Explore Alberta - To Do List - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
10 hours ago

A bit of an incline to warm up for about an hour and then a relatively flat approach into the valley. Would strongly recommend hiking past the decommissioned trail sign - to the right - so you can appreciate the numerous waterfalls and glacier from closer up.
It is a busy trail, and the parking lot fills up very quickly on weekends.
Overall lots of water and cool air along a family friendly trail.

hiking
11 hours ago

The hike up was rather uneventful but after you pass the 'bat cave" (with no bats) you are blessed with numerous cascading waterfalls. Waterproof boots are necessary

What a day! Loved this hike. Keep an eye out for the markings, bring plenty of water, and plan for a full day. A hiking pole was a must for me to help out on the way down, as it gets quite steep and is easy to slip.

Great hike close to Calgary!

Can be tough at times to see the markings for the trail, so you have to keep an eye out. View from the top was cool - prairies to the east, Rockies to the west. Scree skiing on the way down was a lot of fun. Expect to be hiking for 5-6 hours with breaks.

The Canyon is a MUST its beautiful. Unfortunately for our Heart Mountain Hike we were one of 7 groups that all ended up at the face and couldn’t find our way to the top or the loop. All the climbing thinking I’m so glad we aren’t coming back this way we’ll we went back that way. If I go back it will most likely be as an out and back taking the trail from the left right at the bottom of Mountain and trailhead.

I absolutely fell in love with Grotto! My favourite hike to date. We didn’t do the loop but rather walked up Grotto Ridge Trail, then walked along the ridge at the top to the peak. We made it a loop by descending the opposite side and following a ‘trail’ marked as Grotto Hard Way. I wouldn’t recommend doing the loop, it’s shorter (and safer) as an out and back, and you get beautiful views much longer.

We took our dog (very good hiker) and she did great! If you are bringing a pet, be aware of the sharp rocks on the descent and bring lots of water. Gets very hot in the summer up there. I wouldn’t recommend doing the loop with a dog, the scramble on the descent is extremely steep and bigger/less experienced dog hikers (lol) would have a hard time.

hiking
19 hours ago

I cannot recommend this hike at all.

Pros: LOTS of wildflowers. Scenery all the way up the west side. Not a lot of people on the trail.

Cons: A very hard hike, when compared to other highway-accessible trails. Highway noise half the way up (and halfway down). Very easy to lose the trail and end up in very dangerous spots: I somehow got off trail and had to stow my poles and free climb a crag to get back where I was supposed to be. Scenery at the top isn't that good: it's a slightly worse view of Barrier Lake than you get from Prairie View Fire Lookout, for much much more effort; the view of Yamnuska and Grotto is nice, but spoiled somewhat by the Exshaw plant.

Honestly, if you hike for the challenge, or if you are a completionist and you've bagged all the other highway-accessible peaks, then do it. If you're in it for any other reason, hike EEOR, or Prairie View, or Prairie Mountain.

Beautiful hike would do it again. Amazing views once out of the trees. Bug spray is a must!

hiking
1 day ago

Favorite!! Incredible views all the way!
The first km or so is a steady climb. After that a nice relaxing trail with good variety in terrain. Really fun & suitable for young’ns too. Even if you can’t make it all the way, it’s still a rewarding hike.

Very steep the whole way up. Definitely bring poles!

Some good views but wouldn’t do it again.

hiking
1 day ago

Defined trails and great lakes to relax at.

hiking
2 days ago

It’s my first hike in Alberta, I just moved here, and I found it enjoyable. I went on Friday evening and I was the only one on the path.

This may be obvious to some but when I parked the car at the lot along hwy 40 I saw a little trail opening so I hiked there for about 30 minutes, followed some blue flags but eventually I was lost in a forest. This was NOT the hiking path, in case someone makes the same mistake...you have to cross the hwy and there’s a sign that marks the start of the trail.

I made it to the pass, there was a nice view. It wasn’t too hard (I am someone who hasn’t really hiked this long but I am active). It was a great workout and definitely doable for beginners. It took me 1h30 min to get to the pass.

At the pass there was a trail to the left that started descending after a while, I wasn’t sure where that led but I wasted a bit of time there.

I am assuming this hike ends at that pass. There was an option to continue up following orange flags and you start scrambling. I tried that for a bit but then I couldn’t find any flags and it got a bit steep, so considering it was my first time doing it and I was alone I stopped there. Curious to try going higher maybe w someone who’s done it before.

I think coming back down took 1-1:15 hours.

hiking
2 days ago

We hiked this trail yesterday. As I rate myself a decent hiker and in “ok” shape, this trail was not too challenging at all. Some steep slopes but the grade is relatively gradual.

My girlfriend came with me. She is very new to hiking and she found the hike challenging at the 3.5 km mark until we reached the lookout to the pass. The total way up is Approximately 4.3 Km. She needed breaks but was able to complete the task. Needless to say I was proud of her

The hike is very manageable and offers great views. It offers rocks/scramble, tree cover, slopes, and great vies from way up high. A very good trail to challenge new hikers and the view is worth the effort

It began to rain and hail on the way down which made the slopes very slick and you had to watch your footing.

I definitely want to do this again but maybe try and summit some of the peaks at the top.

Great way to kill 3 hrs. Have lunch at the top and introduce new hikers to the backcountry.

It is not rewarding enough. Most of the trail is only big rocks. Good workout though

This was our first difficult hike and our first scramble. We went east from the parking lot - the same way most hikers do (though some guides suggest the other way; east is definitely better). The lead up to Yam is a bit long but once you get to the mountain itself it's fantastic. If you're new to the hike it helps to watch where other people go, especially since there are several ways along the north side. Big thanks to the folks who taught us how to get down the loose rock - made a great day much better!

hiking
3 days ago

Amazing views of the Opal Range

3 days ago

Great hike ever

After a grueling hike 2 days ago, looking for something a bit more manageable. The first 1.5 miles or so are a gentle walk through some new growth and many downed old trees. Once you reach the signs say that the trail is not maintained beyond that point, I strongly recommend you continue up either the left trail to the top of the central cliff wall face or the right side toward the towering falls on the vertical face to the right. It is a loop, so you can go around. You will be rewarded by a magnificent waterfall through the center of the canyon and many new falls that cannot be seen from the end of the maintained trail. Views of valley below and many peaks around are stunning. Many different geological features and just plain gorgeous. A new addition to my top 5 favorite hikes.

Fantastic day! No crowds on a weekday. The scree slope on the return is the absolute funnest ever!

Love this hike. A steady climb up, there is quite a bit of snow on the trail. If you stay on the packed trail you should be ok. We just hiked to the lake which is still frozen but still stunning. It will start to get muddy with the melt.

4 days ago

Did this hike a few years ago and can’t wait to do it again!

Did the loop counterclockwise (taking the direct route up and ACC trail down). At the summit it was quite windy and cold, so be prepared with jackets! Amazing view at the top- you can see a sea of mountain peaks that just stretch out beneath you. There is also a small “window” to the left of the summit which was also pretty cool. Taking the ACC route down, we walked along the ridge before dipping into the trees once more.

Beautiful hike that I can finally check off the list! Always wanted to be able to drive on the trans-Canada and be able to look at a peak and know I have been on top of it Yay! Now, things I have learned the hard way:
• the trail takes you to a T where there is a sign that tells you if you go left it’s a technical climb and the right is a hikers trail. This hike is a loop so you can chose what obstacles you’d like to face going up or down. I would highly suggest going right for the uphill and save the technical climb for the downhill. On our decent from the summit and all the way down was scree and steep ( super fun to “scree ski” but would have really sucked choosing that way to go up.)

• this trail is NOT well marked! Lots of side trails and random ways you can go so really really pay attention to what appears to be the main trail. When you’ve made it around to the back of the mountain and are climbing through the rocks to summit there are blue squares spray painted to show you the way but besides that you are kind of on your own. On our way down I believe we took a longer way than necessary but AGAIN super hard to tell so pay attention.

• Lots of scree that has been scraped away from the popularity of this hike so prepare yourself for some potential bum scooting and wear hiking shoes with grip or get yourself some hiking poles. Also a lot of the rocks you climb have been polished over and are slippy so get grippy shoes.

• pack your sunscreen and bug spray.

• the view makes it all worth it!

the view was amazing in every ridge of the mountain. our first time to encounter very difficult hiking spot but we definitely made it. found awesome people to guide us and trick how to go down in a very steep spots but otherwise is all worth it to conquer your fears. bring lots of water and snacks.

Arrived at Moraine Lake by 820 am and the parking lot was full. We were able to park on the road but 2km from the trail head. The beautiful hike made it worth while..the crowds dispersed at the trail to Sentinel Pass. The lake was a beautiful spot for lunch. Still snow on the avalanche chutes and you could hear some avalanche activity along the trail. A great day ended with breathtaking views around Moraine Lake.

Gorgeous views! Steep inclines but so worth it. We only went up a tad farther than the helipad as we started late and were running out of time. Well marked and easy to locate the trail.

Amazing views on an extremely strenuous hike.

When they rated this hike hard they meant it - over 4000 feet of elevation in about two miles beat us up (we’re practiced hikers and climbers). If you do the loop, definitely go counter clockwise as is mapped here. The upper half of the climb is essentially all extremely steep scrambling, quite a bit of loose rock, not for the faint of heart.

We did take our dog on this hike (solid hiker) and we would not recommend to others taking their dogs in future. The loose rock at the top is a bit scary and there were sections where I had to assist him up or down vertical spots (under ten feet)

That all said, unreal hike. The traverse on the ridge was extremely fun with 360 degree views. If you’re feeling perky, do this hike.

Great for beginners or the first warm up hike/scramble of the season. Nice shoulder season hike. Can get busy so go during the week.

Amazing hike. Steel slog up to the ridge, once you are on the scenery is amazing. Chain section isn’t that scary, as long as the weather is dry and you have two hands you should be fine. The scree skiing down the front face of Yamnuska was fun but long. Even though you see the car park from the top of the scree it is still a long slog back. Managed to cool off by a small runoff from the mountain. Definitely worth it!

The views from the trail of the Bow Valley and Barrier Dam in Kananaskis are surprisingly great. Definitely follow the advice given by many others in the below reviews to go COUNTER-CLOCKWISE and be sure to do the whole loop. We encountered a number of hikers who gave up when the way-finding near the scramble section going up (around the 1.5 km mark) got a little less obvious and turned around...what a mistake! I didn't mind going up the first section of trail to the summit of Heart Mountain, but I wouldn't want to descend it. Conversely, once you reach the first summit, the remainder of the trail is surprisingly good. There are a number of easy segments along the ridge-line before a few steeper, rocky sections coming down on the far side of the loop (around the 6-7 km mark). There also isn't a lot of shade for most of the hike, so be sure to bring lots of water if it's a warm day. I went through my entire 2 litre hydration bag by the time we descended to the flat section paralleling the highway.

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