Black Prince Cirque Trail Snowshoe

Black Prince Cirque Trail Snowshoe
Snow covered boulder field on black prince cirque trail
Snow covered boulder field on black prince cirque trail

Sunday morning, the drive out of Calgary was on roads clear of snow and ice. I’m accompanied by two friends as we head East on the Trans-Canada highway in search of a snowy day trip. We were headed to Kananaskis country or K-Country, often bypassed by tourists who venture straight to Banff National park. 

Getting There

Directed by Google Maps, we stayed South on Kananaskis Trail or Highway 40 for 50.0km until we reached the turnoff to the right onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail. Drive 2.2km on this road before making another right onto the Smith Dorrien Trail for 8.4km. The Black Prince Cirque trail parking lot will then be on your left.

Black Prince Cirque Trail sign
Trail Sign

Difficulty Level

Black Prince Cirque Trail is a moderate to easy 4.2km round trip trail in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park ending at Warspite Lake. In winter, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers arrive to make use of the well-maintained trail and easy terrain. As Janine and Tara were relatively new snowshoers, I chose this trail as it came recommended as beginner friendly and we wouldn’t be trudging through waist-high snow depth. For a bigger workout, backcountry splitboarding and skiing can also be accomplished off the main trail.

smith dorrien creek
Smith-Dorrien Creek

The Journey

We left the parking lot, headed to the bridge over scenic Smith-Dorrien Creek and then onto an old logging road. The majority of the uphill was in the beginning, so we trudged up the former logging road. After that, the rest of the trail was fairly level and the snow trail firm. Initially, the trail was wide enough to allow the three of us to walk alongside each other but eventually, the path narrowed and we traipsed along single file on the snowshoe track lane. As we neared Warspite Lake, the path narrowed further before widening again around boulder fields. 

Black Prince Cirque Shared Snowshoe and Ski Trail
Shared trail with ski tracks (right) and snowshoe trail (left)
Black Prince Cirque Snowshoe trail through forest and mountains
Snow covered boulder field

Finally, we arrived at the frozen Warspite Lake in Black Prince Cirque. We paused for lunch and admired the beautiful white walls of Mount Black Prince. 

Warspite Lake in Black Prince Cirque
Warspite Lake and Black Prince Cirque

Before returning the way we came, we made snow angels and jumped into the deep snow, occasionally losing our balance. It was hilarious watching someone get stuck in snow, legs and snowshoes flailing in the air, and swimming in snow before army crawling back up onto their feet. 

Snow angel in deep snow with snowshoes on on Warspite Lake in Black Prince Cirque
Snow angel over frozen Warspite Lake
Snowshoers at Warspite Lake and Black Prince Cirque
Playfully stuck in snow

Taking time to go outdoors and snowshoe Black Prince Cirque was a fun respite from our busy urban lives. In good spirits we ambled back along the trail the way we came.

Snowshoeing through the forest and snow covered boulder field
Snowshoeing through the forest

Would you hike or snowshoe the Black Prince Cirque trail? 

What did you think of the trail? Let me know in the comments below!

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Looks like you had such a nice and fun time, as beautiful as it looks I don’t think I would be able to hike through that, the idea of it seems incredible but to imagine myself there would just scare me since me and cold or snow are not friends at all lol.

  2. These photos are spectacular. Looks like a beautiful location for fun and reconnecting with nature. Very pretty landscape.

    1. Thank you Jeanette! It was a great opportunity to unwind and get some exercise with friends!

  3. Looks like a great place to visit, so beautiful and with me being in a area where we rarely gets snow. I’m always here for the chance to see snow.

    1. I hear you, my uncle is a huge fan of snow but he lives in Belgium! Plenty of beer, but not a lot of snow in the winters!

  4. Ooo I would love to visit here. What a pretty trail. I always love walking through the snow when I have the proper boots. It’s so lovely.

    1. You’re right, proper clothing and boots are essential for an enjoyable time!

  5. I smiled seeing you make snow angels in the snow because it reminded me of doing that as a child and the pure joy I felt when I was doing it. I can see why you have featured the cirque trail and your photos are absolutely breathtaking.

  6. Black Prince Cirque Trail would be an amazing place to go with my Son. We love to get outside in the winter. It looks so beautiful there.

  7. Ohh I would love to try both! This year hopefully I could try this. Cheers to more travels and adventures this 2018!

  8. Black Prince Cirque Trail Snowshoe looks like a nice place to visit! I would like to go there someday!

  9. Such beautiful views! This place makes me miss the snow back in New York. I wish we had a snow day here in South Florida. At least for one day!

  10. It’s definitley lovely scenery. I’m a fan of snow pics, they always make you long for a vacation. 🙂

  11. OMG that snow!! Looks so beautiful! It sounds like such a great day.

  12. This is beautiful scenery. Lots of plush snow looks nice!

  13. This looks AHHHHHMAZING!! I love these pictures especially the outdoor scenery. Snow just makes everything that more fun and exciting! I’ve been wanting to go to Canada during snow season, soon! Will definitely add this to me bucket list.

    1. Thanks Savannah! Canada in the winter is a dream to live in or visit. Yes bucket list domination!

  14. OMG! this is just wonderful! I can’t say any words to describe the beauty of this place. thank you for sharing this one now I got another place to go on winter. Pinned and saved!

  15. Wow and in Arizona it was a high of 72 degrees today I believe, I would love to have snow like that here where I live! Although I do love hiking, I think I would be giving up mobbing through the desert in my SUV so not sure I could commit to that much snow. Would be a lovely place to visit them, great looking Trail 🙂

    1. It snowed in Florida so anything is possible right? Haha. By mobbing through the desert do you mean off-roading?

  16. WOW! What a beautiful place. I mean the snow is simply beautiful. I just smiled as I read this post and viewed the photos. I was thinking how much fun my son would have if we were there.

    1. Great to hear that LaToyia! It’s definitely a fun and easy snowshoe for all ages!

  17. OMG what a gorgeous and beautiful place. Enjoyed & loved your post 😀

    1. Thank you Siti! A great day out with friends is always memorable.

  18. Omg a snow trip. I’ve only had one snow trip but I usually prefer warmer weather.

    1. Aha a fair weather traveller are we? That’s okay we love fun in the sun too, we just sometimes get it with snow haha.

  19. Woow!! what a place. Looks like a great place to visit, so beautiful and with me being in a area where we rarely gets snow. I’m always here for the chance to see snow.

    1. Agreed, in Belgium they rarely ever receive snow so it makes me appreciate Canadian winters that much more!

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