I use the term ‘hiking’ loosely on this adventure with kids, since the whole loop around Hard Luck Canyon to get in and back out to the parking lot is less than a kilometer – but it’s an easy walk that the kids did in flip flops and a swimsuit, in the case of Violet.
Walking through the loop, they are all easy to follow gravel paths that will have you at the staircase to enter down into the canyon, before the kids are wondering if you’re there yet. When you get to the staircase, it’s the only part that’s a bit difficult where smaller kids might need a bit of a hand across. There’s a small, initially steep decline to get to the stairs, but the kids were fine scooting on their bums. Across, you’re going to want to take the hands of small kids, or swing them across, in the case of Jamie.
Make the trek down the steep stairs into the canyon, it’s worth it. There are rocks to climb, you can see the area where the falls come down after it rains and there are some great little creekfalls to walk through. If you didn’t just finish going swimming, you could even check out the area of water that would make a fun little swimming hole for kids (it looks about five feet deep, so bring a couple of floaties because it looks like it gets deeper than their heads – but it’s small, totally worth a wade).
Along the trail, there are day use areas with fire pits and picnic tables that would make a fun place to explore and set up lunch when you’ve finished running through the canyon, throwing rocks, climbing on the flat rocks, playing and jumping.
Jamie climbed up the opposite side, the kids wanted to follow but they couldn’t make it up the steep incline. It was a cool area that made you feel like you were more in the mountains than you were, and in reality it’s just a quick drive outside of the other side of Whitecourt – Get the map.
There are logs to sit on and play on, small brooks to get your feet wet in and so many large rocks to climb on and treasures to find. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon, especially if you’re checking out the river slides in the area and want a detour for the way home, or the way that has something more to explore in Woodland County.
Tip: If you don’t want to make the trek into the Canyon, you can stay at the lookout area on the top. Our kids are six and three, and were just fine exploring through the canyon and wading into the small swimming hole.