Grab your microspikes, friends, because it’s that time of year agan! From mountain peaks to the valleys below, these next few months are the perfect time to get out, and get some fresh air. Afterall, what’s better than being able to take in the beauty of the mountains with a much smaller crowd? Here are 10 spring hikes near Calgary that you have to check out this season!

TUNNEL MOUNTAIN

 

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At just about 1,700 metres high, this hike is perfect to get some views without all the snow. It’s a favorite for early spring hikers for its views of Mt. Rundle and Banff. Bring microspikes if you have them, or be prepared for some light sliding. Nothing wrong with some light sliding. Pro tip: bring lunch for a little summit picnic!

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

TROLL FALLS

This one’s a great beginner outing. It’s ideal if you’ve got kids restless from being inside all winter, or if you want the great outdoors without getting all sweaty. Spring is ideal to catch the waterfall still frozen without all the snow on the trail. Such views! Keep your eyes peeled for the Trolls. We haven’t spotted them yet but we hear they’re feisty.

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

GROTTO CANYON TRAIL

The Grotto Canyon Trail kind of has everything, a cave, an Inukshuk garden, dogs and waterfalls. Rated ‘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
Difficulty: Easy

RAWSON LAKE

Stroll around Upper Kananaskis Lake to this gorgeous spot. You’ll fare a bit better if you have spikes, but the packed-down snow means this hike is great for early-season adventurers. When you finaly make it to the top, enjoy views of stunning Sarrail Ridge while you picnic, rest your legs and catch your breath!

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

GRASSI LAKES

 

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If you’re on the novice end of things, no worries. This hike is notoriously easy while still being super pretty. The “easy” route is open year-round, and the “difficult” side opens in early spring. Take the kiddos and the dog, no special equipment or skill needed! Although, there’s a pretty dope waterfall if you go the hard way… might be worth it, pals.

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

SHOULDER OF YAMNUSKA

Good ol’ Yam might not quite be thawed enough to take on the famed chain route. However, the shoulder of Yamnuska (also called Raven’s End) clears out a bit faster. Of the three routes up Yamnuska, this one is the most shoulder season friendly. Take a jaunt up for perfect south/west views minus all the snow.

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

HA LING TRAIL

Stretch those legs, folks. While Ha Ling Trail is totally worth it, this one is all uphill so we’d definitely recommend microspikes for when you get closer to the top. Of course, because it is such a rewarding hike it does get busier later on in the spring, so plan to get there early!

Where: Goat Creek Parking Lot, AB-742, Canmore, AB
Distance: 7.2 km
Difficulty: Hard

PRAIRIE MOUNTAIN

 

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This lil guy is the go-to conditioning hike at the beginning of the season. The sun-facing slope means it’s among the first to clear up come spring. However, it feels a lot like being on a stairclimber at level 10 the entire time. On the plus side, it’s nice and close to Calgary so you can promptly get your tush in an Epsom salt bath afterward.

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

HEART CREEK

Heads up: don’t confuse this one for the formidable hike up Heart Mountain. We don’t recommend that one this early in the season. This particular Heart Creek hike is a nice little adventure with prime views, minus the elevation gain. It’s perfect for a casual outing or little ones.

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

CHESTER LAKE

This snowshoer’s paradise is ideal if we get some classic spring snow. Let’s be real, there’s always some classic spring snow. Make the most of it and go explore Chester Lake, which stays easily accessible despite the white stuff. You can hike on the packed down trail or snowshoe on the fluffy stuff. Bonus points if you build a snowman.

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

We’re itching to get out there too! Grab your bear distractions friends and get exploring on some spring hikes near Calgary. You’ll be that much more in shape when your buddies want to take on Ha Ling in July. Leave em in your dust!