Little Buddha via Powderface: Trail Report

Little Buddha via Powderface: Trail Report

If you’re looking for a quick win with big views, you might be looking for Little Buddha via Powderface. It’s a win. I mean really, you could even work a full day first and manage to hike this one before sunset. I can’t say much expect that this hike was a lot of fun and the views exceeded expectation.

Suggested Stops

The Heart of Bragg Creek cafe pretty much has my heart. The cafe and yoga studio not only has an oh-so-very-instagramable environment but serves up some mean vegan dishes and treats. Actually, we discovered this cafe through instagram. The first time, ordering all-the-carbs. Because really, it’s all delicious. A clear stand out however was the avocado toast and oat milk lattes. Oh, and if you happen to be there when they make cinnamon rolls, do yourself a solid and have one. #littlepieceofheaven

Important Insights

Verify that route 66 is open prior to attempting this hike. Watch for livestock on the road.

Land Acknowledgement

These are the lands of the Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ (Blackfoot / Niitsítapi ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ), Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis, Stoney, Tsuu T'ina, and Michif Piyii (Métis) people.⁠ It is important as avid hikers and stewards of the land, to acknowledge and understand the full story our surroundings along with the people that care for her, both past and present. As sourced from, if there are corrections please send to

Land Management

Little Buddha via Powderface Trail in Kananaskis is managed by Alberta Parks.

GPS Coordinates

50.805528581567266, -114.84121473022813

Street Address

Powderface Ridge, Bragg Creek, AB T0L 0K0


50km (40min) drive from Calgary or 90km (55min) drive from Canmore. From Hwy 1, take the 22 South (Exit 161A, nearest the PetroCan) towards Bragg Creek. Drive 17kms on the 22 to Bragg Creek. Take the 758 towards Kananaskis. Turn right (west) on Route 66. Follow route 66 into the park. Parking and trailhead will be indicated by signs and on the right side.


Large parking lot at trailhead.

Cell Reception



Outhouses located at the parking lot.



Trail Details

Entrance Fee

Hours of Operation

Open year round, best used May-November.

Trail Map

Available from the Parks Canada.


Located at the parking lot.

Number of Trails


Total Distance (km)


Elevation Gain (m)


Cell Reception





Hiking, Snowshoeing


Permitted on-leash

Trail Description

Powderface Trail: This section of the trail is excellent. The path is wide, cleared, and has a mild incline in sections. Basically, it’s a lovely walk in the woods. If you’re hiking in the winter though, having micro spikes is a nice bonus. #gamechanger It was my first time using them and the grip = confidence = more enjoyable hiking. The trail leads through the treed area to the little wooden bridge, from that point there’s only another 350-400m to go before reaching the start of the switchbacks leading up to Little Buddha. Little Buddha Trail: Thank goodness for switchbacks! The trail looks like it goes straight up, but no fear, there’s actually about a dozen switchbacks that take you up. That said, it challenged my cardio. Ha ha, maybe more trail running training is in order! Ouff. Managed a semi constant pace. And even though my hiking buddy is part mountain goat, she’s used to my trail speed and was great at enjoying the views at each turn while I caught up. At the top of the switchback you come to a large rock area that is often used by climbers for bouldering. In the summer months, keep to the trail’s right to give the climbers room! From there, the trail follows the side of the boulders, with a few sections of loose rocks. This is perhaps the most technical part of the hike, yet completely manageable. If you have a fear of heights this might be a challenge. The exposed areas are only for three short sections, and you’re there! An almost panoramic view offering up the surrounding mountains and Elbow Valley.

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