Heart Mountain Trail

HARD 181 reviews

Heart Mountain Trail is a 10.3 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8, 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

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

cave

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

scramble

snow

hiking
26 days ago

Amazing hiking conditions for the end of January. Did the loop counter clockwise. Lots of variety of hiking in this trail, it gets better when you get away from the traffic. Brought 3 litres of water and drank it all. Have fun and be safe.

hiking
1 month ago

Some exposure areas , not for beginners.

1 month ago

Did it clockwise today. Very windy once on the ridge. Good views.

hiking
1 month ago

We went counterclockwise but didn’t make it quite to the top because it was Very windy as we went past the 1.5 km mark. Many trail options -steeper or less steep or climbing areas. Stayed to left for more trees and things to grab when scrambling up. No snow or ice so no crampons needed. Alright view but not nice to see the ex Shaw factory right there. Awesome terrain though.

hiking
2 months ago

Did the loop counter-clock wise and there were a few tricky sections with some exposure heading up. As many mentioned before don't miss the red diamond but it doesn't necessarily mean you have to go up right there but within a 20 foot radius you do, pick the spot you feel most comfortable and ensure your feet have good holds then push your way up by bouldering. From there, you have one more spot where you have to climb up a crack in the rock and also ensure your feet have holds and go for it! the way down the snow was the trickiest part as right now it's a thick crust with soft dry snow below so just take your time. Beautiful views, and endless ridgelines, with multiple peaks (or false summits). The tallest summit is Grant MacEwan so save your summit beers for that one if you bring anything! You'll know when you find the time capsule which is currently full to the brim.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this one on Dec 22. Fantastic little scramble that we decided to do clockwise. The hike up to the ridge is very straightforward without much scrambling. Once you start heading down Heart Ridge, things change dramatically. A bit of route finding and some interesting scrambling sections. If you take your time and be mindful these sections won’t be a problem. Very little snow on the trail if any, more concentrated on the top. Have fun !!

hiking
3 months ago

Enjoyed Heart Mountain, Horseshoe Trail hike. We did this back in May 2018. We did the couple harder scrambles, we did go counter-clockwise (west to east) and found the ♦️ painted on the side of a cliff, climbed up there... I’m sure we got off the trail a few times. Scramble up and down the other side. This hike is in FULL Sun, and can be very windy. Bring lots of water, and some food. It turned into a full day hike for us by time we found our way back to parking. Breathtaking views the whole time, took lots of pictures. Loved it! It was a challenge for us.

4 months ago

Love ❤️ Mountain! Challenging up but the views make it worth every step. There was a marker (red square on a cliff) that could be easily missed and then you could end up going the wrong way and getting cliffed out.
Really enjoyed the “multiple summits” ;)
The trail is a loop that offers great views the entire time.

4 months ago

did it last weekend of Sept. totally covered in snow and a bit slippery whem scramble starts. highly would recommend spikes.

4 months ago

Amazing views. Not an easy one. Carry a lot water as it can take a few hours to do the entire loop

5 months 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.

5 months 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.

5 months ago

Aug 25, 2018 - Good workout

5 months ago

Hard but rewarding views

hiking
6 months 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
6 months 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.

6 months ago

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

6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months 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
6 months 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
7 months 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
7 months 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.

7 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
7 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.

7 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.

7 months ago

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

hiking
7 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
8 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
8 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
8 months ago

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

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