Distance: 12 km
Elevation gain: ~200 m (very gradual)View mapDownload GPS track
This is a piece-of-cake easy snowshoe trip that is great for a family, those testing out questionable or new gear, or, like us, those that just haven't been out in awhile and didn't feel like working too hard.
The "route" starts at the northern closure of Highway 40 (at the Kananaskis lakes turnoff) and simply follows the highway for as long as you want. We chose to snowshoe to the Valleyview Road turnoff (signed as "Elpoca"), then head up Opal Creek towards some ice climbing routes. While the map labels the major waterfall as Opal Falls, ice climbers refer to it as Whiteman Falls. Regardless, those without ice climbing gear are stopped well before this larger waterfall as a series of smaller vertical ice climbs in a canyon block your progress.
We returned to the car at this point, but the Valleyview Road continues for several more kilometers, eventually reconnecting with Highway 40 near the north end of Pocaterra Ridge or Gap Mountain. It really is a case of simply going as far as you feel like!