Grotto Mountain Trail

HARD 189 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Grotto Mountain Trail is a 8.9 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Canmore, Alberta, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.9 km Elevation Gain: 1,352 m Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

running

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

snow

This is a very steep trail that involves some serious scrambling. We do not recommend attempting this hike alone.

hiking
14 days ago

Awesome view very difficult with some easy scrambling not sure I’d do this in the winter

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike last week. We downloaded the map and had no issues finding the trail. We started at Alpine club parking lot. This is steady up hill hike, took us 2 hrs up. Views are fantastic, windy and cold on top had to start moving as our fingers got cold (had gloves on) walked the ridge and came down the other side. Legs were burning the down walk is not as nice, trail seems more like old water rundown trail. Hard on knees and quads did it under 2 hrs down. Finally did this trail and will do again. Saw in total other 7 people on the trail, 5 from distance, with 2 we crossed our paths. I recommend this trail for the experience people!

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

We hiked the easy side going up and the difficult side down. Very pretty views at the summit and Grassing Lake a tranquil spot. Hike down was steep and slippery due to rain the past few days. The trail was hard to spot going down as we weren’t always sure we should be walking in water. Glad we did this trail!

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was a grind under the hot sun. The top is very exposed which could make some people uncomfortable... Views are mint!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Hiked September 6th, 2019. This was a very hard hike. We started from the lady Mac side and went through horseshoe loop to start it. We had to back track here a little as there are numerous intersections (download a map!). Once we hit the grotto trailhead, it was very straightforward for trail finding. And this is where it becomes gruelling and unrelentless. Steep-ups without any flats sections at all until you are at the ridge. The ridge is super chill and not scary. Stay high on the ridge - we did get too low at one point and had to scramble to get back up to the ridge. It was smooth sailing on the way back down and very easy to see where we went wrong. Views were fantastic at the top. The run down is usually my favourite part of any hike but this one was a tough run down only because of the lack of flat break zones. Quads were fired up once we made it to the bottom! I am giving this a rare three stars only because it was personally more of a ‘bucket list’ hike that I won’t do again. It is a great fitness challenge hike for sure but a bit of a sufferfest. Keep the mantra ‘dig deep’ in mind on the ascent! Overall, this one took 5hrs return to the lady Mac parking lot.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Some major scrambling with this hike!! Went counter clockwise which was better. Only passed one person on the trail. Took us all just about 8 hours because of how steep it was. Steepest trail I’ve done yet, an absolute thigh burner. No wildlife seen. Fantastic views though, and walking the ridge was a lot of fun.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Not for inexperienced hikers or those afraid of exposure and heights! The Northwest Variation is the easier route. Ascending or descending the direct route is extremely challenging. Route finding can be a real challenge on the direct route, especially above the tree line. Beautiful views of Canmore and Kananaskis.

hiking
off trail
scramble
washed out
1 month ago

Well we got lost on way back. went counter-clockwise. Was amazing first time when we had time to appreciate the views. the nighttime photo was us. Got caught in some fog, rain and thundet and descended to early. Had to re-climb 150m. Ran into a bear in pitch black but had bear spray and low lighting. Make sure you follow the trail or you will get screwed.

hiking
blowdown
off trail
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Nice views from the top. A lot of rocky areas, long scramble, not so dog friendly trail☝

hiking
1 month ago

Best views of the bow valley

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Did the route going CCW with two dogs and a friend. Definitely a leg burner on the way up with a pile of loose rock. Moderate exposure in some spots. The views and ridge walk at the top are absolutely stunning.

hiking
2 months ago

*IMPORTANT* Recommend CCW, and then be mindful to keep RIGHT when descending from the top the entire way down. Initially veered toward the antenna equipment and had a dangerously fun time descending the scree. You can view my recording to avoid our mistakes! Steep climb, harder descend. Great views, no wildlife and quiet trails.

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Today I hiked up and down ACC route (clockwise till the summit). Trail was steep but easy until the first false summit. After that it was possible to see a bit of trail or people pole scrapes on rocks, but shortly the trail became very hard to find. We definitely took a much harder (although quit fun and challenging in a good way) route than we needed to but we couldn’t afford the extra energy this required and ended going through all of our water by the end of the hike. If I had known I was going to be bouldering and running across scree slopes I would have packed more. The trail really should be marked better in the alpine. Quick tip, stay high, don’t go low. The trail follows within 10 ft of the ridge after the false summits. The decent down the ACC is also very poorly marked, especially since there are countless lines to take. The main route really should he marked with flagging tape. All together though, the hike was fun, challenging, and we would do it again, although we might take the direct route.

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