6 jaw-droppingly beautiful hikes to take near Calgary this summer

May 28 2021, 2:20 pm

As recommended by health officials, if you choose to participate in events outside of your home, please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing, mask-wearing, and frequent handwashing. If you are sick, please stay home.

The best part about living in Calgary is that we have easy access to both the Rocky Mountains and the prairies, which is a truly amazing combination.

As a result, there are some unbelievably beautiful hikes that surround our city just waiting to be explored.

Even if you’re not an avid hiker, many of these trails are short and not too strenuous, but enough to make the view 100% worth it when you get to the top. Anything for the ‘gram, right?

Up for the challenge? Get outdoors this summer and check out these seven magnificent hikes.

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. Always remember to leave no trace, pack out what you pack in, stick to designated trails, and refrain from feeding wildlife. Parks Canada visitor guidelines are available¬†here¬†‚ÄĒ and please note that irresponsibly-taken selfies (even if they look great for the ‚Äėgram)¬†can be fatal.¬†

Lake Agnes Tea House

You will begin your trek to this iconic tea house at the base of Chateau Lake Louise. Hikers then climb one to two hours past Mirror Lake and the waterfalls that run from the mesmerizing Lake Agnes. Treat yourself to specialty teas and decadent homemade baking before turning around, or continue to the High Line Trail or the Lake Agnes Lookout.

  • Skill Level: Moderate
  • Distance: 7 kilometre return, half-day hike
  • Location: Lake Louise, Alberta

Cirque Peak

Located directly beside the beautiful waters of Helen Lake, this hike presents an easy scramble for those just getting into the hiking mode. When you reach the narrow ridge at the top, you’ll bask in a stunning view of the Wapta Icefields, Bow Glacier, Bow Lake, and the crystalline waters of Peyto Lake. This is one where you’ll want to leave an hour or so to hang out at the top just to take in the view.

  • Skill Level: Difficult
  • Distance: 14 kilometre return
  • Location: Improvement District No. 9 near Bow Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta

Grassi Lakes


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A well-worn but classic hike that never fails to leave visitors mesmerized. This is a great hike if you’re bringing the whole family along, but there is also a more challenging route if you’re looking for a steeper trek. Don’t forget your camera.

  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Distance: 3.8 kilometre return
  • Location: Ken Richie Way, Canmore, Alberta

Jewel Pass

This hike is a beautiful loop that, depending on which way you begin (clockwise or counterclockwise), will range in difficulty due to the changes in elevation and incline. This trek also features stunning views of Barrier Lake and is pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for the adventure.

  • Skill Level: Moderate
  • Distance: 14 kilometre return
  • Location: Barrier Lake, Kananaskis, Alberta

Ptarmigan Cirque

When taking this hike, you will end up in a mountainous bowl (cirque) above the Highwood Pass. Don’t be fooled by the interpretive trail signs, as this several-kilometre hike can be a bit steep and surprisingly strenuous. However, you will be heavily rewarded if you stick with it, as the landscape of the cirque area is like nothing you have ever seen before.

  • Skill Level: Moderate
  • Distance: 5 kilometres
  • Location: Highway 40, Kananaskis, Alberta

Ha Ling Peak


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The trail up to Ha Ling definitely does not let you off easy. This is not a hike you should try if you’re new to the sport, but it will be one of your best accomplishments once you work your way up to the challenge. It’s a moderate scramble, to say the least, but the views at the top are definitely worth the extra effort. It’s recommended to go on this hike during the week, or start earlier in the morning, due to the popularity of the trail and its tendency to get overcrowded.

  • Skill Level: Moderate to difficult
  • Distance: 8 kilometres
  • Location: Highway 742, Canmore, Alberta
Kristy ArchibaldKristy Archibald

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