The sun is out and the snow and ice are melting, slowly but surely. That can only mean one thing! Spring has nearly sprung and the mountains are calling our name! It’s time to lace up your boots, pack up the car, and head to the Rockies where trails aplenty await. Here are 12 of the most beautiful hikes you can do near Calgary this spring!
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Those who really appreciate nature will love this trail. Not only is it beautiful in the spring, but it’s also well worth it for experienced hikers. It does get a bit steep throughout but it’s nothing you won’t be able to handle if you know what you’re doing.
Where: Arnica Lake Trail, Field, AB
Distance: 12.9 km
ELBOW FALLS LOOP
Looking to start the season on an easier trail, or just feel like going for a walk in the mountains? Check out, Elbow Falls! This is definitely not a hard hike, but it is one of the nicest. It’s only 0.8 km, it’s family-friendly and it has an incredible view.
Where: AB-66, Bragg Creek
Distance: 0.8 km
SHOULDER OF YAMNUSKA
If you’ve been following us for a while then you guys know that Yamnuska is one of our favourite hikes near Calgary. Though there are actually 3 different routes that you can take up the mountain this is the most rewarding. Because this one does get a tad busy in mid to late spring (which is when we’d recommend checking it out) we do recommend that you get up and go earlier in the morning to avoid crowds.
Where: Off-Highway 1A from Yamnuska Trail area
Distance: 7.2 km
MUSTANG HILLS EAST SUMMIT LOOP
With a ton of wildflowers and a beautiful view from the summit, Mustang Hills East Loop is another one best enjoyed in the springtime. It’s also used for bird watching, so if you’re into that kind of thing consider that a bonus.
Where: AB-66, Bragg Creek, AB
Distance: 6 km
Not to be confused with Heart Mountain – Heart Creek is a lot easier than most on this list but is still absolutely worth checking out. This trail is perfect for dogs and families with younger kids and you definitely won’t have to worry about being sore the next day – which we’d consider a win, win, win.
Where: Off Range Rd 91A across from Lac Des Arcs
Distance: 4.7 km
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BORGEAU LAKE TRAIL
Bourgeau Lake is definitely not your regular there-and-back trail. Pack some snacks, lace up those boots and remember to breathe because this one is pretty lengthy – but it’s totally worth it! After all, a day well travelled is a job well done.
Where: Bourgeau Lake Trail, Sawback, AB
Distance: 15.3 km
This heavily trafficked trail is another pretty busy one, but for a good reason. The hike itself is pretty challenging, but it’s incredibly rewarding as long as you stay on course! Though it’s a bit difficult to navigate, it’s totally worthwhile – especially in the spring!
Where: Pocaterra Ridge Parking Lot, Kananaskis, AB
Distance: 11.4 km
GROTTO CANYON TRAIL
The Grotto Canyon Trail kind of has everything, a cave, an Inukshuk garden, dogs and waterfalls. Rated as Easy by All Trails, this hike is also pretty good for kids as well as dogs, but shoes with good grip are recommended by some veteran hikers if you’re planning on heading out there before April.
Where: Grotto Canyon Trail Parking Lot, Bighorn No. 8, AB
Distance: 7.1 km
HA LING TRAIL
Looking to condition yourself after quarantine? Ha Ling is the trail to do exactly that. This one is all uphill so we’d definitely recommend microspikes for when you get closer to the top, but wowza is it worth it. Of course, because it is such a rewarding hike it does get pretty busy in the spring, so plan to get there early!
Where: Goat Creek Parking Lot, AB-742, Canmore, AB
Distance: 7.2 km
This is a gorgeous, heavily trafficked spot in upper Kananaskis. From here you can see Sarrail Ridge and the lake which is beautiful. We’d recommend waiting until May to enjoy this one but it’s well worth the wait.
Where: Directions here
Distance: 7.7 km
This is a great one to start the season with if you take hiking seriously. Because this little guy is what we’d consider an uphill battle we’d definitely recommend bringing micro-spikes for on the way down. Good luck with this one, folks!
Where: Highway 66 just past Elbow Falls
Distance: 6.4 km
The payoff on this hike is outstanding! The views are unparalleled. The trail will take you partway up Mount Rae and through the middle of the mountain bowl. Once Highway 40 opens in June, we’d recommend checking this one out.
Where: Highway 40 near the Highwood Pass parking lot
Distance: 4.3 KM
Well, there you have it, friends! 12 hikes to check out near Calgary this spring. Please be safe, be smart and have fun out there!
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