The weather’s heating up, the sun is coming out, and we’re ready to check out some amazing options for the best hikes in and around Edmonton. After all, not only do we have one of the best (and biggest) urban parks in the country, but we’re just a short drive from some truly spectacular options for those more adventurous outings. So, let’s check it out!
Here are some of the best hikes in and around Edmonton to go on this summer.
We’ll kick things off with some trails that blur the line between walks and hikes. First up is this nice little option winding through the Whitemud Ravine Nature Reserve, which offers the highest levels of biodiversity for plants and animals in the entire city.
Where: Whitemud Ravine Nature Reserve
Located within one of the River Valley’s most popular parks, this trail offers a great way to get outside and into nature without having to leave the city. It also happens to be one of the shortest trails on this list, making it perfect as an impromptu option!
Where: Rundle Park
For even more convenience, this is our pick. Located just south of Oliver, this option is our top pick when we want to get outside, but still be within walking distance of some great restaurants and shopping afterwards for a full day of summer fun.
Where: Near Victoria Park
Elk Island National Park is famous for its wildlife sightings and wide open spaces, and hiking Wood Bison Trail will give you ample opportunity to explore both. You’ll trek through the forest, catch glimpses of lakes, and hopefully snag a peek at the many bison, elk deer, and birds around!
Where: Near Sandy Beach, AB
Length: 15.9 km
Winding through a variety of habitats, you’ll catch glimpses of diverse plants and wildlife. Running adjacent to Long Lake, It’s a long trek, but well worth escaping the city for it. You’ll only gain 337m in elevation, so it’s a great hike to bring your pup along for (if they’re up for it!).
Where: Near Thorhild County, AB
It’s clear why this hike is a Jasper favourite. You’ll traverse through floral meadows, glacier path and of course the Rockies. If you do wish to ascend to the summit, be prepared for a tricky and steep route. But, the payoff is well worth it for a view that includes Angel Glacier and its moraine lake.
Where: Improvement District No. 12
The variety of ecosystems you’ll walk through makes this hike super unique. And although it’s rated as moderate, it might be a little easy for some. Hey, what’s most important is getting out and about in nature, right?! You’ll loop around three different lakes, making for a beautiful terrain that’s actually ideal for cross country skiing in the winter!
Where: Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area, Access off RR 221 and Ball Dr
Another Elk Island National Park trail, because why not? The wildlife and scenery is hard to beat, and while crossing the black spruce bog you’ll spot some moose or boreal birds. When you get to the meadows, keep your eyes peeled! You might get lucky enough to catch sight of the many bison inhabiting the area.
Where: Near Improvement District No. 13
Length: 11.9 km
While the terrain isn’t super challenging on this hike, the distance most certainly is. As the longest trail in the area, you’ll see practically all the Cooking-Blackfoot has to offer. Of course, a whopping 30km out and back means pretty much an entire day out on the trails, which is fun for some, but not advised for everyone.
Where: Cooking-Lake Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area
Length: 14.9km (30km if out and back)
Difficulty: Moderate- Difficult
Saving the hardest for last. With an elevation gain of over 1000m, this definitely isn’t an easy jaunt, but don’t let that discourage you. The hike is worth it, going from alpine meadows lush with wildflowers, to a scramble up to the summit. It is practically nonstop uphill, so come prepared!
Where: Near Greenview No. 16
Ok fellow nature-lovers, those are our top picks for the best hikes to check out in and around Edmonton this summer! We hope this helps you enjoy the great outdoors that much more over the next few months.