Ski Touring and Splitboarding Kananaskis Country

Ski Touring and Splitboarding Kananaskis Country

If you want to know where to ski tour and backcountry splitboard in Kananaskis Country, this post tells you the kind of terrain you can expect, other considerations, and some top spots.

Affectionately known as K-Country to locals, this large zone is one of Calgary's closest backcountry ski touring spots. The bulk of the riding can be found on the west and east side of the Smith Dorrien Highway spanning from Spray Lakes in the north to Pocaterra Junction to the south.

This area is particularly popular with day hikers and snowshoers, so places like Chester Lake, Burstall Pass and other areas with marked trails see a lot of traffic. These areas are fantastic for new backcountry ski touring and splitboarding users as the transition from non avalanche terrain to avalanche terrain happens very gradually.



Expect a thin rockies snowpack with early season travel at lower elevation often being very challenging. The west side of the Smith-Dorrien highway typically sees more snow than the east side, though there are a few pockets that go against that trend.

When big upslope storms roll into this area, Kananaskis Country often sees considerably more snow than areas further west. This being said, the snow pack is generally thinner overall than zones further west.


Weekends are busy, not just with splitboarders and ski tourers but all manner of mountain enthusiasts and recreationalists. If you can time your days to be midweek, you will likely have all but the most popular zones to yourself. On weekends you will most likely be sharing your ski touring and splitboarding zones unless you are willing to walk a long way, or have some well-hidden secret spots up your sleeves.

Drive Time From Calgary

75 mins - 105 mins

Popular Areas

Chester Lake

Best for mellow touring and easy introduction to the backcountry

Black Prince Tree Triangle

Best for tree riding after a big storm

Tryst Lake

Steep short chute riding, need good stability



Splitboard HQ Contact

Edmonton:  (p) 780 463-4892 (e)

Calgary:  (p) 403 288-9283  (e)