hiking

7 days ago

Great workout! Beautiful hike! Highly recommended!

Nice walk with beautiful views of mountains.

the direct route is in the trees most of the way and steep. the Northwest is definitely the way to go.

I did this hike yesterday and it was great! Parts of the trail are pretty dry if not dusty. There is a thin layer of snow and ice on the trail that is exposed and not protected by the trees. Higher up it's a bit deep but it has been packed down from other hikers. It's definitely doable if you have microspikes and poles. I actually thought it was easier this time then in the summer because the spikes gripped into the ground. Made for a beautiful day in the sunshine!

Boardwalk is beautiful. Easy walk.

Pretty steep and lots of scree but what an amazing view from the ridge line!! Now that it's more winter recommend bringing spikes, making sure to stay on trail and walking poles for sure!

December 10, 2018.

Rating: I find All Trails is often rating hikes more difficult than they actually are. This is not the case. This is a hard, steep hike, with a lot of elevation gain. There are some switch backs, but a lot is just straight up on bare or loose rock. (Currently dashed in snow)

Route: We took the Grotto Trail Hard Route up, as suggested by research; but then back down that route as well, as it was too windy to feel comfortable on the traverse. However, we got lost on our way up...and our way down. There are so many trails that branch out, you actually need to be constantly checking. And trust me, when I say don’t “bushwhack”, just go back and find the proper trail. I did find the trials hard to follow, probably due to snow coverage and no human tracks. There is flagging tape, which did help tremendously. Thanks to whoever placed those! But overall, hard to follow. And yes. There are times that you are walking alongside the cliffs, but not to the point that I personally find frightful. You can chose to stay further off the cliff side.

Conditions: Being a south facing hike with constant sunshine, there was minimal snow. But, it is still mid December on a mountain...There were sections that there was deep pockets of snow, (like knee height) but for the most part, easy to avoid. Today it was mostly cloudy with no issues in visibility, however it was insanely windy, to the point we just weren’t comfortable doing to loop.

Gear: Poles and spikes were more hindrance than help today. We did initially have our spikes on, but elected to take them off pretty quick. Poles were mostly just being dragged as it was steep and bare rock for the second 2/3 of the hike up.

Time: Reviews are saying 6-7 hours. I mean, yah, I’m sure that’s doable. However, our slow asses too 6 hours up, 5 hours down. Total of approximately 14km and 20,000 steps as per our Fitbit/Apple watch. Keeping in mind we do some adventuring. We did go off the trail and did go down the wrong trails several times. We did also take several breaks to just enjoy where we were. Hiked from before sunrise to after sunset. But the stars were beautiful.

***All and all, beautiful hike. Definitely would recommend. I will absolutely do it again in hopes to find a day with less wind.***

It’s steep as you hike up on a used trail along the side of the mountain and then you come to a clearing of large rocks and boulders. The trail seems to disappear. However it is clear which way to go. You get out of breath as the incline increases but at the top where the “Tea House” is the views of Canmore and the Mountains are spectacular! There is no real Tea House that you can dine at. This is a difficult slow climb and recommend for the seasoned hiker.

Very challenging and rewarding hike. We wore micro spikes and used poles for the snow and ice- very glad we did!
Pretty cold and windy at the top for this time of year , we only made it to the helicopter pad and back. Took almost 4.5 hours.
Legs are sore today !
Will definitely do this trail again - hoping to reach the summit in the spring/summer.

I spent a perfect morning hiking this awesome mountain! The weather is stunning for November. It took me around 2.5 hours to get to the teahouse.

Excellent day with dry conditions! We clocked 11 km and 912 metre gain to helipad! 4 hours 10 minutes with lots of breaks! Amazing hike and views! Can’t wait to come back and go up ridge !

Fun little walk. Pretty scenery

Excellent day with dry conditions! We clocked 11 km and 912 metre gain to helipad! 4 hours 10 minutes with lots of breaks! Amazing hike and views! Can’t wait to come back and go up ridge !

Thigh burner for sure! Some snow and packed ice present, spikes and poles recommended. Got lucky and had a glorious sunshine lunch on the helipad - very little wind.

Did this hike yesterday with my dog, it was absolutely amazing , it was both of our first time ever really hiking in the Canadian Rockies. Amazing views on the way up and absolutely breath taking on the way down, times this one out perfectly to watch the sun setting behind the mountains. 5 hours total and that’s with stopping for multiple water and food breaks for myself and my dog.

Holy Smokes!!! If you’re trying to decide whether or not this trail qualifies as “HARD”, I’ll go ahead and confirm your questions! So we went up to Grotto (Oct 6th) right after Canmore saw it’s first snow which made for the poorest visibility when it came to trail markings or any sign of life, human or animal. The ascent was grueling to say the least and there are many questionable areas where following the orange flags (which are few and far between) puts you on the far left side of the cliff, dangerously close to the edge many times. There were a lot of times when we had to cut through the trees and continue on our own path to avoid certain death over the edge. Also prepare to do some scrambling A LOT, there are plenty of steep slopes that contain fine gravel which makes it difficult to find hand grips and proper footing. Once you clear the trees, get ready for a whole new type of climbing. The open wide space is visually rewarding but don’t get too ahead of yourself, there is still a long way to go to reach the summit. As everyone else reviewing has said, there’s only one way and that is up. We made sure to keep our eye on the large radio tower as a landmark with the traverse on our left. We made the mistake of starting this trail too late in the day (10:30 AM) and by the time we got to the top, the sun was beginning to descend behind the mountains and we had to make a big decision. Continue to the peak and take the traverse counterclockwise or turn around and go right back the way we came. Being that we had no proper lighting with us and had already begun to feel the effects of hypothermia, we sadly turned back. Let me add that my fiancé and I are AVID well seasoned hikers and have hiked all over, from Canada to New Zealand and this is the first time that we have ever been beaten by a mountain. The fresh powder snow, no visual trail, and icy conditions had gotten the best of us. It was a very discouraging moment for us but looking back now, I know we made the wisest decision. After the sun had set, we were barely to the tree line at this point. We continued the descent with only the flashlight from our cellphone and ended up finding the dry creek from the beginning of our hike almost 5 hours later. Thoroughly frozen, disheartened and bloody, we arrived back at our car at 11 o’clock at night. All this being said, we will be back to conquer the Grotto again in better conditions. Put this hike on your list for sure, it’s an indescribable sense of accomplishment.

Very beautiful hike. Definitely worth the up hill. A bit to windy for me and super cold at the helipad. would try to do again on less windy and warmer day.

Fun safe early morning walk for those visiting from out of town. I went alone as a female before sunrise and felt safe. I saw a lot of rabbits and some birds we don’t have in Georgia.

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.

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 :)

nice easy walk.

Little icy in spots, ok trail, pretty but not remarkable. Great for a trek thru town without having to walk the main road.

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.

trail running
3 months 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.

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!

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.
Enjoy!!

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing. Hard. Long. We did go counter clockwise, thank goodness, the other way around would have been madness. We are mid 30s, fit and used to strenuous hikes. Still took us 8 hours (with lots of photos). The scramble on loose rocks felt iffy, we heard an avalanche while standing on the top in an adjacent valley. Bring plenty of water. We had rain, snow, mud, loose rocks, sunshine,... everything, so bring your layers! Breaking through the clouds to the sunshine above was glorious. Stunning 360 degrees views. The ridge hike was delightful. Overall, strenuous and no joke, be prepared and know your way.

Load More