Best hikes in Calgary

Grassi Lakes Trail

Towering peaks and lush woods welcome tourists to Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, the start of an incredible trip. The path, named for Italian climber Lawrence Grassi, goes through pine-scented forests, steep cliffs, and gushing waterfalls, revealing the Canadian Rockies’ untouched wildness.

Accessibility makes the Grassi Lakes Trail stand out. This family-friendly route lets walkers of all abilities enjoy nature. The well-maintained trail gradually meanders around the base of the high cliffs, providing lots of opportunity to appreciate the stunning panorama.

Hikers have stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys as they climb higher. Sunlight illuminates Grassi Lakes’ blue waters, reflecting the gorgeous scenery. Melting glaciers generate these gorgeous alpine lakes, enticing tourists to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

In addition to stunning scenery, the Grassi Lakes Trail provides several recreational activities. Many hikers bring a picnic to enjoy by the lakes, while others explore the minor paths off the main path. Rock climbers may try their abilities on the trail’s precipitous cliffs, while birdwatchers may see mountain goats, deer, and golden eagles.

The Grassi Lakes Trail is one of Calgary’s top treks due to its accessibility and diversity. For a day vacation or impromptu outdoor activity, this trek may be finished in a few hours, unlike some of the more difficult walks in the region. The route is suitable for families, elderly, and four-legged pals.

The trail’s closeness to Calgary makes it excellent for city dwellers who want to escape without leaving home. The Grassi Lakes Trail is perfect for nature lovers, exercisers, and quiet retreats.

Grassi Lakes Trail is beautiful, recreational, and historically significant. The route is named after Italian immigrant Lawrence Grassi, who helped build the Canadian Rockies. Grassi spent most of his time exploring Canmore’s harsh terrain as a climber and route builder, inspiring generations of outdoor lovers.

Tunnel Mountain Trail

Tunnel Mountain Trail, mere minutes from downtown Calgary, invites hikers to cross urban and wilderness boundaries. This route is one of Calgary’s greatest since it’s close to home, letting beginners and experts escape the city.

The trailhead, accessible from Banff Avenue in Banff National Park, leads to stunning scenery. The calm shift from urban to deep evergreen trees sets the tone for the entire trip. The well-maintained trail goes through this wooded environment, revealing different flora and animals, enriching the trekking experience.

Tunnel Mountain Trail is unusual in its reasonable length, making it suited for people of all fitness levels. The 4.3-kilometer circle is moderately difficult, making it suitable for families, beginners, and fast outdoor escapes. It’s one of Calgary’s top hikes due to its accessibility and beautiful scenery.

Indigenous people originally called Tunnel Mountain a natural tunnel. The mountain-circling route offers a fascinating look at history and culture. Interpretive signs on the area’s indigenous heritage make hiking educational. Tunnel Mountain Trail’s cultural integration enhances its attractiveness and fits the trend of immersive outdoor activities beyond physical activity.

Tunnel Mountain Trail’s breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies make it a must-see. Hikers have panoramic views of Banff, the Bow Valley, and the mountains as they rise. Tunnel Mountain Trail’s distinction as one of Calgary’s top treks is reinforced by the Rockies’ untamed beauty and snow-capped peaks against the blue sky.

Trail photographers and wildlife lovers will have many chances to capture the shifting scenery. Tunnel Mountain Trail creates unique moments with sunshine pouring through the dense canopy of trees and spectacular views at the peak. Each season offers a different view of the surrounding natural splendor, making the route a year-round draw.

The trek is peaceful and lonely, but the peak is a reward. The well-marked track allows hikers to find quiet spots to enjoy nature and the whispering winds through the trees even on busy days. Tunnel Mountain Trail’s accessibility and nature experience make it one of Calgary’s greatest treks.

Johnston Canyon Trail

Banff National Park’s Johnston Canyon Trail gives a unique chance to see the Rockies’ unspoiled splendor. Each stride on the route brings peace and awe as it passes through lush woods, past flowing mountain streams, and beneath towering limestone cliffs.

Waterfalls on the Johnston Canyon Trail are spectacular. Each of the Lower Falls and Upper Falls on the walk is more intriguing than the previous. The Lower Falls, accessible by a paved trail for hikers of all abilities, plunges into a blue pool below, providing a postcard-perfect image. Hikers are rewarded with the Upper Falls, a beautiful 30-meter cascade that plunges into a rocky ravine, spraying misty sprays into the air and filling the canyon with the relaxing sound of flowing water.

However, Johnston Canyon Trail provides more than stunning views. The trail’s well-maintained walkways, solid bridges, and strategically placed railings allow hikers to securely and pleasantly cross the rough terrain, demonstrating human engineering. Johnston Canyon Trail is perfect for families and expert hikers alike.

Accessibility distinguishes Johnston Canyon Trail from other Calgary treks. Day-trippers and weekend warriors use Johnston Canyon Trail because it is easily accessible from Calgary by automobile, unlike several Rockies paths. The trailhead is right off the gorgeous Bow Valley Parkway, 25 kilometers west of Banff, making it perfect for city dwellers who want to retreat without leaving home.

Along with its accessibility, Johnston Canyon Trail offers hiking choices for all skill levels and preferences. Trail to Lower Falls is simple and family-friendly, covering 1.1 kilometers each way with little elevation increase. For a more demanding hike, the route continues past the Lower Falls to the Upper Falls and the Ink Pots, a series of brilliant turquoise pools fed by natural springs.

One of Johnston Canyon Trail’s biggest appeals is its capacity to take trekkers to a world without contemporary civilization, where the only noises are the rustle of leaves, the flow of water, and the odd bird call. Johnston Canyon Trail provides a rare chance to escape screens and reconnect with nature for a few hours.

Prairie Mountain

Prairie Mountain is a short drive from Calgary, making it accessible to locals and visitors seeking a city respite. The Elbow Valley trailhead leads to a mind, body, and soul-rejuvenating hike.

Prairie Mountain’s tough terrain and stunning vistas set it differ from other Calgary treks. Hikers may work out on the modest peak climb without overpowering novices. The well-maintained route winds through dense forests, wide meadows, and rocky outcrops, providing a varied and interesting experience for nature lovers.

Ascending Prairie Mountain offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and peaks. Beautiful views of the Elbow River, foothills, and distant Rockies give a unique sense of connection to nature. The hike’s shifting terrain offers new and stunning views with each step.

Prairie Mountain is known for its 2,297-foot top. After reaching the summit, hikers are rewarded with a breathtaking 360-degree view. The gorgeous mountains and Calgary skyline capture the soul of this outdoor paradise.

An alternate loop at Prairie Mountain makes the walk more difficult. Hikers go over tough terrain and steeper inclines on this expansion, taxing their stamina and offering additional adventure. The challenging loop is popular with experienced hikers who like the thrill and challenge.

Prairie Mountain is one of Calgary’s top treks due to its accessibility and diversity. Since the route is available year-round, visitors can see the environment change with each season. Prairie Mountain has a magical ambiance that draws hikers year-round, whether it’s covered in fall leaves or winter snow.

Wildlife makes Prairie Mountain famous, along with its beauty. The diversified ecology supports birds, animals, and vegetation, bringing richness to trekking. Birdwatchers love seeing Prairie Mountain’s many birds.

Locals and visitors love Prairie Mountain, one of Calgary’s top treks. Its proximity to the city, spectacular vistas, and numerous routes make it ideal for a quick outdoor retreat. Prairie Mountain offers serenity to families, fitness enthusiasts, and environment lovers, where trekking becomes a meaningful self-discovery adventure.

Ha Ling Peak Trail

Ha Ling Peak Trail, a short drive from downtown Calgary, attracts locals and visitors with its rough beauty. The route, named for a Chinese railway worker who scaled the summit in the late 1800s, highlights the region’s history and natural beauty.

The appropriate balance of accessibility and complexity distinguishes Ha Ling Peak Trail from other Calgary treks. The track is difficult, but its well-marked trails and moderate length make it suited for hikers of all abilities. Hikers start from the Goat Creek Parking Lot and see Ha Ling Peak in the distance.

Hikers have stunning views of the mountains and valleys as they climb. From lush alpine meadows to rough rock formations, the ever-changing environment delights the senses. Wildlife, from agile mountain goats to secretive marmots, enhances the adventure.

A feature of the Ha Ling Peak Trail is the last push to the summit. With each step closer to the top, hikers feel accomplished as they climb steep slopes and clamber over rocks. Their efforts pay off tenfold at the summit.

The vista from Ha Ling Peak is breathtaking. The beautiful Rocky Mountains rise and fall against boundless blue sky as far as the eye can reach. To contrast with the immense wilderness, Canmore and the Bow Valley River look small below.

Ha Ling Peak Trail is one of Calgary’s top walks because it creates a sense of connection to nature and oneself, not simply the landscape. Hikers find peace in nature by moving with the mountains. The sound of wind whispering through the trees and the smell of pine make the trek worthwhile.

Ha Ling Peak Trail offers countless opportunity for adventurers to stretch their limits. Hikers are encouraged to enjoy the excitement of the unknown, whether they’re climbing a difficult terrain or overcoming their fear of heights. They find an inner power they never knew existed.

Perhaps the greatest joy is the sense of camaraderie that develops among people who travel together. Strangers become friends as they exchange tales and laugh along the route, sharing a love of travel. As they stand side by side atop Ha Ling Peak, looking out across the globe, they understand they are part of something bigger.

Heart Creek Trail

Short drive from Calgary, the trailhead is great for a quick retreat from the city. Heart Creek Trail is one of Calgary’s top treks due to its proximity to the city. In less than an hour, fans may experience the Rocky Mountain wildness.

Versatility distinguishes Heart Creek Trail. The path is popular with residents and visitors since it suits several hiking styles. Heart Creek Trail is suitable for strollers, families, and experienced hikers seeking a more demanding experience.

The walk begins slowly through a beautiful wooded region that gives shade in summer. Hikers may relax and enjoy the rustling leaves and natural sounds throughout this first stretch. This stretch of the route is popular with families since it’s relaxing and lets kids experience the outdoors.

The route gradually reveals Heart Creek, one of its most distinguishing characteristics. As the creek runs across the scenery, the trek becomes more peaceful. A few wooden bridges cross the creek, providing character and making the trek more accessible.

For thrill-seekers, Heart Creek Trail is great. The trail becomes moderately strenuous with rocky portions and elevation rises. This variety of sceneries and difficulty levels makes the Heart Creek Trail one of Calgary’s greatest treks. It caters to hikers of all ability levels, ensuring everyone finds the right challenge and fun.

Heart Creek Canyon, a natural marvel, enhances the hike. In the canyon, steep granite cliffs loom above, providing a tight and impressive entrance. Hikers may walk down the canyon, enjoying the fresh wind and the geological wonders created by nature over time. This section of Heart Creek Trail is unforgettable, making it one of Calgary’s top treks.

Another reason Heart Creek Trail is one of Calgary’s top hikes is its panoramic vistas. Hikers have panoramic views of the mountains and valleys as they rise. The hike is rewarded with stunning views that remind you of the wild nature beyond the city.

Heart Creek Trail is magical year-round. Spring provides colorful blooms and the sound of melting snow, while summer warms the route. Fall turns the scenery yellow, while winter covers the route in snow, creating a pleasant atmosphere.

A half-day trip is recommended to properly experience the Heart Creek Trail. Hikers may take their time, enjoy the scenery, and feel accomplished after finishing the trek. The accessibility, varied terrain, and breathtaking views make Heart Creek Trail one of Calgary’s greatest treks, drawing nature lovers year-round.

Wasootch Ridge Trail

Locals and visitors may easily reach the trailhead from Highway 40. From the minute you step on the route, you’ll be surrounded by rocky peaks, lush woods, and alpine meadows.

Hiking 11 kilometers round trip with 750 meters of elevation gain is moderate to difficult. It’s not the easiest path, but the summit rewards are worth it.

Ascending the ridge offers panoramic views of the wilderness, including Mount Kidd and Mount Lougheed. Clear days reveal the wild splendor of the Canadian Rockies in endless panoramas.

Summiting Wasootch Ridge is a trek highlight. Hikers have breathtaking 360-degree vistas here. Alpine lakes sparkle below the rocky Rockies. This moment captures nature’s magnificence.

But Wasootch Ridge’s splendor goes beyond its views. Well-maintained trails through pine and spruce trees make the trail fun to stroll. You may see curious squirrels or gorgeous elk along the road.

Off the beaten path exploration is available for adventurers. Climb rocky outcrops for a better perspective or go off-trail to find hidden jewels.

Taking a break at the peak is essential to every journey. Refuel your body and spirit with a picnic meal and the view. It’s a peaceful time in nature that will stay with you when you get home.

Conquering Wasootch Ridge may be the ultimate prize. As you return down the route, you’ll feel proud that you completed one of Calgary’s greatest walks and saw the Canadian Rockies in all their majesty.

Sulphur Springs Trail

Both experienced hikers and nature lovers can discover the Sulphur Springs Trail. The 11-kilometer walk through the Weaselhead Natural Area offers a break from city life. The well-maintained path balances accessibility and complexity, making it great for hikers of all abilities.

The various landscape of Sulphur Springs Trail makes it one of Calgary’s greatest treks. The walk passes through lush forests, meadows, and the Glenmore Reservoir. The diversity of scenery keeps hikers engaged from start to end.

The Weaselhead Natural Area’s biodiversity makes the Sulphur Springs Trail stand out. Birdwatchers will enjoy seeing songbirds, ducks, and birds of prey. When dense foliage rustles, deer, squirrels, and other small creatures may appear, adding to the hike’s surprise.

Sulphur Springs Trail offers history and outdoor enjoyment. The walkway is named after the old Sulphur Springs Hotel, where Calgary residents sought natural spring therapy. The hotel is gone, but hikers can find vestiges of its past, adding excitement to the route.

Sulphur Springs Trail is one of Calgary’s greatest treks due to its accessibility. Locals and visitors may easily reach the trailhead, which is a short drive from the city center. Hikers may easily transition from the path to Calgary’s lively cultural and eating options due to its closeness to metropolitan facilities.

A year-round attraction, Sulphur Springs Trail is magical with the seasons. Meadows are filled with colorful wildflowers in spring, contrasting with emerging trees. Birdsong and rustling leaves fill the route in summer. Fall foliage turns the scene into a tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows, while winter snow covers the route, creating a distinct but equally lovely experience.

Hikers of all fitness levels may enjoy Sulphur Springs Trail, which also offers more challenging hikes. The modest challenge of the undulating terrain and well-maintained routes makes hikers feel accomplished without being overwhelmed. The track is great for families, groups of friends, and solitary hikers, making it one of Calgary’s top treks.

Grotto Canyon Trail

You feel calm as soon as you put on your hiking boots and start the Grotto Canyon Trail. The route climbs gently through a verdant woodland with brilliant wildflowers and aromatic pine trees. You breathe in fresh mountain air, prepared for the journey ahead.

Geological structures on the Grotto Canyon Trail are breathtaking. The canyon walls, carved by nature over millions of years, provide a spectacular background for your journey. Hoodoos—giant rock pillars carved by wind and water—add an ethereal appeal to the environment.

The Grotto Canyon Trail’s old rock art may be its most famous feature. Walk down the route to see Indigenous pictographs engraved onto canyon walls centuries ago. These elaborate decorations reveal the area’s rich cultural past and remind us of our connection to nature.

As you climb, the route offers stunning views of the mountains and valleys. The breathtaking vistas beyond the horizon will leave a lasting impact.

However, the Grotto Canyon Trail offers more for those who explore. At the end of the route, you’ll find a hidden gem: a beautiful waterfall pouring into a pristine pool. You may relax by swimming in the cold mountain water and enjoying the tranquility.

For seasoned hikers and casual adventurers, the Grotto Canyon Trail has something for everyone. Hikers of all ages and experience levels may tackle its modest challenge, and its numerous natural treasures make each step exciting and new.

The Grotto Canyon Trail’s unique combination of natural beauty, cultural significance, and accessibility makes it one of Calgary’s top hikes. Grotto Canyon is great for day trips and weekend adventures because it’s close to the city, unlike some of the more distant routes.

For visitors of all ages, its rich cultural history and geological wonders offer a fascinating educational experience that deepens their awareness for the natural world and the people who have lived here for thousands of years.

Elbow Lake Trail

The Elbow Lake Trail begins in Kananaskis Country, a short drive from Calgary. This proximity makes it an accessible activity for residents and visitors seeking a break from city life. Hikers can easily access the trailhead, which has plenty of parking, to begin this intriguing wilderness trek.

The 4.3-kilometer (2.7-mile) route winds through lush woods, alpine meadows, and Elbow Lake’s beautiful waters. Beginners to experts may hike it due to its small distance. All may appreciate the area’s natural beauty on the well-maintained path’s modest ascents and descents.

Hikers on the Elbow Lake Trail experience all kinds of sights and sounds. A canopy of pine trees casts sunshine on the trail below. The cool, pleasant air smells like evergreen needles. The lovely babbling of the Elbow River and the rhythmic crunch of trail boots create a natural symphony.

The Elbow Lake Trail is known for its diversity. The path begins in deep coniferous trees, giving shelter and privacy. Hikers see alpine meadows with colorful wildflowers in the warmer months when the trees decrease. Elbow Lake, a beautiful lake surrounded by towering peaks, is the trail’s end.

The Elbow Lake reward is incredible. Amid high mountain peaks, the lake reflects its magnificent surroundings. Hikers may relax and enjoy the sights in summer as the turquoise waters sparkle in the sun. In winter, the lake may be iced, adding beauty to the winter scene.

The Elbow Lake Trail offers seclusion and quiet that is unusual in today’s fast-paced world, beyond its beauty. Hikers may relax and rejuvenate by connecting with nature without crowds. The walk offers solitude for nature lovers with its rustling leaves, distant bird cries, and gentle river gurgling.

The Elbow Lake Trail’s adaptability makes it one of Calgary’s top walks. Year-round access makes the path ideal for summer walks and winter snowshoeing. Each season has its own charm, making the route a dynamic and ever-changing experience.

For longer hikes, the Elbow Lake Trail connects to a network of routes in the Kananaskis wilderness. This connectivity increases the hiking experience by allowing hikers to explore more areas.