Places to visit

10 Things to Know About the Suspension Bridge in Kananaskis

suspension bridge kananaskis

Want to be free from this daily world full of hustle for some time for free? In this article, we are going to talk about the suspension bridge in Kananaskis. So people from Canada who are interested in exploring adventures must visit this beautiful suspension bridge in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada.

A suspension bridge is a bridge hung by suspension cables throughout the vertical suspenders. The age of many suspension bridges is more than 100 years.

This Black Shale Suspension Bridge in Kananaskis is one of the magical mysteries of Kananaskis. It is a quite long-narrow trail with an elevation of 333m.

1. Where Is It Located?

Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash

Black Shale Suspension Bridge in Kananaskis, living in the heart of thousands of Canadians is located down the Smith Dorrien highway in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada.

The hike can be from 1.5 -2 hours to 30 minutes, depending on people’s choice of route, breaks and the energy level they acquire.

There are two routes from which, most of the time, hikers choose the longer route full of trees and mountains. People with physical disabilities or not fond of hiking can go for the shorter route from the black prince trailhead.

2. How To Reach the Bridge

After reaching the highway, there are two routes for hiking :

2.1. The Longer Route

The longer route is spotted close to the Black Prince Day Area, which is 3.05 km one way. It is more than 1.5 hours from Calgary, although it will not feel much because of the pleasant weather of the Kananaskis mountains.

Visitors need to park first at the Black Prince parking lot before walking down 300 m to the Smith Dorrien highway. After crossing the highway, they will be guided by a sign on their way to the Black Shale Suspension Bridge Trailhead, or people can easily give it a search on google maps.

2.2. The Shorter Route

The Black Shale Creek Suspension Bridge trailhead or the bypass trailhead is the shortcut trail to reach the suspension bridge in Kananaskis, which is just 0.5 km one way. It was built by the Alberta parks so that people can continue their hikes during the winter.

Parking on the Smith Dorrien highway is prohibited, so people are advised to park at the Black Prince parking lot only, and if someone does so, they can do at their own risk. When one reaches the Smith Dorrien highway, one can try to search the bypass trail on google maps. After this, there is only a walking distance of 10-15 minutes.

3. Blackshale Bridge Hike

Kananaskis Hiking: Exploring the Blackshale Suspension Bridge!


The trail for the suspension bridge hike is smooth enough, but visitors have to drive by their own vehicle/car as no such public transport is available for the trailhead to the Black Shale bridge in Kananaskis. Also, the highway is not so well and dusky enough.

So now the real adventure begins. The Blackshale Suspension Bridge hike is a short, pretty easy and fun-filled hiking path full of trees and mountains for people of all ages. Kids can play around while walking through the whole journey.

This trail is a wide path full of forest area. It is a pretty good opportunity as it is also accessible to mountain bikers as several mountain bikes are allowed to enjoy this high rock trail. Therefore, hikers must be careful from fast-moving bikers during the black shale bridge hike.

Kananaskis Lake

Kananaskis country has two lakes – Upper and Lower Kananaskis lakes. You will surely drive past lower Kananaskis lake while hiking.

Upper Kananaskis Lake and Blackshale Suspension Bridge

As Kananaskis is full of forest areas, it is also full of dangerous wild animals, like bears. Therefore, hiking alone is not preferred on this high Rockies trail and for safety purposes, people should try to remain on the trail only and carry bear spray with them.

4. Final Destination

After crossing the high Rockies, the trail would be more fun to cross the wobbly bridge hanging over Black Shale Creek. Nothing can be more peaceful than the scenic beauty of this suspension bridge in Kananaskis and the mountain views over the Black shale creek.

Sit, take selfies to post and enjoy the stunning views while the bridge wobbles.

It doesn’t end here –

Although the bridge is safe enough and there are many safety rails, if people have kids with them, they are advised to be careful and not let their kids jump while crossing the suspension bridge as it can be dangerous.

If someone is still willing to continue hiking, they can head on the Black prince trail to beautiful Warspite lake, Alberta.

Despite being a bit harder to hike as the elevation gain suddenly increases and the mountain becomes steep, it is an exciting place for making memories and having a meal on the rocks.

Black Shale Suspension Bridge
By MagicVova from Shutterstock

5. Time For A Picnic

A trip without a picnic is like tea without sugar, so here are some exciting picnic sites:

6. The Return Trip

Once people are done with the suspension bridge, it’s time to return. Tourists can get back by the same two routes themselves or they can just follow their footsteps to get back on the same trail to the highway again.

Although people can get back through the black shale creek shortcut, they still have to walk to the parking lot for their car.

7. When To Visit?

The best time to make a trip to the suspension bridge in Kananaskis is the daylight of summer.

Do not visit there in mid-winter as it is dangerous to be on the suspension bridge due to heavy snow. The closure of the suspension bridge in Kananaskis takes place in the heart of winter, although the date changes every year.

To avoid crowds, and the fun of the bridge, try to visit there early morning or late evening in summer only.

Also, check the weather news before leaving for the suspension bridge in Kananaskis, as it can be dangerous to hike on the path due to rain.

Blackshale Suspension Bridge - In Kananaskis  Alberta, Canada

8. Things To Know

  • The minimum age of a tourist can be 6 years, and the presence of one adult is also mandatory.
  • The Black Prince Parking Lot is the only parking lot people can find here. The nearest washroom is accessible in the black prince parking lot.
  • To be free from inconvenience during the trip, do not forget to download maps offline and hike-related information as there is very limited internet available there, or wifi will be available at tourist centers only. So try to have these tasks done before reaching Kananaskis.
  • People are advised to carry their own food because there are only a few options available, and Kananaskis don’t provide services. Make sure to take a good amount of water too, as there are no drinking water facilities during the hike.
  • Also, don’t forget to carry a travel guide.
  • There is not much preparation needed, but to be on the safer side, call and gather exact details about this bridge and trail to ease your hike.
  • Also, there is good news, pets can also accompany their family members on the black shale bridge hike across this high Rockies trail.

9. Where To Stay?

To ease the tiredness due to the visit here is a list of hotels in and around Kananaskis:

10. Camping Sites

If someone wants more adventure on this trip, they can head towards the campsite in Alberta parks.

Secret Free Camping Spots in Alberta Canada

People can also stay in Canmore town, but it will add an hour more to their Black Shale bridge journey.

Now, what to delay? Go and grab this great trail to live the beauty of nature more closely in the arms of the suspension bridge and lower Kananaskis lake.


The suspension bridge in Kananaskis and Kananaskis country itself is no less than a wonder. By disclosing all the facts and secrets about this beautiful suspension bridge in Kananaskis breathing in the air of Kananaskis country, it’s time to end this article.

We hope that this article has provided you with the best possible details about this fancy dream destination. Happy exploring!


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