Lifestyle Guide

Guide: 10 incredibly scenic hikes near Calgary to save for later

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Spring has sprung and we could all use some fresh air BUT leaving the house can present a risk right now. We wish we could recommend hitting the hiking trails, as long as we all practice the proper social distancing, but that would be irresponsible. Instead, we’ll say put these on your to-do list for later. Here 10 incredibly scenic hikes near Calgary to check out when it is safe to do so.

TUNNEL MOUNTAIN

This hike has incredible views, with and without all the snow. This is a favourite among early-bird hikers, but be prepared to slide if you don’t have the appropriate gear. We recommend bringing micro spikes and lunch for when you hit the summit.

Where: Tunnel Mountain Dr across from the Tunnel Mountain Trail parking lot
Distance: 3.9 KM
Difficulty: Moderate

PRAIRIE MOUNTAIN

 

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This is a great one to start the season with if you take hiking seriously. Talk about conditioning! The slope faces the sun, so it’ll be among the first to clear up, but it’s anything but a warm leisurely stroll outdoors. This little guy is an uphill battle. We’re talking stair climber, level 10 the entire way up. Good luck with this one, folks!

Where: Highway 66 just past Elbow Falls
Distance: 6.4 KM
Difficulty: Hard

PTARMIGAN CIRQUE

spring hikes calgary

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
Difficulty: Moderate

RAWSON LAKE

This is a gorgeous spot in upper Kananaskis. From here you can see Sarrail Ridge and the lake, but we’d definitely recommend holding off to check this one out. Spring Avalanche warnings are no joke, folks!

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

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SHOULDER OF YAMNUSKA

yamnuska

There are three routes up the Yam’ but this one is the most “late spring” friendly of all of them. This trail is best used from May to October and is a bit populated, so we’d recommend waiting until later this season.

Where: Off-Highway 1A from Yamnuska Trail area
Distance: 7.2 KM
Difficulty: Hard

GRASSI LAKES

This one is best for the novice hiker, or someone who just wants to go for a quick stroll with the dog or the kids. You won’t need any special equipment for this one, and there’s an incredible waterfall if you got the “harder” way.

Where: Ken Richie Way off Highway 742
Distance: 3.2 KM
Difficulty: Easy

JUMPINGPOUND SUMMIT

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This one is lower in elevation so there’s really no threat of an avalanche or anything. It’s basically perfect for spring hiking! The path is super easy to follow and it’s quick!

Where: Off Powderface Trail
Distance: 6.1 KM
Difficulty: Moderate

HEART CREEK

heart creek

Heart Creek is a quaint adventure with beautiful views. Not to be confused with the formidable hike up Heart Mountain, Heart Creek is casual and quick. You won’t really need to worry about the state of your legs the next day with this one.

Where: Off Range Rd 91A across from Lac Des Arcs
Distance: 4.7 KM
Difficulty: Easy

CHESTER LAKE

chester lake

Want to take those snowshoes for one more spin before the snow thaws? This is your hike. Chester Lake is easily accessible year-round, but it’s best enjoyed when it still looks like a winter wonderland.

Where: On Highway 742 near the Burstall Pass day-use area
Distance: 9.7 KM
Difficulty: Moderate

TROLL FALLS

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Hoping to ease someone into the world of hiking? This one is a great introduction to the sport. The trail is easy to follow and there’s a ton to see including a waterfall. No trolls though, and honestly, we feel pretty cheated.

Where: Stoney Trail off Mt Allan Dr
Distance: 3.4 KM
Difficulty: Easy

Man, are we excited to get out there! That being said, let’s save all of these bad boys for later and hit them up when it’s safe to do so.

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