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This hike is incredible. My boyfriend and I did it yesterday with perfect weather. We started around 1pm and got back just as it was getting too dark to be hiking (7pm). We are inexperienced in the ice and snow (we are an Australian-Croatian pair) but persistent. We had no gear to speak of but we went steadily and were totally ok. I wouldn't recommend doing it with out tractioned footwear if you're not prepared to feel a bit uncomfortable. His shoes were pretty grippy but I felt like I was on ice skates for the lower part of the hike. I would have had to go on my bottom for parts of it if not for him. Once we got half way up to Rawson Lake it was snowy rather than icy and then heading up the ridge the snow turned to mud. Its a tough slog to get up the ridge but well well worth it!

1 day ago

Only made it to around the 2.2km mark (top of the brownish coloured hill before heading up to the shute to see the other side). It was too windy to complete on Saturday. My friends made it up to the start of the ridge. Some people were crossing the ridge towards the peak. Bring microspikes and poles and gaiters and you'll be fine. Watch out for snow in the bowl up top crossing to the ridge. This warm weather might make things interesting (av path?). Too windy for pictures. Tracked trail, foot prints to walk in. Warm weather makes snow too slushy though. I will try this again on a non-windy day. Otherwise, great trail.

Amazing hike. Worthwhile having someone with you who has completed this before. It is not always obvious where to go (I got lost once!).
Also, note that the last few hundred metres are now covered in snow (21st of October). This adds extra difficulty. I’d strongly recommend cleats and poles. I didn’t have the latter, which meant I was scrambling more often than needed.
Also note that if you’re scared of heights, this one is not for you. There are some very steep places.

2 days ago

Oct 21 - Although the weather felt like the first week of September, the trails were 95% dry. This is a STEEP hike. Leg burner for sure. I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners but it is a doable day hike. We took a right (left takes you to the lake) at about the 4km mark up to the ridge. The fork is poorly marked. Getting up to the ridge is all loose shale or a scramble up big rocks. The 360 views are worth it. Next summer I’d like to hike up and camp over night at the lake.

Cannot stress enough how amazing this hike was. Coming down from the thumb was a little scary, because it’s very steep and all loose rock on a little goat trail, so we slid down on our butts (which left us very dirty and embarrassed going into the beautiful post hotel after haha). But you start from Lake Louise, go up past lake Agnes + teahouse, and the beehives, and get a beautiful view of the both lakes (Agnes, Louise) and the beehives. 100% recommend.

4 days ago

Did this hike October 17th. Beautiful and not too difficult. Crampons would be helpful towards the top. Lost my prescription ray bans on the way down however! If anyone decides to go and finds them please contact me and I will be so thankful! 403 975 3514

trail running
5 days ago

Even though it was a cloudy day there were beautiful views. There was hard packed icy snow for the last 50-100 m, other than that it was completely dry. The ridge also has the same icy snow so I didn't go for it. It doesn't look like anyone else is doing the ridge either as there aren't any tracks on it. Crampons or spikes not needed, but I would definitely recommend poles for the hike/run down.

This is a very difficult climb due to the steepness the whole way, but stunning views make it a pleasurable challenge. The trail was slippery and muddy on the top half which made descending difficult, so I'd recommend going when the weather has been dry. (I went on a warm day when melting snow made things slick).
It took me 2 hours to hike from the parking lot to the platform, stopping along the way only long enough to swig water and keep going. The way back down wasn't much faster (1 hr 45 min) due to the steep descent, mud/ice, and tricky footing. If I go again, I'd bring a lunch and take my time more. Today I just brought water. Altogether : beautiful views and a killer workout, just pick a dry day!

Nice elevation. Trail can be sketchy to follow sometimes. Presence of snow in the top and some lower areas. Excellent view from the top.

Just finished this hike (Oct 16th) hiking to Rawson lake is fine and packed down easy trail to the lake and around it. When you start to go to the ridge you need spikes and hiking gear - right now there is lots of snow but the beautiful weather is making it super slick in some areas. It was a steady incline I did it with my dog and completed the whole thing within 3.5 hours (I do stop and take lots of photos) coming down was awesome - I slid on my butt it was great! The views are just beautiful and well worth the incline trail. Highly recommend this! However I would do it during the week like I did - barley anyone it was really nice and only saw myself and two other small groups go to the ridge.

Did this hike on Sunday Oct 14, 2018. Definitely bring microspikes, poles and gaiters. Well packed trail for the first few kilometers. Eventually on the way up the big hill to the first (smaller) and 2nd bigger cairn the trail is slightly packed but there's some knee deep snow in some spots. Slog up make it to the cairn. Worth the views.

Possible to go past the 2nd true cairn but conditions may be considerably sketchier in winter. Better saved for the summer. 10hikes has summer pics. Good luck.

Great Hike! Just did it on Sunday, October 14th; there was lots of snow and it was a fun workout. We got to the glacier; we were the only people doing the hike so the snow was fresh and the views were amazing. We hiked the flat part and going up the mountain and then snowshoed for a couple of hours to the glacier.

Did this hike today. Spikes and poles recommended for sure. There was alot of muddy and icy sections. this hike goes straight up to the top with no easy sections. We did make it to the top and the views were beautiful. You overlook Canmore and the surrounding mountain peaks. It took us half a day with lots of stops for rest and photo taking. The way down was very hard on the legs, and toes for us. Needless to say, I am not in superb shape and am no athlete- this hike is hard for sure but I recommend for the challenge and scenery. Don't forget to pack a lunch for the top and take it all in. Good luck :)

Hiked to to the ridge on October 12, 2018. If you are just going to Rawson Lake, regular hiking boots will be fine and you don’t need winter pants and the trail is packed down. Beyond that I’d recommend boots, pants and maybe spikes and snowshoes (I didn’t have the latter two). The trail around the lake and beyond gets filled in with snow from the wind. There are sections going up the ridge that we’re extremely icy or completely filled in with snow. At the top of the ridge, the snow was drifting so I was waste deep in it trying to get a photo or the other side. Very happy I had ski goggles as it was windy and the blowing snow was strong. Took 4 hours roundtrip - my moving time was 3:30 as I stopped to chat with a few people along the way AND you need to take a breather every 15-40 steps going up the ridge in winter gear.

Ohh Devils Thumb, what can I say. The most challenging thing physically and mentally I’ve ever done! Also the most rewarding! My husband and I set out on this adventure for our 4th year wedding anniversary. We were definitely a little naive, this hike is no stroll in the park. Watch your footing and keep to the right. Unbelievable view from the top! This was the first mountain we’ve ever climbed. From start to finish approx 9 hours (with lots of breaks) and we have no experience. Definitely the highlight of our trip!

Went Oct 8 and there is 2 feet of snow. Only made it to the waterfall and lost the trail several times. Done for the season but did this in the summer and it's well worth it.

14 days ago

I love this hike! I have done it twice so far, I find it’s a great challenge and def worth the scramble and risk to get to the summit! As long as you have the right gear and push mind over matter it’s def worth a try! I hope to do the full loop next time!

This was one of the most difficult hikes I’ve been on, but one of the more memorable as well. To begin with, we were forced off the trail within the first ten minutes by a large grizzly, so BRING YOUR BEAR SPRAY! It doesn’t take long before the the trail starts to incline, and it only gets harder the further you go. We had to take several rests just on the leg up to Rawson Lake. Apart from a small waterfall, there isn’t much to see until you actually get to the lake. But then things change dramatically.

It was early June and there was quite a bit of snow yet, though a lot of the slope heading up to Mt Sarrail was free of snow. The aforementioned climb, however, is a killer. I think we must have stopped every 15 meters for breath. At least we had much to look at, and some curious ground hogs to keep us company. But the truly spectacular view at the top made it in every worthwhile. Pictures cannot do it justice. Be mindful of the extremely bold chipmunks up there. They will not hesitate to make contact, nor get into your pack for a snack.

Coming back down was still laborious, and a little tricky in the snow-covered areas. If you decide to go off the beaten path, take serious precautions. A man was fatally wounded after slipping on snow and falling from some height as we were descending. Without an emergency phone, it’s at best a 90-minute jog back to get help, and even longer for it to arrive. It took us 2.5 hours to walk back. Again, be mindful of bears, as much of the trail does not offer great line of sight either way. Altogether, though, this was an amazing, beautiful hike that I suspect a lot of people don’t know about...I didn’t until my fourth trip to the region. And even though it’s a challenging climb, it’s sooooo worth the effort.

Snowy, but packed-down trail. We used microspikes and so didn't have an issue going up or down steeper sections - which could be slippery had we not had them. Upper Kananaskis Lake was lovely in the sunny clear day we had and Rawson Lake was beautiful with the snow everywhere. The snow did mean that there was serious avalanche risk and a less defined trail from the end of the Rawson Lake trail. We decided the risk wasn't worth it and turned back without continuing to Sarrail Ridge.

Do this hike under excellent conditions. I slogged up for 2.5 hours and still didn’t reach the summit. I went up intending on doing it counter clockwise but had to turn around and come back the way I went. Visibility was poor so I couldn’t see anything up or down. Snow is now present (Oct 1). Bring a friend and lots of energy, but save it for summertime. I did find the trail quite easy to follow, which was nice.

I did it in the second week of September. Beautiful mountain and a good challenge ! You have to be in a good shape if you want to go at the edge ! But it’s so beautiful , you have to do it! We meet maximum 10 persons during the trail , very quiet!

Did this hike yesterday. Beautiful easy to follow trail. Some good inclines from kilometre 1 to 3 then it flattens out. Lots of snow once you get to the lake and quite slippery on the rocks walking around the lake. We didn’t attempt to go to the top of the ridge - it looked too icy to come back down but we will be back next summer to make it to the top!

trail running
23 days ago

The trail head was not marked so thankfully we asked another hiker and were directed the right way early on as multiple trails use this trailhead. Head to the left side of the creek to find the single track trail. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear, especially if the trail is damp or has a bit of snow. We finished it in under 3 hours with work to the helipad and back. It was an incredible climb, taxing on the quads and calves, but with lots of great views of Canmore.

just did this hike yesterday and it's was perfect! lots of steep inclines but the veiws are beautiful highly recommend this hike

Did this on September 15th, was almost 10 cms of snow so couldn’t finish it unfortunately! But was breathtaking, also did the big beehive! Will definitely go back on a summers day!

Did part of this trail today. The switch back up the slope past Lake Agnes was icy. We did not bring spikes so we back tracked and hiked to the end of the box canyon. Very nice hike. Fairly easy.

Do you like wind? Do you like trees? Do you like rocks? If you answered “yes” to at least one of these three questions then the Grotto Mountain Trail might be for you.

Just like the reviewers below, we did this hike in the counterclockwise direction, starting from the bottom and finishing at the bottom- traveling by way of the top.

The way up was quite a “slog” (this was a new term for me- apparently a must know for prospective hiking hardos - please commit to memory before proceeding). Like the previous reviewer we are also super fit, jacked, shredded hikers but we still had to stop on the ascent several times. The trail on the way up isn’t too well marked but it’s easy to tell where you’re supposed to go - up. As long as you stay to the right of the canyon (don’t get too close or risk certain death) you’ll be fine. Loads of green trees and grey rocks to see on the way up!

When we got to the top it was clear that the gods were angry, as the winds of a thousand beer farts were blowing right in our face, making it difficult to stand. A storm was coming in. We decided to have a quick snack and and skrt skrt our way down before the the winds liquid companion sharted down on us.

This is where we went wrong. Instead of following the ridge until a clear path was visible, we decided to follow a goat trail and cut down the mountain earlier than we should have to “save time”. As the goat trail faded into nothingness we realized we had gone the wrong way. I guess the old adage is true - never trust a goat of whomst milf you hath not tasted. After spending 40 minutes walking around the cliffs to see if we could find a safe way down we abandoned that plan and tracked back until we found the (human) trail. The rest of the hike was uneventful, just rocks and trees. 3.5 out of 5

I don't mind admitting this was over my comfort level and physical fitness level. Got to the helipad but the trail is rated hard for a reason so do be mindful of that and be more concious of you abilities than I was. Views are amazing and the trail is easy to find all the way up. I'm going to love that I made it all the way up in a few days when my physical pain goes away! And yes, I'm a bit newbie to mountain hiking and not in top top shape... this is true! So just a heads up for others like me who want to attempt this... maybe you might want to do a few more moderate rated hikes in the mountains before doing this one. I'm from flat place in Ontario and i can do trails rated hard all day long in my area. but the rating system is so much different here in the mountains!

Folks, identity politics aside this is a fair weather smut! Today she was a wet and muddy smut. The views are amazing and hike is not too bad. We got to base of the scramble before the snow and sleet turned us around. The Pass of Caradhras was blocked; so we had no choice but to face the long dark of Moria.

Great hike!! The trail was a little bit muddy due to some light rain but there were no issues doing the hike in just hiking shoes. Poles are recommended and there was Very Minimal snow closer to the top.

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