Photos of Mara Loop Trail

3.4 miles
725 feet

dog friendly

kid friendly



trail running



wild flowers


5 months ago

My family of 3 completed this trail yesterday. We absolutely loved it - the landscape is so unusual for Canada, being a (protected) grasslands. There was a great variety of salt bush, grasses, and wildflowers. One or two pine trees had once been growing there, but appear to have died in a fire. Their remains are very dramatic against the backdrop of the moors.

This is my favourite hike so far in Canada.

The trailhead is easy to find, once you’re there. Follow the All Trails directions through google maps - our car’s sat nav couldn’t find it. There is a small pull over near some cattle fencing, that can take around 4 cars. It’s very lightly used - we had the trail to ourselves - though there was always one or two other cars parked when we were there.

The trail itself is more rustic than we had expected. A narrow path that climbs steeply to a summit, which took us about 45 minutes to get to. But I was stopping often to take photos, so it would be much faster for most others. And then about the same amount of time to get down. In total the trail took us 90 minutes, with plenty of time to stop and admire the scenery. Veterans probably do this in half that time.

There wasn’t a great deal of wildlife around. We watched an eagle at the summit, which was very cool, and there was evidence to suggest that cows graze there.

There were hundreds of mosquitos - the size of dogs - that were really annoying until we got about half way up the hill. They were particularly bad on the roadside.

The climate has been wet in recent days, and so we found a lot of the trail to be very muddy. This was a bit tricky as we were travelling in a brand, new hire car, and we couldn’t get our shoes properly clean. It wasn’t a big deal, but I wish I’d been prepared in advance.

If you’re leaving Kamloops for Jasper, this is a nice hike to get the day started. We then took the scenic route to McLure and the ferry crossing to Highway 5. It added about 30 mins to the day’s drive, but we loved it.