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Sheep River Provincial Park

The Sheep River Provincial Park lies in the south western region of Alberta in Canada, just outside of the city of Calgary. The park spans 23 square miles and lies within the Bluerock Wildland. Other parks near it include Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park, Don Getty Wildland Provincial Park and Banff National Park. Sheep River Provincial Park sits along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains before the plateaus of Alberta begin. Inside this small park lies the Sheep River Wildlife Sanctuary. Here at the sanctuary lies a permanent home for the protection of bighorn sheep.

Sheep River Provincial Park, Alberta

There are 8 named mountains in Sheep River Provincial Park. Indian Oils Hill 3 is the highest point at 6,503 feet(1982m). The most prominent mountain is Missinglink Mountain with 935 feet(285m) of prominence. The landscape of the park is slightly less rugged than the parks which surround it. Because the Sheep River Provincial Park sits at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains , it is full of viewpoints of the rugged mountains with forested rolling hills and vast basins. Hikes that lead up to some of the higher points in the park offer contrasting views of the surrounding landscape with the Rockies to the west and Calgary spanning out to the east. The park’s close proximity to Calgary makes it easily accessible for a vast number of people. The Sheep River, for which the park is named after, begins in the Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park before passing through the Sheep River Provincial Park.

Besides the bighorn sheep that call the region home, the park is also home to elk, grizzly bear, black bear, caribou, gray wolf, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and deer. While all of these animals inhabit the surrounding mountains, it is most likely that hikers will see elk and deer along the eastern sections of the park. The waters of the park are home to various types of trout, dace, whitefish and spoonhead sculpin, all found within the Sheep River.

Sunset, Sheep River Provincial Park, Alberta

Major campgrounds in the park include Sandy McNabb and Bluerock campgrounds. While hiking, trail running, and mountain biking are popular during the summer months, the park also boasts nearly 30 miles of cross-country skiing trails for the winter months.

Major Trails and Hiking Areas

Mount Hoffman Trail: The most popular hike in the park is the Mount Hoffman Trail. The route is 5 miles round trip with 1,709 feet of elevation gain. The trail provides hikers with a steady climb through the forest, over bridges, and eventually up to the top of Mount Hoffman. The hike provides one of the best views in the park with the rolling hills in front and the Rocky Mountains rising steeply in the nearby distance. Despite snow, the trail can be accessed much of the year though spikes and/or snowshoes may be needed during the winter.

Mount Hoffman Trail, Sheep River Provincial Park, Alberta

Dyson Falls: The trail to Dyson Falls is 5.5 miles roundtrip with 950 feet of elevation gain. One of the main features of the park is Sheep River, which includes the trail to Dyson Falls. While the falls are not particularly tall, the water flows down a series of distinctly layered rocks giving them their unique look. The trail is also accessible during the winter to witness the frozen falls.

Sheep River Provincial Park, Alberta

Foran Grade Loop: For viewpoints throughout the trail, hikers should turn to the Foran Grade Loop. The loop trail is 4.3 miles round trip with 1,030 feet of elevation gain. While small sections of the trail pass through the forest, much of the route is exposed with viewpoints of the valley and rugged mountains.

Sheep River Provincial Park, Alberta

Major Cities and Resorts


Located an hour and a half northeast of the Sheep River Provincial Park, lies the city of Calgary, Alberta. This major city is located at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow Rivers in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. The city has a population of 1.4 million making it the fourth largest city in the entire country of Canada. Due to its proximity to the mountains, Calgary is a popular destination for outdoor sports. In the summer months the city is full of hiking, running, and mountain biking trails. In the winter months the area is full of skiing, cross-country skiing, hockey, and snowshoeing.

Calgary, Canada


Banff is an iconic resort town located in Alberta, Canada and is located two hours northwest of the Sheep River Provincial Park. The city is located within the Banff National Park which sits in the Rocky Mountains . The crystal blue waters of Lake Louise have been named as one of the most beautiful places in Canada, as well as the world. During the summer months the town is full of tourists looking for their next outdoor activity. In the winter months skiing, snow shoeing, and cross-country skiing are available due to the proximity to the mountains. Banff National Park was the first park to be established within the country. The city sits just two hours northeast to the east side of Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park.

Banff, Alberta

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