Elbow River Launch

Lat: 50.866336   Long: -114.751984 Click to see map

You might not think the River Launch Recreation Area would be the right place to take the family for a picnic lunch. Think again. This isn't just for kayakers intending to paddle downstream. It is a bit of a hidden gem in the Elbow Valley.

Located opposite the Canyon Creek road, it has an intersting switchback driveway leading to a small parking lot. The area designated as a Provincial Recreation Area is also small. But there are 10 tables here, some with firepits. The shoreline suffered very little damage in the flood although there are some trees and brush around. More importantly the picnic area, except for one pad was untouched. The one pad is still there, but it is on the other side of a caution tape so it is unsafe to use.

It isn't the most dramatic view of the river, but, as it is up on a bit of a shelf above the river, so you see a fairly wide expanse of river. And, it is relatively easy to get down to the gravel and stone shoreline. There you'll find a unique rock sculpture built by the flood waters. It would take a powerful force to move these boulders into their current arrangement. It is worth a look, that is until somebody decides to knock it over.

The parking lot is a little small. It has a new style toilet. There is a sign that prohibits fishing in the area.

 

Parking Area
Parking Area
The parking area is located at the bottom of a switchback driveway opposite the Canyon Creek Road. Although the Provincial Recreation Area is named Elbow River Launch I couldn't see a ramp into the river. Apparently it is a good place to start a paddle down the river, but it is also a great place for a picnic.
  • Parking Area
    The parking area is located at the bottom of a switchback driveway opposite the Canyon Creek Road. Although the Provincial Recreation Area is named Elbow River Launch I couldn't see a ramp into the river. Apparently it is a good place to start a paddle down the river, but it is also a great place for a picnic.
  • Picnic by the river
    The picnic pads are up on a shelf a couple of metres above the river bed. They are nicely situated in the trees along the shoreline.
  • A survivor
    There are 10 tables here, some with firepits. They are quite close to the parking lot and easy to get to.
  • Rock sculpture
    There are no trails from here off into the wilderness, but there is a lot of rock and gravel shoreline that you can explore. It is all pretty flat straight and accessible. Somehow these rocks wound up in this interesting rock sculture.
  • View downstream
    The river itself is fairly narrow and straight here, but the riverbed is wide and flat. As the recreation area is up above the river a bit, there are nice wide views of the river both upstream and downstream. Those views can be enjoyed at all of the pads as they are all lined up along the shoreline. This small grassy meadow is at the downstream end of the recreation area.

 

Elbow River Launch Recreation Area Map

elbow river launch recreation area map

Click to enlarge. Click to reduce.

 

 

menu
menu
menu
home
e-mail
discussion
photos
facebook
twitter