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

Jul 31 2018, 6:53 pm

The best part about living in Calgary is that we get the best of both the Rocky Mountains and the Prairies and that is truly an amazing combination.

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

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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 — and please note that irresponsibly-taken selfies (even if they look great for the ‘gram) can be fatal

Bow Summit Lookout

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With a picturesque backdrop of Peyto Lake, this hike boasts a number of switchbacks that gain an elevation of 230 metres, but once you pass the tourist-filled trails you will be rewarded with a view that most people would only dream about.

  • Skill Level: Moderate
  • Distance: 6 km return
  • Location: Bow Summit, Icefields Parkway, Banff

Lake Agnes Tea House

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

  • Skill Level: Moderate
  • Distance: 7 km return, half-day hike
  • Location Lake Louise, Alberta T0L 1E0

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 will bask in the stunning view the Wapta Icefields, Bow Glacier, Bow Lake, and the crystalline waters of Peyto Lake. This is one you will want to leave an hour or so to hang out at the top just to take in the view.

  • Skill Level: Difficult
  • Distance: 14 km return
  • Location: Banff National Park

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 challenge route if you’re looking for a steeper treck. Don’t forget your camera.

  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Distance: 3.8 km return
  • Location: Canmore, Alberta

Jewel Pass

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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 treck also features stunning views of Barrier Lake and is pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry little friend along for the adventure.

  • Skill Level: Moderate
  • Distance: 14 km return
  • Location: Near McConnell Ridge near Barrier Lake in Kananaskis Country

Ptarmigan Cirque

When taking his hike, you will end up in a mountainous bowl (cirque) above the Highwood pass. Don’t be fooled by the interpretive trail signs, as the couple km 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 nothing like you have ever seen before.

  • Skill Level: Moderate
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Location: 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 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 starting earlier in the morning, due to the popularity of the trail and it’s tendency to get overcrowded.

  • Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Location: Canmore, Alberta
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