Heart Mountain Trail

HARD 193 reviews

Heart Mountain Trail is a 10.3 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lac des Arcs, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.3 km
ELEVATION GAIN
940 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

scramble

snow

10 days ago

I loved this scramble. We did the loop - up Heart Mountain first, across the ridge then up Grant McEwan, and down. I’d definitely recommend doing it in that order! Glad I left the dog behind, I think the terrain would have been a little too difficult. Almost no “traditional” scree to scramble over - mostly big slabs requiring some scrambling up, and some scree parts but they were pretty packed down so I wasn’t sliding around too much.

12 days ago

Really great hike with nice views. Definitely a challenge for beginner to intermediate. Little bit of decent scrambling and some bum scooting on the decent if you start the loop clockwise.

23 days ago

Good workout

23 days ago

Hard but rewarding views

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful and challenging!
We took the Scramble up and also did the loop over Grant McEwan peak.
Bring lots of water and be prepared for a steep hike up a decent hike around then a scramble down!

hiking
28 days ago

Did this hike on Sun Aug 19 and really enjoyed it. 2 hrs up the west side then followed the traverse as shown on this map. 1hr 20mins for the traverse to the high point, then 2hrs down. It was a very enjoyable hike despite the smoke. As most scrambling sites/books indicate, do this counter clockwise. As well, there is parking just off the highway, east of the access for lac des arcs and heart creek which will save you a little bit of time.

1 month ago

I wouldn’t classify this route as hard more of a moderate. 2nd favourite in the Canmore area

1 month ago

Fun scramble, but I wouldn’t say the view was overly spectacular.

hiking
1 month ago

A fun day with my hubby! Some hands down parts! Horseshoe loop had great variety of terrain! The registry needs a new book if anyone going up.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike made it onto our "to do" list for the 2018 peak hiking season. First attempt at completing this trek (3 weeks ago) did not go well. We missed the red marker at the crux and ended up on a well used trail that took us far up into the steep debris field on the west side of heart mountain. We ended up running out of time and had to make the decent back down the west leg of the loop.

Our second effort was a success but this hike was certainly not as advertised or described in our guide book. The trail marking after the crux is non existent, well....we couldn't locate any markings. we ended up having to tackle two very difficult and nerve wracking scrambles to make to the summit of heart. The rest of the hike over the 6 peaks had us losing the trail at least three more times.

The views at the top are spectacular but the price paid to get these views was way too high.

Needless to say, Heart Mountain Circuit now has a check mark beside it on our list. This one definitely won't be making it onto our "do again" list.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month 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.

2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

Amazing hike! Would do it again. We went up the heart mountain and hiked the horseshoe trail. Took us awhile because it was quiet and breathtaking.

2 months ago

Awesome variety of views, loved getting to see Barrier Lake on the back side.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike but very easy to take the wrong trail.. definitely go counterclockwise but stick to the left trail the entire way up when you get to the big boulders. I would also track yourself on the map. We ended up going too far right which also looks like a trail but takes you to two scrambles a huge cave on the left hand side then a rock wall which you have no choice but to climb. This does get you back to the real trail.. It was a fun detour but not for those scared of heights. The trail from there onwards is a beautiful ridge walk with constantly changing terrain. Stunning views, loved it!

hiking
3 months ago

It was a good day and exactly what we needed as we had a time crunch and a dog with us , who is a mediocre hiker. However as it is fast, close to the highway and canmore, and relatively well known, it was very busy. Also the top is not as spectacular as you would hope due to not going about the tree line, the plant, and being one of the smaller mountains in the area.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail on the mountain but the waymarking around the parking lot is hopeless, especially at the moment whilst the return trail is closed due to flooding/landslip. Anyone who's about to do this, go counter-clockwise, follow the red diamond ♦ waymarks when the scramble steepens, walk straight out to the highway on the way back and follow this to the parking lot and ALLOW 6 hours!

hiking
3 months ago

reallly fun, nice scramble. It's location next to TransCanada highway makes it noisy, but it gets better as you go higher.

3 months ago

Did this hike last weekend and really enjoyed it. There was just a tiny bit of snow at the top but it was easily circumvented.

hiking
3 months ago

Completed May 27, 2018. Excellent early season full day hike. Took us 6 hrs round trip with a longer lunch break on Heart Mountain summit before heading onto Grant MacEwan Peak and the rest of the horseshoe. Hike gets full sun from early morning till the end so dress appropriate and carry hat/sunscreen. We brought our dog but if we knew what this hike was like and had done it before we would have left him at home. Definitely a tough loop for the pup. Lots of areas he will need a boost and a few spots of elevation he needed a lift / to be fireman carried up. He is a Shepard/Border Collie cross and has done summits before. This one was a for sure test for him. A harness to strap your dog in would be beneficial.

3 months ago

This hike is amazing!! Super underrated, will definitely do again. Great beginners scramble. Definitely do this hike counterclockwise and do the whole horseshoe! Would be pretty difficult to go back down the same way you came up. Wouldn’t recommend for dogs, and make sure you have a decent pair of hiking boots. We went on a Friday, took us about 5 hours and only saw 3 other people the whole time.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great beginner hike for learning to scramble and setting a good hiking pace. The route can be a little confusing as makers are few and far between, but its fairly easy to find your way around. Accessible to dogs, although they need the odd boost here and there.

hiking
3 months ago

This turned out to be quite a long hike but it was so worth it! You reach a few different summits and there’s about equal scrambling upwards as there is downwards on the horseshoe, traffic was pretty heavy but staggered so it wasn’t too congested. It took us 5 hours to complete and there was only 2 sections with snow left on it!

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

good hiking and scramble

hiking
4 months ago

This was a much longer and harder hike than initially anticipated. There isn't a very well defined path for around 50% of heart mountain, the path around the horseshoe is a bit better- but not something I personally would have felt comfortable navigating alone. there was still snow up to my hip at some parts on the other ridges. This took my group of 3 about 8 hours to complete.

Overall, it was a long, hard hike, but there were just enough amazing views to make it worth it all. Just be prepared- and this hike isn't well suited for most dogs.

4 months ago

Overall this made for a fantastic day. Moderate scramble at the beginning and gets fairly easy after that. Recorded 13.5km on gps. Excellent views from the top ridge- definitely plan on doing that again

4 months ago

Great trail and scramble. The late winter made walking out seem like a lot of post hole hell. So down I down climbed it. Good beginners scramble!

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