Whitegoat Falls

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An easy hike along Abraham Lake

One of our kids favourite trail, the Whitegoat Falls trail takes you to a double punch bowl set of waterfalls on a pretty creek.

It seems that most of the times I’ve been to Whitegoat Falls the area was filled with smoke from wildfires in British Columbia. It might just be that the wildflowers along the trail, the close-up views of the falls and the low elevation gain make up for the hazy skies, putting it at the top of our list on those types of days.

The Bighorn Backcountry might be close to the national parks and urban centres but it still has a remote feel to it. This includes the naming of creeks and natural features where informal names often prevail. You won’t find names on the map for places like Hoodoo Creek and others like Whitegoat Creek (official name) is signed as Cline Creek at the highway, an unofficial name (the official Cline Creek is a tributary of the Brazeau River). Historically, the Cline River was named White Goat River, further confusing places along the David Thompson Highway.

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Head Out On Your Own

Sometimes you just want to head out on your own to explore the area. We get it. Here’s the guide for the Whitegoat Falls trail.

The Map

The Journey

The Distances

  • 0.1 km | Whitegoat Creek Trail
  • 0.9 km | Whitegoat Falls Trail Junction
  • 1.2 km | Junction
  • 1.3 km | Junction
  • 1.3 km | Stream Crossing
  • 1.5 km | Stream Crossing
  • 1.5 km | Whitegoat Falls

The Waste Transfer Station

The trail starts at the Cline Waste Transfer Station. This might not sound like the best spot to start a hike but you’ll soon forget about it as you make your way up to the falls.

Follow the trail on the left heading around the fenced-in area to make your way across to the other side of the transfer station. At this point, a sign marks the Whitegoat Creek Trail. Follow the wide trail up the gentle hill through the forest.

The Whitegoat Falls Trail

After 900 metres there is a well-marked junction on the left. This is the trail to Whitegoat Falls. Follow the narrower path into the forest, making your way down the hill toward the creek. 

The Canyon

At the next junction make your way 30 metres past the sign indicating Whitegoat Falls to some nice views of the V-shaped gorge. Return to the junction and follow the sign.

Crossing the Creek

A few metres past the junction there is another junction. The trail on the right is the one described in David Thompson Highway Hiking Guide but we recommend taking the trail on the left at this point. It leads to a somewhat steep hill down to the creek but it is a much easier option than the hill at the end of the trail on the right. At the bottom of the hill, cross the stream on the log and make your way up along the stream bed.

The Falls

Approximately 200 metres later you come to another stream crossing with multiple logs set up across the creek. As soon as you cross the creek you find out that you are standing at the bottom of the falls, hidden until that point by the rock wall. This makes for a great lunch spot, relaxing below the falls.

The Return Trail

There are a couple of options for the return to the trailhead. The easiest option is to retrace your footsteps back to the waste transfer station. Another option is to make it up the steeper hill mentioned earlier. It’s easier to go up than down and this will take you up along the bench overlooking the creek and with views of the waterfalls from above.

To go this way, look along the trees at the bottom of the hill for signs of a trail or follow the obvious trail at the base of the falls going up. Make your way up the hill to a junction and head right. Looking back at the waterfalls makes for great views with Mount Stelfox in the background. Follow the trail to the junction from earlier and retrace your footsteps from there back to the trailhead.

At the junction overlooking the canyon, you can either follow your tracks back to the trailhead or follow the trail along the creek. This trail is less obvious in sections but provides a nice option to return to the trailhead.

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You can find us at the Nordegg Canteen:
4 Stuart Sreet, Nordegg, AB, T0M 2H0

We acknowledge that the land on which we gather, explore and adventure is home to the Îyârhe Nakoda First Nation and the Smallboy Mountain Cree, part of the Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 Territories, part of the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3, and has been the traditional meeting ground for many Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial. We are grateful for the stewardship of these lands along with the knowledge, traditions, and teachings that have been passed down through generations.

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