Two hours west of Edmonton is a hidden geological gem known as Hard Luck Canyon. About 25 minutes south of Whitecourt, Alberta, you will find this 10 minute stroll through the birch forest that opens up to a small bridge and provides views of the massive canyon from above.
When you reach the stairs, you might get lucky enough to see Beaver Creek Falls, a small waterfall that usually overflows in the spring, from the nearby pond.
Is the Canyon Kid Friendly?
Hard Luck Canyon is a kid-friendly hiking option, not too far away from Edmonton. Easy enough for toddlers, with a bit of help of a hand down the stairs that can be steep at times, it’s an easy walk through the forest. The trail is wide enough to be stroller-friendly (when dry) and even if you don’t want to make your way down in the canyon to explore, you can view from the viewpoint and bridge above the canyon.
Watch for: the interpretive signs throughout the short trail. These explain how the canyon has changed over the years.
When you reach the canyon, there are plenty of rocks to climb on. If you visit during spring and early summer, you’ll find a small pond, and the falls that are actually running, rather than the trickle during the other seasons.
Getting to Hard Luck Canyon
From Whitecourt, venture South on West Mountain Road. From there, you’ll find signs that will point you in the right direction. Most of the road is paved, turning into a gravel road. There’s a small parking lot in the area that isn’t usually full, with room for about a dozen vehicles.
Tip: bring a picnic lunch, there are tables scattered through the day use area on the trail where you can stop and enjoy a lunch after exploring the canyon.