Mclean Creek is considered a “Public Land Use Zone” (PLUZ) in Kananaskis Country just West of Calgary. It is a great spot for anyone wanting to get out of town and ride trails on dirt bikes/quads/side-by-sides. McLean Creek is nice and close to Calgary and has a big parking lot/staging area to unload quads and bikes. There is a campground there that has 96 powered campsites, roughly 70 more unserviced campsites, plus random camping is allowed in the PLUZ. This PLUZ is 202 square km’s so there is a lot of area to explore!
Time Required: As much as you want!
Location: 60km west of Calgary past Bragg Creek
Season: May to mid-October
Additional Requirements: Dirt bike/quad/side-by-side
From Calgary: Take AB-8 W for 25km, take your 3rd exit at the round-about, pass Bragg Creek and keep on AB-22 until you reach a T intersection. Take a right at the T onto AB-66 W and follow for 11.7km until you reach the McLean Creek Staging area.
WHAT TO BRING
- Comfortable Footwear: High ankle boots.
- Water: Always important
- Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy as a light lunch. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
- Camping Gear: If you choose to camp, bring your hammock or tent! Also check the links below for booking a campsite.
- Proper Riding Gear: Helmet, gloves, goggles.
- Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
- Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
- Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
- Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
- This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike
- Map: Use the link below to download the map from alberta.ca or, better yet, download the “Maclean Creek Map” from Azenza Maps. More details below.
Wildlife: You will be in bear country. It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife. Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location. Travel in groups and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.
Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:
- Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
- Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
- Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
- Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
- Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
- Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.
To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca
Below are a few links:
For camping reservations:
Random Camping is allowed in the PLUZ (Note** As of 2021 a Public Lands Camping Pass is required). Download a map of the area and learn more about what you can and cannot do on the website below:
Pro Tip – Get the Avenza Maps app on your phone and download “MacLean Creek Map” before you get out there. This will allow you use your phones GPS to know where you are even when you don’t have cell service.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.
We also want to hear about your McLean Creek adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!
Have fun out there!