Distance – 12.4 km
Elevation Gain – 250 M
The hike to the Mount Romulus Backcountry Campground begins at the end of Hwy. #66 on the Bragg Creek side of Kananaskis Country where the paved road ends and turns into the seasonal PowderFace Trail. A little ways past “Forget Me Not Pond” there is a parking area for backcountry campers. Which is pretty ridiculous, because it’s about a kilometer hike up the road and through the Little Elbow Campground which was full of families barbecuing, before you actually get to the hiking trail.
The trail is actually an old fire road so it’s wide and even and really easy going. It is part of the Big Elbow Little Elbow Loop which is a very popular mountain biking trail that follows along both rivers in a 44 km loop until they meet up by the parking lot and form the Elbow River. On the way in we had the trail almost all to ourselves, but coming home on Sunday morning it was quite busy with bikers. At about 12 kilometres to the campground it’s pretty decent in length with a backpack on, but the flat smooth trail made for a really easy hike in.
The route is pretty straight, following along the Little Elbow River, with minimal ups and downs, and only about 250 metres of elevation gain over it’s entire length. It’s a nice hike through the mountains, but there’s nothing exceptionally scenic about it, at least when we were there in early July.
The campground was completely empty when we got there but we did have a run-in with a really friendly park ranger on a bicycle, who checked our camping permits (so don’t forget them), and was nice enough to pick up one of our fishing rods that had fallen behind somewhere on the trail, and drop it off at the visitor centre. The campground was really nice, although the wind blowing through the valley kept up relentlessly all weekend. But with a massive pile of firewood and freshly raked ground (I think we were the first ones of the year to use it) it was a really nice place to camp.