Foregetmenot Pond

Lat: 50.797769   Long: -114.850031 Click to see map

Located near the entrance to the Little Elbow Recreation Area, the pond is one of the most spectacular scenes in Kananaskis due to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains which forms a panoramic backdrop when viewed from the eastern end of the pond. Forgetmenot escaped the worst of the flood of 2013, although the nice gravel path that surrounded it got a bit torn up with the surface gravel washed away and the landscape fabric underneath revealed.

Otherwise the 30 or so picnic tables and some firepits remain in place. The modern style outdoor toilet and the parking lot are intact. The concern is that with Allen Bill and Elbow Falls virtually gone as day use recreation locations, there will be a rush of people vying for tables and parking places for their family outing.

The Little Elbow Interpretive Trail nearby didn't fair so well. It is gone. Also the footbridge over the river to the Big Elbow/Little Elbow loop is closed. Also closed is the access to the Nihahi Ridge trail. Another closure in the area is the Forgetmenot dirt road linking Little Elbow to Highway 68.

One of the unofficial, uncharted hidden gems is the flat land along the shoreline about a kilometre before you get to Little Elbow on Highway 66. It's a little too close to the highway to be "hidden", but it offers a great view of the Rockies.

Forgetmenot Pond is the only place where I've seen anything like a crowd of people. There were a few empty tables by the pond in early August, but a stretch of good weather could change that. I also noticed a lot of empty campsites in the adjacent campground. As more people return to the valley there are going to be pressure points - Forgetmenot is one and the single lane temporary bridge over the Elbow on Highway 66 is another. Long lines of cars and trailers are starting to form, waiting to cross the bridge.

Scuba divers use the pond to develop their skills. The pond isn't too deep, but there are some artifacts on the bottom that divers like to explore. One is a plaque dedicated to a Calgary police officer, an avid scuba diver, who was killed in the line of duty.

 

Family Picnic
Family Picnic
Prepared for anything, these folks seem to have everything covered.
  • Family Picnic
    Prepared for anything, these folks seem to have everything covered.
  • Fun in the Sun
    When you have a large group with all ages participating, the ideal scenario is a picnic site close to the car and close to the toilet. I imagine one of these people were out pretty early in the morning to snag this table just a few metres from the parking lot.
  • It doesn't get much better
    A day in the sun stretched out on a blanket by the water seems pretty idyllic. Of course, you wouldn't want to stick much more than a toe in the frigid water - that is, unless you had a wet suit on to protect you from the cold. A few visitors to Forgetmenot to come with full scuba diving gear as they explore the bottom and look for the plaque commemorating a fallen police officer, killed in the line of duty.
  • A Family of Five
    These Canada Geese must be wondering what went wrong. They had been living in untroubled bliss for about 6 weeks while all the humans were kept at bay by a broken bridge. Once the road opened again on August 2nd, the visitors flooded in to enjoy the wilderness along with the wildlife that live there.
  • Rub a Dub Dub Three Men in a Tub
    What better way to play on a pond than in an inflatable boat. I haven't seen too many people in the water as it's supplied by melting snow and ice, but there are lots of ways to play on and around it.
  • Float-a-boats, fishing poles and kites
    There is almost no limit to the number and variety of recreational activities enjoyed by visitors to the Elbow Valley. Besides the hardcore cyclists, hikers and horseback riders there are a huge range of activities enjoyed by young and old.
  • The Facilities
    This is one of the modern style outhouses, designed to be easy to clean and reduce unpleasant odours. Everything appears to be in good condition and ready for a summer of heavy use. You can't see the entire parking lot, but it was pretty full.
  • Near Little Elbow
    Just before you get to Little Elbow on Highway 66 there is a pullout. It is pretty exposed and the highway is just metres away, but the gravel shoreline offers one of the best views of the mountains available in the Elbow Valley. This photo was taken early in the year probably just after the winter gate at Elbow Falls was opened, but you get the idea - beautiful river in the foreground, stunning panorama of the Rockies in the distance. It's a nice place for a picnic.

 

More information about Forgetmenot Pond and the Nihahi Ridge Trail

 

Little Elbow Provincial Recreation Area Map

Little Elbow PRA map

Click to enlarge. Click to reduce

 

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