Having been blessed with an incredibly mild winter this year means that everyone can hit the hiking trails even earlier.
With Calgary being so close to the mountains, we’d be foolish not to take advantage of them. Plus, it’s a pretty rewarding feeling to know you literally conquered a mountain. Not to mention if you find yourself sore after a long day’s hike, the hot springs are never too far away.
Here are some awesome Calgary hiking trails to check out this year, grouped by difficulty. Be sure to check trail conditions before heading out!
The incredible gemstone-hued waters have to be seen to be believed at this short hike just outside Canmore, which is popular with hikers and rock climbers alike. There are a few steep parts on this hike, but nothing too strenuous that kids or your four-pawed companion can’t manage.
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Located near Banff, this hike is well-worn. Better described as a nature walk more than a hike, this casual stroll will take you over a few bridges, bringing you an arm’s-distance away from some incredible waterfalls. For an additional challenge, go further up the mountain to the Ink Pots.
Lake Louise may be ranked as the best outdoor skating rink in the world, but it is also something to be marvelled during the spring, summer, and fall months as well. Follow along the shoreline of the turquoise waters for some breathtaking beauty without having to catch your breath.
Known as one of the classic trails in the Banff area, this trail is conveniently connected to the Banff gondola. You’ll reach an elevation of 2265 metres at the top, and, luckily, you can always catch the gondola down if you happen to have a few too many beers with lunch at the Panorama Restaurant situated at the top.
An amazing way to reward yourself after an early morning hike is to have tea and some signature apple crisp on the patio at the Lake Agnes Tea House. They have over 100 varieties of tea from all areas of the world, along with homemade sandwiches and other snacks. To extend your hike further, you can hike to the Little Beehive, Big Beehive, or even take the High Line Trail to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse.
Located just a little further back than the Lake Agnes Tea House (but easily connected), this teahouse is nestled right in the heart of Mount Lefroy. Try their homemade chocolate cake as a treat for your efforts to get there.
Once you’re more comfortable with hiking, Ha Ling is a must-try. The view is absolutely incredible, and definitely worth the challenge. This trail is super popular, so may be crowded more into the summer months, but that’s just more people who you can give encouraging smiles to on your way down!
A photo posted by Sarah Lonz (@s.lonz) on
Just outside Bragg Creek, Moose Mountain is home to the highest wildfire lookout point in all of Alberta. This hike definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, but you’ll basically be able to touch the clouds when you get to the top.
Another token hike in the Canmore area, be prepared for a steep haul. There is also a bit of scrambling near the top (loose rocks), but the view into the valley below is so worth it. There are chains bolted into the mountain on some steeper areas so you can navigate around a little more safely, but don’t let that scare you away!