This is one part of Alberta that is only accessible after a deep freeze.
Thankfully, Alberta is no stranger to below freezing temperatures, which means that the ice walk at Grotto Canyon is accessible for a good chunk of the year.
Strolling over the frozen river will make you wish you’d brought your ice skates, but it makes for a surreal experience nonetheless.
Just make sure it’s, you know, actually frozen before attempting that walk.
For your own safety, please make sure you are prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from Albertaparks.ca and AdventureSmart.
Grotto Canyon is located just east of Canmore along Bow Valley Trail. It is located beside aptly-named Grotto Canyon pond, and resides in the foothills of Mount Fable.
Grotto Canyon is only one hour away from downtown Calgary, making it one of the most accessible Rocky Mountain day trips there is!
To get there, you just drive west on Highway 1, and then take exit 114 onto Bow Valley Trail. Follow that road west until you reach the Grotto Trail pull-off, which will be on your right.
Along with a picturesque river that has been frozen in time, Grotto Canyon offers a five kilometre roundtrip hike, a frozen waterfall (keep an eye out for ice climbers!), and some pictographs on the rock walls that date back hundreds of years.