The trail starts immediately in a forested area. Go left at the first junction, then take a right at the Nihahi Ridge sign. You then navigate through switchbacks until you reach an open meadow and are rewarded with scenic views of the mountains. Continue on this trail which starts heading west. At this point you start ascending a steeper slope, with one area having a roped handrail. A few more stretches of uphill takes you to a scenic viewpoint of the Elbow Valley. This area can get quite windy, but there are trees in which you can take shelter and enjoy a meal. If you are comfortable with scrambling, and walking on an exposed area with loose rocks, you can summit the ridge by hiking another 400 meters.
Drive west on Elbow Falls Trail (Hwy 66) for 29 km. (Be aware part of this road is closed from Dec 1 to May 14). Turn left into the access road for Little Elbow Recreation Area. Turn left at the "Trailhead Parking." Walk down the gravel fire road southwest past the Little Elbow Campground Loop C, D & E or take the Little Elbow Trail along the north bank of the river until you reach a gate with a Kiosk which has maps of trails of the area. Continue down this road until you see a sign on the right indicating the trailhead for Nihahi Ridge. There are two locations to access this trail.
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Posted By: rozalita
- Mon Jul 17 20:31:19 UTC 2017
UpsideBeautiful views, a steady but not grueling climb and a very easy to follow trail. DownsideNone. CommentHiked Nihahi Ridge in the morning on Sunday July 16. It was very windy as we got to the ridge, the cool breeze was nice but strong. Views were great, not much scree and the variety of terrains and lots of different flowers and trees kept this interesting.
Posted By: teeny_trees
- Wed Nov 16 18:52:06 UTC 2016
UpsideClose to Calgary and hike is not overly busy with beautiful views, and some awesome hands on scrambling DownsideVery windy when I went and the first 2 kms are boring Comment*** NOVEMBER 12, 2016***
First time I've done this hike and wouldn't definitely have no issue coming back to it in the summer. Located by the Little Elbow Campground, you have to walk about 2 kms through the campground which is probably the most boring of the hike.
There will be a sign directing you to Nihahi Ridge with a map and from there that is where the fun begins. Grading of this hike was very true where it was a very easy to moderate hike with some elements of scrambling. The trail is very obvious to the South Summit where you can either ascend along the south face or fork off to another path that goes up in to the scree (I believe the west side)
Given the month, the hike was dry the whole way up with snow collected just below the ridge to the true summit. Climbing up to the true summit was fine but the down climb can be dicey so just be careful with footing - better yet make sure to bring microspikes for extra assurance. It was very windy that day and it was super chilly while traversing to the true summit but the views were incredibly rewarding. We decided to descend on the west side as we didn't want to have to downclimb on a cliff...the west side is a scree slope but the elevation is steep and with some moisture from the snow/ice, it made footing at times slippery or muddy.
Other than that, highly recommend this hike as it was fun and very pretty all the way around .
Posted By: Brouelle
- Sun Jul 24 17:10:32 UTC 2016
QuestionIs there any hotel close to Nihahi ridge?
BrouelleANSWERS are in this forum: Hotel
Posted By: ChrisMarry
- Fri Oct 16 02:59:30 UTC 2015
UpsideThere was nobody going up Nihahi ridge, nice hands-on scrambling and great scree down the west slope if you want an alternative descent. DownsideThe first 2 km is boring as you have to cross the campground to get to the trailhead. CommentElevation of 759 m NET, 871 m TOT & max 2359 m, further on the ridge.
This is a very nice ridge, obvious trail to the South summit and really incredible views of the valleys west of the ridge. We were supposed to do the whole traverse, but wind gusts were intense and dangerous and rocks were covered with ice sometimes, we had to turn back after a couple hundred meters on the ridge. Without that extreme wind, this would have been a wonderful scramble up the rocky ridge from its beginning. Otherwise, the trail goes along the right side before bringing you back to the south summit. Going back down the west scree slope is a good alternative. You get back quickly to the Little Elbow trail but do a bit more mileage.
Posted By: slickster
- Mon Oct 27 12:36:21 UTC 2014
UpsideGreat views, and not many people if you choose to go to the far end (7km along the ridge). Going to the far end is a long moderate scramble, and involves a short bit of exposed downclimbing. DownsideCurrently Powderface Trail is not open, so exiting off the true summit results a descent into Nihahi Creek (wide open). CommentDid the ridge traverse this summer. It was a long hot sunny day and I was happy to get back to the car. 5h to get to the true summit, and another 3h20m to get back to the car.
Posted By: Slally
- Sun Aug 04 03:43:01 UTC 2013
QuestionAre dogs allowed on this hike? Off leash or on leash?ANSWERS are in this forum: Dogs
Posted By: longleggedhiker
- Sun Jul 11 14:39:00 UTC 2010
UpsideOutstanding views with not a whole lot of effort required DownsideHigher up on the ridge, there are scree slopes that can get quite steep CommentThis is an excellent walk located near the Little Elbow Campground that quickly provides the hiker with incredible views. I reccomend that you start early in the day in the heat of summer as you will be hiking right in the open.
Posted By: jsab0
- Fri Jul 17 02:59:30 UTC 2009
UpsideIncredible view! DownsideI didn't quite go all the way to the top due to the extreme wind at the top. It was the kind of wind where you stand hunched over, legs wide apart, and arms out for balance due to fear of being blown off the mountain. CommentWhile this trail is marked for hiking only on maps, it was a warm Wednesday afternoon in October, and there was absolutely nobody else around, so I biked it. I had the entire trail to myself. While the climb is quite steep, it was still doable on a bike, until you get near the top of the ridge and then it's literally impossible to take a bike any further.
Posted By: mikeb
- Sun Jun 14 17:49:42 UTC 2009
Questioni want to print the satellite map of the trail, but there is just a "hand" showing on the map. I can't right-click it to print it. Is there a way to print it, or another site where I can print air photos or satellite views?
ThanksANSWERS are in this forum: HOW DO I PRINT THE GOOGLE SATELLITE VIEW OF THE TRAIL?
Posted By: calneffy
- Sat Mar 01 07:19:08 UTC 2008
UpsideWow, such an amazing view, seems like you could go forever along the ridge, always a higher summit on the other side of the one you just climb! DownsideExtremely hard in winter! Avalanche danger on entire east side of ridge. Hard to get on to the ridge during winter. CommentDid this hike in early February, hiked in from the winter gate at elbow falls and spent the night at the Powderface rd intersection. Hiked Nihahi in the morning, extremely deep snow sometimes up to armpits made for a hard climb but well worth it! Need to come back and do it again in the summer so I can cover more ground on the actual ridge.
Posted By: sisabits
- Mon Sep 10 02:25:13 UTC 2007
UpsideGreat views, lots of diversity, kids 3, 5 & 7 yrs made it up to 2200m, just below the ridge. DownsideSome very steep parts and slippery. CommentLove this area, great day hike as not too far drive from west Calgary.
Posted By: Hermanater
- Mon Jun 04 21:12:33 UTC 2007
UpsideNice hike...great views... nicely marked trails.... Our 13 year old liked it a lot DownsideToo many people. The lightning, rain and hailstorm that started 20 minutes after we reached the top. CommentEnjoyed. would like to hike it again someday.
Posted By: Bretan
- Mon Jul 31 15:48:48 UTC 2006
UpsideA rather quick hike to get up above the treeline onto the ridge. The meadow below the ridge is very scenic. DownsideDay hikers won't want to go much farther than the first scree slope. The ridge itself is a pretty fun scramble. CommentGreat hike, you can make it as long as you want by traversing the ridge (It's 9km of ridge) or go on a nice 3 hour hike to the first summit and back.
Posted By: sdecarie
- Sun Jul 09 02:44:46 UTC 2006
UpsideIt has some great view, plus you could elect to make this a very extended walk along to the complete ridge. DownsideThere are places that aren't great walking, it can be steep and there is scree to cross. It's almost 500 meters of elevation to the start of ridge. CommentIt's a decent hike with great scenery. There are pathes along most of the ridge, one can scramble in places but it's not essential