Sign Up  /  Login

Heart Creek Trail LbNA #8268

Owner:Playmakers Contact
Plant date:May 15, 2004
County:Alberta, CAN
Found by: Serenity Now
Last found: Sep 1, 2012
Hike distance:Unknown
Last edited:May 15, 2004

This Letterbox was replaced on June 24/09.


The Heart Creek Trail is an enjoyable hike up the Heart Creek valley in Kananaskis Country of SW Alberta.

Kananaskis Country is a massive Provincial Recreation areaon the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains running from the Trans Canada Highway west of Calgary south to Waterton Lakes National Park.

The parking area for the Heart Creek Trail is at the Lac des Arcs turn-off from the Trans Canada Highway about 60 km west of the Calgary city limits. The Lac des Arcs turn-off is well marked.

Whether you are coming from the east, or from the west, you will want to exit at the Lac des Arcs turn-off and get to the south side of the Trans Canada Highway. As you are exiting at The Lac des Arcs interchange, watch carefully for the signs for 'Heart Creek' and follow these signs to the gravel Heart Creek parking lot.

Start at the NE corner of the Heart Creek Trail parking lot by the information shelter and follow the trail for about 0.6 km. where you will be at the west side of Heart Creek.

NOTE: There is a very informative, free brochure at the beginning of the trail that describes many interesting details of this hike. Make sure that you take a brochure as you exit the parking area.

The hike is in a relatively narrow valley that follows Heart Creek upstream. There are high ridges on each side of Heart Creek and toward the end of the trail, the valley narrows into a canyon with a nice waterfall at the south end of the trail where the hike terminates.

The mountain on your left (east) side of the trail is Heart Mountain, while the mountain on the west side of the trail is Mount McGillivray with Pigeon Mountain the next peak to the west. Weather permitting, you will have excellent views of Heart Mountain and see the heart shape near the summit where the mountain got its name.

The Heart Creek Trail Letterbox is located near the termination of the hike.

This is a pretty hike which is quite easy with an almost unnoticeable elevation gain of only 275’.

For the more adventurous, it is possible to go beyond the aforementioned termination of the ‘official’ hike. To access this area, you would head downstream from the hike termination point until you meet a dry (usually) riverbed on your left (west side of trail). Follow this riverbed around and you will end up on a higher land mass above the waterfall and canyon at the end of the hike. Up there you will be treated to a larger waterfall. The sources of Heart Creek are underground springs, melting snow and rain so the water is relatively pure in the upper reaches of Heart Creek.

All successful Letterboxers are guaranteed to see a Monarch butterfly upon completion of your journey.


Follow the Heart Creek Trail past the 8th ‘Trail Post’ to a small blind canyon (post #9) where you can hear a waterfalls (but not see it unless you walk a few paces up the creek).

At this point, there is a picnic bench on a small hill beside the trail. Proceed to the picnic bench.

Facing the bench, about 10 paces to your left is a rock cliff. Proceed toward the cliff about 7 paces from the bench and then proceed to your right following the bottom of the cliff for about 18 paces.

At this point, you will see an area of green moss growing down the cliff.

The Heart Creek Trail Letterbox is hidden in a small crevice below the moss at the base of the cliff behind a pile of rocks.

Enjoy the ever-present Monarch butterfly!

Once you have found the Heart Creek Letterbox and signed in, thank you for replacing the Letterbox to ensure the integrity of its hiding place.

Please ensure that there are sufficient stones protecting the Heart Creek Letterbox so that it is well protected from the view of passersby. Thank you.

We hope you enjoy the search and the beautiful hike up the Heart Creek Trail.

Please contact us by email at to let us know you found this box and the condition it is in, plus any other comments you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Letterboxing!