I’ve been writing a lot about mountain biking the Rockies lately, but today I thought the mountain man should give it a rest and do some work on his old favorite past time, hiking. One of my favorite places for hiking, that sometimes gets overlooked by vacationers, is the Canmore, Alberta area.
Canmore sits right on the edge of Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country, and has some of the most beautiful scenic peaks, rivers, flower meadows and waterfalls you’ll find in the Rockies.
Add that to great local pubs, restaurants and lodging, and you’ve got yourself an excellent place to spend some vacation time, whether you’re a mountain man or a tourist. If you want to check it out for yourself, visit the Canmore webcam. Anyway, here’s a couple quick local hikes to get you on your way in Canmore.
My first selection is an easy trail that begins along the highway pull-off. Basically, you’ll follow the highway very shortly, then walk along Heart Creek. Heading upstream towards Bow River, this walk is nice and mellow, with a view of huge limestone rocks frequented by expert rock climbers. The finish line is at the small waterfall waiting for Heart Creek hikers, and it’s possible to get a closer look at the cascade if hikers can stand a little bit of wet feet afterwards.
Here’s a more moderate hike, located near Dead Man’s Flats and tackle Skogan Pass. From Alpine Resort Haven to the top of Skogan Pass, this is a 10-kilometer hike climbing 677 meters (2,221 feet) upwards. This hike has a nice, which can make the hiking much easier. As hikers ascend to the summit a beautiful view of the town of Banff and the rugged Cascade Mountain is their backdrop — an added touch of nature for pauses and lunch stops along the trail. On the way back, hikers can either return on the same trail or turn at marker 20.3 for a nice wander along Ribbon Creek Trailhead.
This final hike is a bit more challenging. Hikers who want to get some real exercise, the kind of exercise that makes you forget you ever worked in and office, will want to take this trail on. Basically, this is just a straight walk up a mountain, with no switchbacks. Begin at the Heart Creek Day Use Area and follow the Heart Creek Trail. Continue up the ridge and begin climbing upwards until arriving at the summit. It’s hard work, but the ending view is a magnificent shot of the Bow Valley.