Most frequently hiked in portions, this trail varies from an urban environment near Edmonton to wilderness landscape in Elk Island National Park. Check out the details and download the guide for the Quarry Lake hike. NOTE: The Bow Valley Parkway is closed to vehicle traffic for the remainder of 2020 and access to the Johnston Canyon parking lot is via hike or bicycle only. The best way to explore Alberta’s landscape is on two feet. The trailhead begins on the north side of St. Julien Road. Drive south of Jasper on the Icefields Parkway. Dinosaur Provincial Park is located about 48 kilometres northeast of Brooks. Leigh McAdam. Download an offline map for the Wilcox Pass hike to help navigate when you’re out there. How do I get to Johnston Canyon trailhead? The last leg of the climb to the summit can be tricky for an inexperienced hiker, so take this into consideration and stay safe. Time: 2–3 hours. Be careful around the ledge at the top. Pin me! Download our route map of the Prairie Mountain hike to help you find your way. When you’ve emerged, you might spot some of Park Canada’s Red Chairs along the ridge—excellent for a photo, but perhaps too cold to stick around. Want to see where these hikes rank against Canada's greatest hikes? Details: The Tonquin Valley offers scenery you won’t soon forget, and is touted as a “must do” for all serious backpackers. Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team. 20/19. Check out the Johnston Canyon trail guide and take your family on a winter adventure to see frozen waterfalls. Once at the top, you have amazing views: you can see Fiddle River Valley, Mount Drinnan, the Miette Range, Utopia Mountain and Ashlar Ridge. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email. P.P.S: If you're in need of quality hiking gear, check this out. Start early, end early, is the best hiking advice I’ve ever received. Subscribe to Calgary for all the latest and greatest stories. Difficulty. Read more about our, 25 Incredible Hiking Trails in British Columbia, Hoodoo Trail in Writing on Stone Provincial Park, 16 Best Hikes in Banff, Jasper and Waterton Lakes National Parks. This is much more than a casual walk in the park—prepare to work up a sweat on the Prairie Mountain Trail. Elevation: Minimal Turn south onto the hot springs road, park in the parking lot and follow the signs. Access this trail via the Wishbone Trailhead by hiking or cycling 6.5 kilometres to the Vimy Peak junction or arrange a boat ride to cut off the initial 6.5 kilometres. Regions. This park contains a part of the Icefields Parkway, possibly one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful stretches of highway in the world, if you’re into ancient glaciers, massive mountains, and frozen glacial lakes—and we have a feeling that you are! Did these 25 hikes inspire you to get outside and explore more? Jasper National Park is a treasure! It really is one of the best hikes in Alberta for most abilities. Crypt Lake – Waterton Lakes National Park. Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Alberta with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for a longer trek, continue on for another 2.5 kilometres and hike 200 metres up to Sentinel Pass. Best Larch Hikes in Banff, Alberta. Make another right on the Edith Cavell Road and drive 15 kilometres to the parking lot at the end of the road. Table Mountain, Castle Provincial Park. Details: This trail is fairly flat and will take you on a loop around Flying Shot Lake, on the south side of the park. This is a superb choice for kids—it’s a short distance, but you could spend hours in these narrow caves letting imaginations run wild with fantasies of ice princes and princesses! The trail can be a little tricky to find when some snow has fallen, so check our guide on the Mesa Butte trail and download the GPS map to make sure you find the proper trail. Trees surround the lakes, and there are tons of great spots to have a snack or a hot drink. From there it’s an 8.7-kilometre hike one way and rises up to 1,981 metres (elevation gain of 695 metres). Elevation: 60m How do I get to Blakiston Valley trailhead? There’s the option of day and multi-day hikes, with alpine hut accommodation available. When thinking of geological wonders, Jasper National Park springs to mind, and the Maligne Canyon trail jumps to the top of the list. Best Winter Hikes in Jasper National Park, Recommended Packing List for Winter Hikes, An Extensive Guide to Big Bend National Park, The Complete Guide to Camping in the Lakes District, Zion National Park in Winter: Things to Do for Outdoor Lovers, Hike with a buddy and bring a satellite messenger as cell service is sporadic or non-existent, National park roads generally well-maintained, but there can be ice patches, Driving conditions deteriorate during and following a snowstorm, Drive slowly and make sure you have snow tires, Many hikes go through avalanche terrain—always check the, Trail guide and offline map—you can download route guides from, Satellite communication device if venturing far from service or in avalanche terrain. Just make sure to prepare properly. Bloggers who have lived the adventure:Tanya from RockiesFamilyAdventure.comKarlie at MissWanderlust.ca, Closest city: Sherwood ParkLength: 5.8 kmTime: 2 hoursDifficulty: Moderate. Just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean you can’t hike. No dogs allowed. Picklejar Lakes Hike: The route to Picklejar Lakes is often voted as one of the best hikes in the Kananaskis region, offering varied terrain and magnificent views. Distance: 3.5km Walking through the meadows, you’ll be among jagged, snowy peaks, making a lovely backdrop from some winter family pics. Elevation: 300m 12 of the best winter hikes and snowshoe trips in Alberta . You might even forget for a second that you’re in the city! Distance: 11.8km Perched on the edge of Banff National Park, Canmore is a Rocky Mountain destination with a difference! The trail climbs out of the meadow and past the treeline rather steeply. From short, easy walks around blue-green lakes to demanding treks up muddy paths, these hikes have the best eye-candy the province can offer. From the high point of the ridge you’ll feel as though you’re floating on top of the earth. The Hoodoo Trail, is a stunning 4.0 km (2.5 mi) out-and-back interpretative hike in Canada’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, Writing-on-Stone /Aisinai’pi, located in the southeast corner of Alberta. How do I get to Vimy Peak trailhead? Remember to stay in designated areas and be careful in the slippery spray. Fall – my favourite season of the year and the best time to hike in Alberta. If you’re completing the whole trail and starting from Canmore, driving isn’t necessary, a blessing in the winter. Closest city: Fort Smith Length & Time: VariesDifficulty: Easy. In between the bustling city of Calgary and the tourist mecca of Banff National Park lies a hidden gem of hiking trails, lakes, waterfalls, and mountains. Awesome Alberta: Horseshoe Lake will be your new favourite swimming spot; Awesome Alberta: Larch Valley is a must hike … This vast, beautiful national park is home to towering peaks, iridescent turquoise lakes, lush forests and vast wildflower meadows. Time: 3–6 hours. 11 KM Return. The colours of the leaves are slowly changing, turning the forested landscape from dark green to warm hues of yellow & gold. Rating. There are 652 moderate trails in Alberta ranging from 0.6 to 76.5 miles and from 843 to 9,783 feet above sea level. How do I get to Devil's Thumb trailhead? Almost double the size of its neighbour - Banff NP, Jasper is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies. As you hike this trail, you’ll get excellent mountain views. Distance: 7.5km There’s a new trail addition that you can use to create a loop rather than walking out-and-back (we always prefer loops). You’ll likely encounter large crowds at the beginning of your journey, since the trail starts near Chateau Lake Louise, but the view during your hike will be worth it. Closest city: NordeggLength: 5.6 kmElevation Gain: 400 mTime: 2-3 hoursDifficulty: Moderate. Starting from the Elbow Falls parking lot on Highway 66, you’ll hike up, up, up to summit Prairie Mountain. Time: 3–4 hours. Are you ready for the hikes?! Check out the Tunnel Mountain hike guide and plan a winter getaway in Banff. There is no sign, so use the AllTrails app. Pass by cool boulders and notice that the views keep getting better as you ascend. Details: Waskahegan Trail is one we've described before as "hidden in plain sight." Bloggers who have lived the adventure:Rhonda from TravelYesPlease.comBarry from HikingWithBarry.com, Wilson Hui CC by 2.0 flickr.com/photos/wilsonhui, Closest city: BanffLength: 11.9 kmElevation Gain: 883 mTime: 3-4 hoursDifficulty: Difficult. And, let’s be honest, freshly fallen snow on the mountains and trees is undeniably magical. Thimphu. Switchbacks, steep slopes, tree-covered trail sections and stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys are some of what you can expect on this hike. As this trail is a bit more challenging with its distance and slight elevation gain, we recommend taking the young kids on a different journey (like the one above). Cypress Hills Visitor Centre is located at 29 Lakeview Dr., Elkwater. Details: The trail to Vimy Peak features views of Crypt Falls and Waterton Lake. If you dislike crowds synonymous with Banff, visit Johnston Canyon in the winter because it’s very popular in the summer. Bulgaria. The Cavell Meadows are a dream come true for the flower lover, and this beautiful scenery, mixed with the majestic mountains, makes this trail very popular. Distance: 3.0km Kristin lives nomadically, settling in small towns close to adventure. You can hike right up to them and stand in the almost-enclosed canyon surrounded by magical ice formations. A holiday in Banff should be on everybody’s bucket list. Here are our top picks for winter hikes in this stunning national park. Chris Istace. I've been to Boom Lake and Johnston Canyon during the winter - so beautiful! From Edmonton, take the Yellowhead to Jasper National Park and watch for a sign to Miette Hot Springs. When you get off the boat, you’re there. Outside of her day job as a writer/editor, you’ll find her hiking and backpacking in the Rockies, experimenting (and dancing) in the kitchen, and travelling to sunny places whenever she can. The hike begins at Chateau Lake Louise. The Boom Lake Trail has it! Top Alberta Hiking Trails: See reviews and photos of hiking trails in Alberta, Canada on Tripadvisor. The West Fish Creek Hike leads you over bridges, next to grasslands and ponds, and among lovely forests. Larch Valley (11.6 kms to Sentinel Pass/ 4-5 hours) near Lake Louise is the premiere destination for larch viewing. Bloggers who have lived the adventure:Karlie from MissWanderlust.comLucie & Martin from laidbacktrip.com, Closest city: JasperLength: 33 kmTime: 3-4 daysDifficulty: Moderate. m ft. His glassy eyes watch you – like a king watching his citizen – and you sense he’s in no hurry about anything. Your efforts during the ascent will be rewarded with jaw-dropping views of the Athabasca and Dome glaciers and stunning peaks around. Bloggers who have lived the adventure:Barb from Keepingwiththetimes.com, Closest city: Grande CacheLength: 15.2 kmElevation Gain: 1,025 mTime: 4-6 hoursDifficulty: Difficult. Directions. Alberta contains a portion of the Canadian Rocky Mountains with breathtaking trails to be explored (almost) year-round. Bloggers who have lived the adventure:Barry from HikingWithBarry.comRick from InspirationRick.com, Closest city: EdmontonLength: 15.6 kmTime: 4-5 hoursDifficulty: Moderate. While most tourists visit Alberta during the summer, fall brings its own special reason for visiting. Hikers must take a boat to and from Crypt Landing to access this thrilling trail. This hike can also be done as an ice hike up the canyon, and ice climbing if you’re properly equipped and trained. Once you get deeper into the canyon, you’re surrounded by great limestone walls formed from ancient oceans once covering this land. How do I get to Wood Bison Trail trailhead? Distance: 6.9km Near the top, you’ll emerge from the forest and walk along the ridge offering incredible views of the Kananaskis peaks to the west and the prairies to the east. A weekday morning excursion would be your best bet to beat the crowds. The trail ends at the Miette Hot Springs, so why not soak your sore muscles? From Edmonton, take the Yellowhead east. Details: This is an easy and popular hike for visitors to Banff. Last Updated August 9, 2020. Best Winter Hikes in Banff National Park Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park, makes your nature dreams a reality. Distance: 3.0km If you haven't explored Southern Alberta, chances are you've heard of its beauty. Tucked away in the heart of the Canadian Rockies is Canmore, an outdoor adventurer’s dream town. Big Elbow Trail Bragg Creek and Sheep River. This quick hike will bring you through open meadows with views of Kananaskis Country in the distance and a look back at Calgary to the east. Difficulty: Easy to moderate; Hiking time: Upper Falls – 1.5 hours return. How do I get to the Badlands Trail trailhead? It’s a place local Calgarians know and love but is overlooked by many visitors. Access this trail from the parking lot at Red Rock Canyon. 10 of the Best Hikes near Canmore, Alberta by Kristin Warkentin / Jun 8, 2018 Share Tweet Share Share Pin . Don’t forget your hiking poles to help with the tough descent. The Bow River Trail is kind of a choose-your-own-adventure. The West Fish Creek Hike in the western part of the park is one of our favourite ways to reconnect with nature when we don’t have time to drive out of town. Details: Completing this trail end-to-end means using two vehicles or taking the shuttle service from town. We love this trail on a bluebird day as a fun family outing. Bhutan. The Best Hiking Trails in Alberta, Canada | 10Adventures. You can either hike with microspikes or snowshoe many of these trails, depending on how recently significant snow has fallen. The most popular part is the view of Amethyst Lakes, 20-some kilometres in. Most of the route stays in the trees on the way up, which can be really pleasant when they’re capped with snow. 5 of the best hikes in Southern Alberta Photographer. Two kilometres up 93A, turn right onto Marmot Road. (And, hey, you can do that as an adult too!) No dogs are allowed on this trail, as the Cavell Meadows has been identified as critical Woodland caribou habitat. Before we jump into the list of winter hikes, here are a few tips on exploring in the winter: Keep in mind that you will need a Parks Canada pass to visit Banff and Jasper National Parks. Park in the dedicated lot. Maybe catch the sunrise? Details: This is an easy, mostly flat trail that will take you across footbridges to Blakiston Falls and the viewing platforms. These hikes dot across the Canadian province and hit some of Canada’s National Parks, so stap on your seat belt for some road trips across this prairie province in search your favorite Albertan hike! This hike, named after its destination, leads hikers to the forefield of the Athabasca Glacier. Once you’re exposed, the elements can be relentless, so bring some layers to block the wind. Banff National Park. Bloggers who have lived the adventure:Barry from HikingWithBarry.com, Closest city: ElkwaterLength: 32 kmTime: Dependent on trail chosenDifficulty: Difficult. How do I get to the Hoodoo Trail trailhead? How to get to Waskahegan Trail? Trying to find the best Alberta trails? Turn right onto Maligne Road. At about 2.2 kilometres in, the trail will branch—you can go straight to Mystery Lake, or branch to the right and keep climbing to the summit. You can hike it as an out-and-back trail, or leave cars parked at either end to drive back once you’ve completed one way. How do I get there: The trailhead is located about 9.3 kilometres from the town of Waterton, on the Akamina Parkway (Cameron Lake Road). This moderate seven-kilometre hike is a bit of a challenge but very do-able (unlike some of the region’s more advanced hikes), and you’ll be rewarded with views of the Squamish Valley. Closest city: Milk RiverLength: 4.4 kmTime: 4 hoursDifficulty: Moderate. Tackle this trail in July and August. Hike across moraines, next to boulders, and see lots of different rock formations en route. Wall Lake O’Brien Lake surrounded by larches is equally spectacular – one of the top larch hikes in Alberta Larch hikes – Larch Valley for an overcrowded but premiere experience. Last Updated August 9, 2020. How do I get to the Salt River Trail System trailhead? Distance: 5.5km Driving there can be challenging, so be careful. Bloggers who have lived the adventure:Alison from Alisera.blogspot.caMarta from Inafarawayland.com, Skyline Trail Leigh McAdam @hikebiketravel, Closest city: JasperLength: 44 kmElevation Gain: 1,205 mTime: 2-3 daysDifficulty: Difficult. │CANADA (ALBERTA AND BC) │ITALIAN DOLOMITES │ICELAND │AUSTRALIA GUIDE │ABOUT │MY PHOTO GEAR │MY PORTFOLIO │WORK WITH ME │CONTACT; 31. Winter is often preferable due to fewer crowds. You'll circle Flyingshot Lake, which offers good opportunities to view waterfowl. His glassy eyes watch you – like a king watching his citizen – and you sense he’s in no hurry about anything. Read the guide on the Troll Falls hike for details about this route. There are stairs and steep sections, and the trail can get hot. The roads are cleared from 7 am to 3:30 pm, but always check the conditions before driving into this no-cell-service area. And no, they're not all in Banff. Here are 25 hikes to get you started: P.S. Resilient adventurers can camp at this trailhead, although the sites are not maintained during winter, so bring a shovel. How do I get to Sulphur Skyline trailhead? Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park, makes your nature dreams a reality. Cross over Galatea Creek several times, and keep an eye out for frozen falls clinging to small cliffs along the way. Take the cruise boat across Waterton Lake. Here are 16 top treks to get you started: Copyright © Explore Magazine. One of the best options for all levels is the Stawamus Trail in Squamish. One of the hike’s viewpoints is a popular spot for photographers trying to capture that iconic mountain, trees, and frozen lake picture. Travel Alberta . "The hike is moderately strenuous with about a 700 ft ascent straight up through a serious of switchbacks through a beautiful alpine forest - look for the stunning purple pine cones on Subalpine Firs." Skyline Trail . Innsbruck. Time: 1.5–2.5 hours. Each of these nine hikes offers either stunning mountain views, a lake or a combination of the two. If you need some directions, download the route guide for the Hogarth Lakes trail to be prepared. Details: This hike is actually comprised of two trails: Johnston Canyon Lower Falls (1.2 km one way) and Johnston Canyon Upper Falls (2.5 km one-way). Pack up the car, these Calgary-area hikes are worth the drive. Rather than hiking up to views like the other winter hikes in this list, get a different experience hiking through a narrow canyon, seeing ice formations clinging to limestone, and admiring the fascinating views of trees and sky above. The Elbow Valley is a wonderful place to hike in fall. Elevation gain. It’s one of the most scenic alpine hiking areas in Alberta and the best part is you don’t have to work hard to get there. As of August 2020, it is closed for construction, so check for updates before planning your adventure. If you live in Canmore, this is a leisurely hike you can fit in after work, and you’ll thank yourself for getting out to enjoy the sun while it’s there. All Rights Reserved, When you purchase something via the links in our articles, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Closest city: WatertonLength: 20 km one-wayElevation Gain: 650 mTime: 6-8 hoursDifficulty: Difficult. Start at the campground and hike through an otherworldly landscape of hoodoos that come in … Time: 1–2 hours. Elevation: 120m Other hikes to consider are Ptarmigan Cirque, Burstall Pass and Buller Pass. The entire length wraps in roughly a circular route, passing through eastern and southern Alberta. You’ll be rewarded with a beautiful meadow at the top of the pass and views of the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Instead, find a nice spot to chill by the lake and sip on that hot beverage you remembered to pack. Distance: 3.9km (+ other various routes) If you're in B.C., check out 25 Incredible Hiking Trails in British Columbia. Head out for a lovely walk through the forest with the Bow River next to you. Expect to earn the view as the ascent is steady via switchbacks with a quick push at the summit. It’s mostly paved, making for a nice walk during the winter. Get the GPS route and guide for the Galatea Creek and Lillian Lake trail to help navigate while you’re out in the snow. Elevation: 47m The serene landscapes showcase some of the best of Alberta’s autumn scenes as it moves through the rolling parkland. The lakes and views in this area are equally as impressive in winter as in summer, especially when the lakes freeze over, and when now has frosted the trees. Blackshale Suspension Bridge Kananaskis – Smith Dorrien. Make sure you’re bundled up for this hike, as you’ll be out in the open as you make your way to the forefield of the impressive glacier. Details: The Skyline Trail is well known for its stunning views, with most of the hike being above the treeline. Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team. This hike begins near Waterton in Alberta and crosses over the B.C. With over 1,600 kilometres (994 miles) of trails, Banff National Park offers adventurers some of the best hiking on the planet, whether it’s an easy hike to incredible vistas or a more strenuous trek deep in the backcountry. We prefer it in the winter when you still get magnificent landscapes but deal with way fewer crowds. There are some tree roots to cross over, so this trail may be difficult for those with a stroller or wheels. This hike is suitable for beginners and brings you through the Akamina Parkway to Wall Lake. In winter, the scene is made all the more spectacular when the falls freeze over (bring ice grips and poles). The landscape for much of the route takes you through wide-open landscapes, exposed due to glacial melt since the mid-1840s. Little Elbow Trail Bragg Creek and Sheep River. Photographers, go wild! How do I get to the Siksika Trail trailhead? Take a moment to appreciate the expanse of this area; it’s breathtaking. Bloggers who have lived the adventure:Rachel from BetterLivin.caBob Spirko, Closest city: WatertonLength: 8 kilometresElevation Gain: 350 mTime: 3 hoursDifficulty: Moderate. Elevation: 45m Look for a blue sign. 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