we would still recommend telling someone about your plans. It doesn’t hurt and that way at least someone knows where you are. Better safe than sorry!

There is also a good chance you will not have reception – all the more reason why you should tell someone where you’re going. We had a bit of reception past Bragg Creek but after that, we had no reception for the whole hike until we reached the summit. You can check the recent comments about the hike here.

Jumpingpound Summit!

What to bring

This is a moderate hike so try to bring enough of what you need and limit what you don’t need. It is a shorter hike but you don’t want to go underprepared. Also, if you’ve done your fair share of hiking in Alberta you know how quickly the weather can change, so be prepared for that. Here you can see the exact weather for Jumpingpound Summit.

So bring:

  • Definitely bring a lot of water. You’re very exposed to the sun at the summit and this hike is pretty steep so it’s absolutely necessary to bring a bunch of water!
  • A camelbak is a great option too if you’re looking for something to hold a lot of water.
  • Some snacks are always nice to have. Especially since there’s nowhere to buy food after Bragg Creek.
  • Sunscreen if it’s sunny out! Or even if it’s just warm and cloudy, bring some. We recommend this eco-friendly sunscreen from Sun Bum.
  • Bear spray! You’re in bear country! 😉
  • Warm clothes if it’s cold! Remember that the weather can change quickly. When we got up in the meadow it felt like the weather did a complete 360 and got way colder!
  • A music player (to keep bears and other wildlife away). Just be aware of other hikers since some people don’t like music blaring on the trail.
  • Walking sticks might come in handy.
  • Also, this is a great list of hiking gear that you may need on a hike!

And please, please, please, don’t leave any trash on the trail!

Dom with his Osprey backpack.

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Beautiful flowers up in a mountain meadow.

Other useful info

  • Bragg Creek is the last place to buy food and gas if you take that way to Jumpingpound so just keep that in mind.
  • This hike is ideal from June to October.
  • If you’re looking for something a little bit easier in the area then definitely check out Chester Lake Trail near Kananaskis.
  • If you’re going for more than one day and want to do another awesome hike, Wasootch Ridge is one of our favourite Kananaskis hikes and it’s not too far from Calgary either!
  • Check the weather forecast before you head out.
Jo walking on a mountain trail near Kananaskis.

We hope you enjoy this hike as much as we did. Jumpingpound’s summit is 2225 meters so you’ll have an absolute blast and stunning views. Enjoy, stay safe, and hopefully you don’t get close to any bears!

Have fun!

Dom & Jo
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