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6 Challenging Hikes Near Calgary That Are Worth The View

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Hello, nature lovers! Calgary’s summer is in full swing and after months of being cooped up in the city, it’s high time to get outdoors. After all, some of the best hiking trails you’ll find just about anywhere surround Calgary, so now is as good a time as any to take advantage of them. But, you’ll have to do that safely. That’s precisely why we’ve teamed up with Mark’s to put together this little list of some fantastic hikes near Calgary. 

mark's hikes calgary

Mark’s has been working directly with government agencies and public health for over a decade to introduce Canadians to a revolutionary new product – WindRiver Tick and Mosquito-Repellent clothing and accessories. This collection has permethrin bonded into the fabric to offer odourless and invisible protection against ticks and mosquitoes. We’re talking shorts, shirts, jackets, pants, and even hats!

So, when you’re venturing out to these gorgeous hikes near Calgary, set yourself up with some WindRiver gear. Let Mark’s take care of your worries about ticks and mosquitoes, so you can take care of that mountain in front of you.

TENT RIDGE

There’s a reason this hike is rated so highly by avid Canadian hikers. With a wide variety of terrain ranging from larch forests, meadows lush with wildflowers, scree slopes, and narrow and exposed ridges, this hike has a little bit of something for everyone. Oh, it’ll also serve up some of the most majestic panoramic views of Spray Lakes, Kananaskis, and the southeastern tip of Banff National Park.

Where: Near Canmore
Distance: 10km 
Difficulty: Difficult 

RAWSON LAKE

This is a gorgeous spot in upper Kananaskis. Once you hike up to Rawson Lake, you can either continue on to Sarrail Ridge for a more strenuous hike or stop and soak up the views of the lake before heading back to the trailhead. 

Where: Near the Upper Kananaskis Lake day-use area
Distance: 8.9km
Difficulty: Moderate 

MOUNT LADY MACDONALD

This hike might be a challenge, but oh boy- is the payoff ever worth it. Saying the views from the top are magnificent is an understatement, so it’s definitely worth the tricky scramble and steep ascent. Just make sure you bring enough water, hydration is key, folks!

Where: Near Canmore
Distance: 9.8km 
Difficulty: Difficult 

POCATERRA RIDGE

Bring an offline map just in case, cell reception is a bit tricky and the trails aren’t well marked. Don’t let that deter you though, because this trail has some of the most breathtaking 360-degree views along the way. Keep this one in mind for the fall too, because it’s one of the best to check out the changing colours of the larch trees come mid-September. 

Where: Near Kananaskis Improvement 
Distance: 10.3km 
Difficulty: Moderate 

SMUTWOOD PEAK

Okay, so this one is not for the faint of heart, but it is for those who are looking for a challenging hike with incredible views of the two jagged peaks of Mount Smutwood and Birdwood. During the scramble, you’ll forget all about the difficulty while enjoying the views of a Mountain Creek, Alpine lake, and waterfalls.

Where: Near Canmore 
Distance: 17.9km
Difficulty: Difficult 

HEART MOUNTAIN HORSESHOE HIKE

This horseshoe trail gives you big mountain views while summiting three peaks. You’ll also catch glimpses of a glacial lake, however, if you’re not feeling a big hike, check out Heart Creek. It’s an easier option that gives you some great views of a waterfall so you won’t have to compromise on some nice scenery. 

Where: Near Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8 
Distance: 11.7km 
Difficulty: Difficult 

mark's hikes calgary

There you have it, folks! Don’t forget to check trail conditions before you head out, and always make sure someone back home knows where you’ll be going. Happy hiking!

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