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10 BEST Winter Hikes in Canmore & Close by

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Simply because it’s chilly exterior and the bottom is roofed in snow doesn’t imply you possibly can’t go climbing! The truth is, one of many greatest issues to do in Canmore within the winter is climbing. This cute mountain city is surrounded by trails which are simply as accessible within the winter because the summer season. 

And one of the best half? A few of the greatest winter hikes in Canmore are literally much more stunning within the snow! Count on a winter wonderland with frozen waterfalls, snow lined peaks, and pine bushes dusted with snow – it’s gorgeous. 

So with out additional ado, listed below are the 10 greatest winter hikes in Canmore and close by. With this record, you may get out and about this winter and luxuriate in some unimaginable views proper from the paths. 

You might nearly skate this part of the Grotto Canyon Ice Stroll

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Grotto Canyon 

Distance: 4.Four km return, about 115 metres of elevation acquire

Score: Straightforward

Time wanted: 1.5-2 hours

Trailhead: Off freeway 1A a couple of 10-minute drive from Canmore

Grotto Canyon is a winter favourite in Canmore. That is doubtless the singular hottest winter hike within the space, and for good motive – it’s so cool within the winter!

Within the winter months, Grotto Canyon is a type of hikes that will get even higher. Due to the water within the canyon freezing, you possibly can really stroll proper by way of the canyon! Certain, it’s a little slippery, however with a superb pair of ice cleats/crampons that is no drawback. 

Alongside the way in which you’ll see frozen waterfalls, pictographs on the canyon partitions, and even an inukshuk backyard. The pictographs will be sort of onerous to identify, your greatest wager to seek out them is to ask different hikers on the paths or go on a guided tour. These guided excursions to Grotto Canyon are nice for those who don’t have your personal ice cleats since all gear is supplied. 

It's great fun hiking up Grotto Canyon on ice
It’s nice enjoyable climbing up Grotto Canyon on ice

Jura Canyon 

Distance: 2 to 7 km return relying on how far you go

Score: Straightforward to Reasonable

Time Wanted: 1-Three hours

Trailhead: Off Freeway 1A east of Exshaw

Like Grotto Canyon, Jura Canyon is one other winter hike in Canmore that’s extra thrilling within the chilly climate when there’s ice beneath your ft. Simply be ready together with your ice cleats and also you’ll love this journey

There are a few alternative ways to hike Jura Canyon. In the event you’re simply on the lookout for a brief straightforward path, then you possibly can merely hike to the primary slot canyon. That is about 1 kilometre into the hike and the place most individuals with children go. The slot canyon is slender and really neat to discover. 

Nevertheless, for those who’re up for it, you possibly can proceed additional. You’ll come throughout a brief ice stroll part after which, on the finish, a second slot canyon. Right here, have somewhat relaxation earlier than turning again round.

One factor to notice is that Jura Canyon isn’t the preferred winter hike in Canmore, so the snow may not be all packed down. On this case, you may should be ready with snowshoes. 

The Jura Creek hike near Canmore
The Jura Creek hike close to Canmore is enjoyable and family-friendly

Grassi Lakes 

Distance: Four km return

Score: Straightforward

Time Wanted: 1-2 hours

Trailhead: Simply off the Smith Dorrien Path a couple of 15 minute drive from Canmore

Grassi Lakes is arms down among the finest straightforward hikes in Canmore, and subsequently, additionally one of the crucial in style. The factor is, most individuals hike to Grassi Lakes in the summertime and don’t even assume to go to within the winter. This can be a disgrace as a result of this spot is breathtaking within the winter, and it’s a lot much less busy. 

Within the winter months you’ll don’t have any drawback getting a parking house on the Grassi Lakes Trailhead (which isn’t all the time true at different instances of the 12 months.) The path might be peaceable as you make the gradual 300 metre incline as much as the lakes. 

The hike is brief with little elevation acquire, making it appropriate for the entire household. With that mentioned, once I hiked it final winter it was very icy and folks have been struggling to remain on their ft. My ice cleats got here in tremendous helpful and made it to the highest with ease.

When you attain the lakes, you is likely to be shocked to seek out that they aren’t utterly frozen. These lakes are naturally heated, which retains them from freezing – and makes for a fantastic winter picture!

Grassi Lakes are pretty in winter especially with fresh snow
Grassi Lakes are fairly in winter particularly with recent snow

Ha Ling Peak 

Distance: 7.eight km return with over 700 metres of elevation acquire

Problem: Reasonable

Time wanted: 3-5 hours

Trailhead: Goat Creek parking zone on Smith Dorrien Path, a 20-minute drive from Canmore

Ha Ling Peak is one in every of one of the best hikes in Canmore with wonderful views. From the highest, you’ll have views over Canmore and the Bow Valley. The panoramic views make this hike extraordinarily in style, however much less so within the winter. 

Ha Ling Peak is a steep hike because it good points about 750 metres in elevation over lower than four-kilometres. Though the path is effectively marked and straightforward to comply with, it’ll undoubtedly have you ever out of breath on occasion. 

Winter provides an additional degree of problem to this already moderate-rated climbing path. You’ll undoubtedly want a superb pair of ice cleats and heat gear for while you attain the summit (it’s usually very windy up there!) Even within the spring and fall, be ready for snow as you cross the treeline. 

However one you make it to the highest, the entire effort might be price it because the views are out of the world!

Best winter hikes in Canmore include Ha Ling Peak
Choose your day to do the Ha Ling hike – ideally not in wind or snow

Canmore Hoodoos and Benchlands Path 

Distance: Three km

Problem: Straightforward

Time Wanted: About an hour

Trailhead: Benchlands Bike Park proper in Canmore

This one is likely to be much less of a hike and extra of a “stroll”, nonetheless I believe that it’s price a point out as a result of it actually is gorgeous. Plus, generally all you’re on the lookout for is a brief hike to get out and stretch your legs, in that case, this hike is ideal. 

You can begin this hike from actually wherever in Canmore, or simply drive and park on the Benchlands Bike Park alongside Benchlands Path. From right here, comply with the trail alongside the highway up the hill. Comply with it till you attain a fork, right here, take the sharp left up the hill. It’s a little steep, however gradual. 

This path takes you as much as a ledge overlooking Canmore – it’s stunning. Preserve following the path till the top of the cul de sac and look down the hill, you need to see the Canmore hoodoos from right here! You possibly can stroll right down to the hoodoos to get a better look, simply watch out as a result of it’s actually steep. 

Great view of Canmore from the Hoodoos trail
Nice view of Canmore from the Hoodoos path
Pretty hiking on the Benchlands in Canmore
Fairly climbing on the Benchlands in Canmore

Troll Falls 

Distance: 3.Four km

Problem: Straightforward

Time Wanted: 1-2 hours

Trailhead: Off Kananaskis Path, 35 minutes from Canmore

Troll Falls is one in every of the best hikes within the Kananaskis. Situated solely a couple of 35-minute drive from Canmore close to Nakiska Ski Space, that is the one hottest winter hike within the space for households. The brief out and again path is usually flat and results in the gorgeous Troll Falls – which is totally frozen within the winter!

Though the path you’ll wind your method by way of the forest coming to a few mountain views earlier than reaching the falls. There’s a boardwalk and viewing platform to benefit from the falls right here. You may also hike as much as a viewpoint above the falls, nonetheless within the winter, it’s notably icy and slippery and you’ll undoubtedly want a superb pair of ice cleats, and possibly even poles to help together with your stability. 

You come again the way in which you got here. 

Looking at Troll Falls from a distance
Taking a look at Troll Falls from a distance

Bow River Loop

Distance: 2 km

Problem: Straightforward

Time Wanted: About an hour

Trailhead: In Canmore downtown space close to the Bow River Bridge

This straightforward loop monitor is to not be ignored while you’re on the lookout for a fantastic winter hike proper within the coronary heart of Canmore. The truth is, for those who’re staying in Canmore, you can most likely stroll to the trailhead proper out of your resort! Once I lived in Canmore I did this hike each morning after grabbing my morning espresso. It’s the proper place to take pleasure in a straightforward stroll with an incredible view!

The path takes you alongside the Bow River earlier than reaching the historic Engine Bridge the place you’ll cross the bridge and return alongside the opposite facet of the river. Since it’s a loop, you possibly can really begin the path from wherever you’d like and go in both route. It’s utterly flat, and even within the winter, straightforward sufficient to do with out ice cleats.

From the path you’ll take pleasure in views of the Three Sisters and the Bow River. There are numerous benches alongside the way in which to cease and chill out as effectively. 

This path joins with the massive path system in Canmore, so you are able to do somewhat exploring for those who’re after an extended hike. There are indicators across the trails so you already know the place to go, and the paths are additionally on Google Maps. 

Best winter hikes in Canmore - Bow River Loop
Finest winter hikes in Canmore – Bow River Loop

Rawson Lake

Distance: eight km return, about 320 metres in elevation acquire

Problem: Reasonable

Time Wanted: 3-Four hours

Trailhead: Higher Kananaskis Lake day use parking zone

Up for somewhat day journey? Then you definately definitely have to make your method from Canmore to the Higher Kananaskis Lake the place you discover one in every of my favourite locations to go to in Alberta. After simply over an hour’s drive, you’ll attain the lake. Right here, you’ll be blown away by the gorgeous vistas. However one of the best half is that that is only the start!

Head to the far left facet of the parking zone (while you’re going through the lake.) From right here you possibly can soar on the path that goes across the lake in a clockwise route although be cautious and ready for some locations with avalanche hazard. There’s additionally a path map right here so you possibly can see the route for Rawson Lake. 

The primary a part of this hike is flat as you stroll beside Higher Kananaskis Lake. You’ll get gorgeous views and even cross a bridge over a gorge with a small waterfall. 

Ultimately, you’ll come to a fork within the path; keep left to proceed to Rawson Lake. That is the place the incline begins! It’s about Three kilometres from right here to achieve the lake. The entire elevation acquire occurs right here. 

Rawson Lake is attractive with towering peaks as its backdrop. It additionally isn’t sometimes busy within the winter months, so with luck you’ll doubtless have your entire place to your self. If it’s a beautiful sunny weekend, you’ll not. 

Be ready with ice cleats and snowshoes for this hike, as you’ll doubtless want them! Be sure you verify latest path situations and avalanche stories earlier than you go as effectively.

Rawson Lake never fails to impress in winter
Rawson Lake by no means fails to impress in winter

Quarry Lake Loop and close by trails 

Distance: Varied trails 1km to 11 km in size

Problem: Straightforward to reasonable

Time wanted: 30 minutes to a few hours

Trailhead: Quarry Lake in Canmore

Quarry Lake is a small lake positioned in Canmore. Within the winter many individuals come right here to discover the number of path programs that begin right here. 

For one thing brief and straightforward, stroll the loop path across the lake. That is solely about 1 km and flat. For one thing somewhat longer, stroll to the Reservoir and again on a part of the Powerline Path. That is additionally pretty flat and may solely be about 2 kilometres return (relying how lengthy you stroll alongside the Reservoir.) 

You may also do the Highline Path Loop from right here. This can be a 10.9 kilometre-long path that begins from Quarry Lake. You’ll hike up in the direction of the Highline Path after which loop again down close to the Three Sisters Village. 

The scenic Quarry Lake loop can be lengthened or shortened depending on hoe much time you have
The scenic Quarry Lake loop will be lengthened or shortened relying on hoe a lot time you might have

Johnston Canyon 

Distance: 2.Four km return to the decrease falls, 5 km return to the higher falls, 11.Four km return to the Ink Pots

Problem: Straightforward to reasonable

Time wanted: 1 hour to Four hours relying on the hike you select

Trailhead: Johnston Canyon trailhead, a couple of 45-minute drive from Canmore

Johnston Canyon is likely one of the greatest hikes in Banff Nationwide Park. However, it’s really not removed from Canmore both at solely a 45-minute-long drive. 

Johnston Canyon is an excellent hike for numerous causes. Initially, it’s gorgeous all 12 months spherical. In the summertime you possibly can see the intense blue river beneath you in addition to highly effective falls. And within the winter, it turns into a frozen paradise the place you are able to do an ice stroll and marvel at icicles and frozen waterfalls. This makes it simply one in every of one of the best issues to do in Banff

Johnston Canyon can also be nice for all health ranges since there are a pair totally different trails you possibly can select to do right here. The shortest hike is just one.2 km every method and takes you to the decrease falls. This hike is tremendous straightforward and solely good points about 50 metres in elevation. For one thing somewhat tougher, proceed previous the decrease falls to the higher falls. In complete, the hike to the higher falls is 2.5 km every method and good points 120 metres in elevation. And at last for those who’re up for the problem, hike to the Inkpots. That is 5.7 km every method and good points 330 metres in elevation. 

In the event you do select to hike Johnston Canyon within the winter be ready with the right security gear, in any other case, you possibly can guide this guided tour which incorporates all of it together with an skilled information to finish the icewalk. 

Catching the ice climbers in action in Johnston Canyon
Catching the ice climbers in motion in Johnston Canyon on the higher falls

Conclusion

Canmore is an outside paradise – even within the winter! With fewer crowds, frozen waterfalls, and the gorgeous snowy panorama in all places you flip, it’s no marvel Canmore is simply as in style a winter vacation spot as a summer season one. 

All that you must do is be ready for the snow and ice and also you’ll be in your method climbing a number of the greatest winter trails in Canmore!

Location map of the trailheads for winter hikes in Canmore

                     

Click on on the picture to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Top 10 winter hikes in Canmore Alberta and nearby

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