Calgary is a gorgeous city in Alberta that is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Within close proximity in any direction from Calgary, you can meander through canyonlands, hike through evergreen forests, gaze across meadows, and survey mountaintops from about 145 scenic trails! If you own a piece of Calgary Real Estate, consider yourself lucky, as you’re not far from virtually endless outdoor possibilities. Get your best hiking shoes ready because we’ve gathered a list of the 7 best places to go hiking in Calgary that you’re sure to enjoy!
Grassi Lake Trail
Located about 108 km or an hour and fifteen minutes west of Calgary is the Grassi Lake Trail. It’s an easy trail with about a 4 km roundtrip and an elevation gain of 220 m. This trail is a short hike away from breathtaking views and can be accessed from Canmore. There are actually two trails offered in this area. One is primarily through a forest with not really any elevation changes. The other is a little harder, but with more to offer with a waterfall, rock stairs, and stuffing views of Canmore and Rundle Forebay. The lakes here are blue and emerald and change colours depending on how the sun’s rays bounce off their surface. The most ideal time to go is during the months of May through October.
Located about 93 km or an hour and six minutes west of Calgary is the Grotto Canyon Hike. This easy trail is only about 4.2 km with an elevation gain of 225 m. From the parking lot you’ll walk about 1km till you reach the creek and then follow it until you reach the falls. From there, you can continue hiking up the creek bed to the hoodoos. If you look closely, you can even see some ancient pictographs on the canyon walls! You can hike this canyon any time of year, but you’ll want to be sure to bring microspikes for your shoes during the winter months to do some ice hike walking on the frozen creek.
Located about 150 km or an hour and forty-seven minutes northwest of Calgary is Johnston Canyon in the Banff National Park. Mentioned in our best places to go mountain biking, this is a fairly easy trail that can take you one of two ways. The first way will take about 7.4 km and have you returning to the Upper Falls with an elevation gain of about 150 m. The second is about 12 km and will bring you to Ink Pots with an elevation gain of about 335 m!
You’ll start your hike along Bow Balley Parkway, which will lead you to the Lower Falls where you can see them up close through a rock tunnel. To get to the Upper Falls, you’ll hike for about 2.5 km and experience a bit of elevation change. It is worth it as there are several breathtaking waterfalls. To get to the Ink Pots, you’ll continue another 3.5 km, where you’ll come upon five bluish-green pools of cold mineral spring water. The great thing about this hiking trip is that you can stay at local campgrounds so you can get the full experience of the canyon any time of year!
Ha Ling Peak
Located about 111 km or one hundred and twenty minutes west of Calgary is Ha Ling Peak. This is a moderate trail is only about 6 km, with an elevation gain of about 737 m, and will spit you out where you started. This is a fairly popular trail that is quick, with steep inclines and breathtaking panoramic views. Part of the trail had received a lot of wear and has been rebuilt and made easier to access than it was before. Just about every step of the trail offers stunning views of Bow Valley and Canmore, but for some extra thrill, you’ll want to continue past the ridge to the summit of Ha Ling Peak. Due to the nature of this trail, it’s best to visit here from May to October.
Glenmore Reservoir Trail
Located within the Calgary city limits is the 15 km Glenmore Reservoir Trail. The trail forms a loop so you’ll end right where you started. It has an elevation gain of nearly 293 m and takes roughly four hours to complete. Due to its close proximity to the Calgary city centre, the Glenmore Trail is popular with hikers who want to stay close to the city. You’ll often find people birding, cross-country skiing, biking, hiking, and even those on a stroll with their dogs. Another positive thing about this trail is that it wanders through fields, meadows, forests, and bridges, with frequent access to water. Most people visit this trail in the warmer months, from March through October.
Located close to the Glenmore Reservoir Trail in Calgary, are the Weaselhead Flats. This is a great trail if you don’t have a lot of time. This short 4.8 km hiking trail makes a loop and takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to walk through with an elevation gain of about 105 m. This is a very popular trail that can get a little crowded at times, but for good reason. It’s a favourite spot for locals who are into birding, cross-country skiing, and hiking. It’s important to note that dogs aren’t allowed on this trail, so you’ll have to leave your companion at home for this one.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Located near the heart of Calgary, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary offers an easy 3 km route that only takes about 45 minutes to walk, with an elevation gain of about 48 m. This trail creates a loop as it follows the Bow River and is ideal for those with families to explore. Perfect for a short walk in the evenings before bed! A lot of people also come here for bird watching and snowshoeing too. Though this trail is open year-round, some portions of the trail can become quite muddy during the spring melt.