A Traveler’s Guide to Hiking in Calgary, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Interested in getting in some great hikes in the Calgary, Alberta area? You’re in luck as the area is brimming with fun and exciting hiking trails of all levels of difficulty and challenge. Whether you’re looking for short and easy to travel trails or more intensive and challenging hikes, you’ll find a good variety of scenic and fun trails to walk, hike, run, or cycle on. To help you plan your excursions here is a useful and thorough traveler’s guide to hiking the best-rated trails in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Glenmore Reservoir Trail

The Glenmore Reservoir Trail is located in South Glenmore Park. It is a loop-type trail with a gain of 961 feet in elevation. The trail is easy to hike but it is a 9.5-mile trek that requires a fair amount of stamina. It loops around a lake with a variety of activity options. Dogs may be taken on the trail but are required to be kept on a leash. It’s a heavily trafficked loop trail located near Calgary, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers several activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Moose Mountain Trail

The Moose Mountain Trail starts at the trailhead near Fire Road. It is approximately 40 miles from Calgary. This is an awesome trail that offers exceptional views of the Rockies terrain across alpine meadows to a fire lookout at the top. The scenery is breathtaking, but there are some challenging spots in the hike. The elevation gain is 1,641 feet. It’s a steep trail in places and requires strength, stamina, and endurance.

Grotto Canyon

Grotto Canyon is an easy trail to walk or hike. It is relatively short with a 2.5-mile round trip length. The elevation gain is just 164 feet so it does not very step at all. What makes this such an awesome trail is the interesting ancient pictographs found in the cave on the trail and a picturesque waterfall. This is a lovely walk or hike following the creek bed to the waterfall and moving past these lovely amenities into a beautiful wide valley. Grotto Canyon is just 57 miles out of Calgary and it is well worth the trip.

Chester Lake Trail

Chester Lake Trail is located in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. This is a trail that requires a fair amount of stamina because of its 984.5-foot elevation gain. There are some steep grades to pull. Although it’s not an extremely long trail it can be a challenge. It’s worth the effort for the amazing views of Burstall Pass, a boulder field that is exceptionally fun for the kids, and a great view of a pristine alpine lake. The alpine meadows and towering rocky peaks offer some great photo opportunities. The Chester Lake Trail is about 78 miles from Calgary, but it’s well worth the trip.

 Mount Lady Macdonald Trail

The Mount Lady Mcdonald Trailhead is approximately 65 miles outside of Calgary. This is a difficult and challenging trail that holds the promise of panoramic scenery with lovely alpine meadows on the way to the top where you can even sunbathe at the helipad as a reward for reaching the top. The elevation gain is 3937 feet which means that only experienced and strong hikers should attempt the steep grades. Although it’s a fairly short hike of just under 4 miles, Getting to the summit involves scrambling through the rocky terrain. It’s an exceptional radio workout with some of the most incredible views on the planet.

Bow Glacier Falls

Bow Glacier Falls is located in the Banff National Park. It is 136 miles outside of Calgary. This is an easy trail to walk or hike. One of the biggest drawing cards for this trail is the exceptional trout fishing in glacial-fed streams, the views of the glacier, and the impressive waterfall. It’s near the Num Ti-Jah Lodge. The rail is an easy walk along the lakeshore and it leads you to the turbulent and breathtaking Bow Glacier Falls.

Hoodoo Trail

The Hoodoo Trail is located in the Witing-On-Stone Provincial Park. This is a moderately challenging trail that takes hikers through lovely layers of sandstone through the scenery of the classic badlands. The trail is well-maintained n includes an interpretive component that highlights the best of Alberta’s badlands. Enjoy viewing valleys and grasslands, hoodoos, rock art, and more. This is a bit of a stretch from Calgary at approximately 211 miles drive, but most previous hikers would agree that it is worth the couple hours’ drive to get there.

Ha Ling Peak Trail

The Ha Ling Peak Trail is best for those who are in moderately good physical condition with a lot of stamina. This is a challenging trail that features a 2296 foot elevation gain. There are some steep grades to hike and it offers a good cardio workout. The trail takes hikers upwards through trees with loose rocks and scree. It’s one of the best places to find ancient fossils though. It’s a little over 67 miles from Calgary to the trailhead.

Guinn’s Pass Trail

Guinn’s Pass is a difficult trail that is recommended for experienced hikers. It’s just 1.87 miles one way, but if you intend to complete the hike just double that for the entire distance. It’s for those who are interested in some of the best views of the Rockies imaginable, but it’s a real workout through the backcountry to get there. The trail starts at both the Ribbon Lake or Lillian Lake campgrounds and climbs steeply up to the pass. Panoramic views await you at the top.

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