- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Discover the rolling fescue grasslands at Glenbow Ranch, an active cattle ranch set against breathtaking vistas where you could spot the occasional cowboy or two. This underrated destination offers shorter and longer trail routes and is a great place to explore year-round.
View Glenbow Ranch on Map
- Map Data: ©OpenStreetMap
- Tiles: ©CyclOSM
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Route Description for Glenbow Ranch
While the route we show on the map is one of our favourite hiking paths in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, there are plenty of alternative paths at Glenbow Ranch, making it the perfect place to come back to each season to try different trails.
Start the hike in the Glenbow Ranch parking lot and set out on the main paved path. Continue to follow the paved path through a forested area (which is one of the few spots of shade on the trail).
Pass the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation building on your left and when the road splits, take the short path on the left, then once it ends, turn right.
Enjoy the sounds of crickets in the scenic grassland as you walk down a big hill with great views, continuing south for approximately 850 m until the road begins to bend to the left. Follow the bend and stay on the road for another 1.5 km.
This stretch of road will find you in the bottom of the valley. You’ll also pass a few small barns with cattle gates, and if you’re lucky you just might spot a few cows enjoying the sun.
Once you reach the T intersection, turn right and continue down the trail. Get the kiddos involved and ask them to find posted signs along the way, each explaining the local flora and fauna.
You’ll notice railway tracks up ahead, so check both ways before crossing and find yourself at a three-way crossroad. Continue straight all the way until the next bend in the road, where you’ll get your first glimpse of the Bow River.
Here, the trail snakes up and down along the river in a lollipop shape, creating one big loop back to the three-way crossing. Retrace your steps on the path you were on earlier, but when you come to the Y intersection go left.
Follow this paved path over a few small hills with frequent elevation changes. Continue along the looped path, following the trickling Bow River until you reach the only fork in the path. Here, head right up the coulee on a gravel path.
Find yourself back among the trees with shade and a cool breeze. Here, the path zig-zags slightly along a coulee, which makes for a fun change of trail. Continue to follow the trail back past the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation building until you reach the parking lot.
Insider Hints for Glenbow Ranch
- Mosquitoes can be bad in this area, so we recommend bringing bug spray.
- There is little shade on the trail, so bring sunscreen, a hat, and water to keep cool in hot weather.
- This is a great place to come in every season as the area changes dramatically depending on the time of year.
Getting to the Glenbow Ranch Trailhead
From downtown Calgary, exit right onto Crowchild Trail SW from 6 Ave SE West and Bow Trail SW. Take AB-1A West to Glenbow Road in Rocky View County. Then, turn left onto Glenbow Road. The park will be on your right-hand side where parking is available. Please note that the parking lot can fill up quickly on weekends.
Glenbow Ranch Elevation Graph
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Glenbow Ranch Reviews
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