The scenery around Calgary is known by its denizens to be beautiful, with picturesque mountains and sprawling fields creating a landscape nobody could quickly forget. And with such grand displays of nature surrounding the city, what better way to appreciate it than to visit and explore them on foot through a hiking excursion? If you're interested in immersing yourself in nature, consider taking a hike along one of these stunning Calgary hiking paths.
You'll find the terrain will take you far into the alpine Larch Forest. The round trip runs about 8 kilometres.
The yellow leaves glow this time of year in the Larch Valley. The trail starts at Moraine Lake. If you want a longer route, you will have the option to continue to Sentinel Pass. The trail will be open during September and into early October, depending on the weather.
The round trip is approximately 3.5 kilometres. The trails are well-maintained and you'll probably find travel time is about 2 hours. Try visiting the tea house and if you do, there's some treats at the top. This trail is weather dependent and the tea house is open until Thanksgiving weekend.
Plain of Six Glaciers
At Six Glaciers, you'll find a second back country tea house. Certainly expect switchbacks and steep, narrow trails. You'll find the hike is a long 10 kilometre, round trip, from the parking lot to Lake Louise.
This trail is more challenging than Lake Agnes. This trail is open depending on weather conditions and the tea house is open until Thanksgiving weekend.
If you're feeling ambitious and can spend a full day hiking, visit both tea houses. This trail connects Lake Agnes to the Lakeshore Trail. This 14 kilometre loop will take approximately five hours. An added benefit of visiting both tea houses is if you have a proof of purchase from both, you can be entered to win a $200 tea-filled basket.
The minimal elevation gain makes for a moderate 10 kilometre round trip. You'll enjoy the pretty views Chester Lake offers with alpine meadows and flaming yellow larches. This trail is open year-round, and during the snow season, there's snowboarding and cross country skiing.
Heart Creek TrailIf you've ever wondered why so many vehicles are parked on the east side of Canmore on the trans Canada Highway, it's because families, couples and individuals have stopped there for some quick hiking. There is an easy hike available up Heart Mountain along with plenty of rock climbing. The Heart Creek Trail is one of the best hiking places to visit during the summer and winter. It has an elevation gain of 100 m, which makes it suitable for young and old alike.
If you're looking for something easy and fun you can follow the creek trail. This is a quick 2 to 3 kilometer journey with seven easy crossings that lead to a small waterfall once you've hit your final destination at the canyon's end.
It's a beautiful hike with the Heart Creek water flowing peacefully through the sculptured snow. The forest is evergreen in nature and at times you feel like you're walking through a winter wonderland.
On the Mount McGillivray side you'll be facing rock walls that are used for rock climbing during the summer months. For the adventurous, ice seeps can be climbed on the Heart Mountain side.
Once you hit the end of the trail you see a memorial bench and see the waterfall. After a few brief moments you may want to start taking back to take in all of the glory that you may have not fully taken in on the first way in.
Calgary Locations With Great Views
- Dinosaur Provincial Park: Found about 90 minutes from Calgary, this spot provides plenty of great views. The Hoodoos are believes to be petrified giants and some have said they come alive at night.
- Cowboy Trail: About 45 minutes outside of Calgary, Cowboy Trail is found. If you want to enjoy some of the most amazing prairie views and views of the Rocky Mountains, this is the trail for you. You can enjoy the sunset, along with plenty of beautiful cowboy country on this trail.
- Johnston Canyon: About two hours outside the city, you can enjoy one of the most remarkable views. The canyon provides a look at plenty of rock formations and it's a bit like a real version of Narnia.
- Bow River, Canmore: Found 60 minutes outside the city, you can enjoy one of the best fishing spots on the Bow River, along with amazing views. There's plenty of view in Canmore with the mountains, the sky and the river.
- Tom Campbell's Nill Natural Park: Only 10 minutes outside the city, you can sit down on a bench and enjoy a beautiful look at the city.
- Vermilion Lakes: Found 90 minutes outside Calgary, the Vermilion Lakes provide a look at some of the most amazing sunset views in the area. The mountains and the calm water make for the perfect setting.
These are just a few of the many great views you will find just outside Calgary. Enjoy them all and find a new favourite spot to escape to whenever you just need to get away from the city.
Explore a Calgary Hiking Trail Today
There are a number of great trails found throughout the Calgary area. If you're looking for the best hiking trails in and around Calgary, give one of these trails a try.
Justin Havre is the top producing REALTOR® with RE/MAX First, Canada's very first RE/MAX brokerage. Calgary real estate is his passion; Justin specializes in Southwest & Northwest Calgary homes for sale. He can be reached at 403.217.0003 or contacted through this site.