Grotto Mountain Trail is a 6 mile loop trail located near Canmore, AB that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking.
We hiked up the less busy climbers route which is a fancy way of saying "go straight up the mountain and enjoy it" and there are few people on the trail which is great! You arrive on the east summit ridge and can do a trail run along the ridge to the west which has great footing. A few ups for climbing but it's great. Did a slower round trip in 4:29 for 15.66kms starting at the ACC centre (parked by the firewood pile). We ascended into the clouds which was nice, easy trail to see at the top. The ACC route is a bit of a slog on the west side and up and down same route. Definitely run the ridge, so worth it!
It's the Rockies and this is an awesome hike!
quite the scramble in the winter. crampons and ice axes needed. what a blast though
You have four starting points which lead to two routes up to the summit ( NW summit, Centre real summit with ABS capsule to record your achievement, SE summit.) Cougar creek past the debris fence is one and Horseshoe loop as the second start you out on the NW route. The Alpine Club HQ trail as the third will start out kind of central and join the Cougar creek trail 3/4 of the way up to the NW summit and then moderate incline traverse to centre summit. From the SE you can #4 access from the Rat's Nest Cave parking lot. Cave trail and SE summit trail separate at the power line. Cave trail is well use and dog legs down power line and then left back up hill. Summit trail directly crosses power line and continues uphill and in comparison to the cave trail looks unused. Towards the top you will either angle right to SE summit or angel left toward the centre. This mnt. can be done in a circuit if you have two modes of transportation waiting for you at either end. The trail has few switchbacks as it likes to head straight up. Elevation gain of 1365m in 5.7klm (rating 4.2) but most of the gain is in about 3.3klm with an average incline rating of 2.4 now that is a leg burner. Trail in the summer is hard pack with little lose surface pebbles acting as roller bearings make the descent slippery. Hiking poles come in handy. You're not likely to be alone yet it is not a very busy trail - ((Dah it is 2.4 rated for a stretch. A 45* angle is rated at 2)) Good workout, take lots of breaks the views are terrific. Geology is amazing. On the SE route watch for sea shells and petrified barnacles in the rock bands at, can you believe, 2400m (8000ft.)
There's two ways of doing this mountain take the second trail up and stay to the left or go the far right I went up to the left and came down the far right. I was told this was Farley easy but became aware that this is fairly step and just pick a slow pace and take breaks the first hour and a half is the hardest and then it becomes easier make sure you bring lots of water and your bear mace and a snack. I enjoyed every minute of this climb up and till I noticed I had two ticks stuck on me.