Hikes in Canmore

Region in Alberta, Canada

With craggy, towering summits, epic ridges, turquoise lakes, and gushing waterfalls, hiking in Canmore brings everything you’d expect from the Canadian Rockies. The scenery here is truly epic, with jaw-dropping views over the peaks, lush forests, and wildflower meadows. From the Canmore Nordic Provincial Park, famous for its cross-country skiing, to the beautiful Bow Valley, with its lush forests and beautiful river, there’s so much to explore in this stunning corner of the Rockies.

Need any more reasons to start hiking in Canmore? Probably not! So, here are the 10 best hikes in Canmore, and scroll down to find the full list.

The 10 Best Hikes in Canmore

1. Quarry Lake Hike

The stunning blue waters of Quarry Lake make this a wonderful area for a swim or an easy hike! This short route passes around the lake and the nearby hill for a figure-of-eight loop that offers some very pretty views. It’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular easy hikes in Canmore.

Quarry Lake Hike Guide

2. Bow River Trail Hike

Looking for a fun family-friendly hike in Canmore? The Bow River Trail passes through some wonderful scenery next to the Bow River and can be lengthened or shorted depending on your needs and the abilities of your children. The path is well maintained and can accommodate strollers if necessary. There’s even a playground at the far end if your kids need to blow off a bit more steam!

Bow River Trail Hike Guide

3. Heart Mountain Horseshoe Hike

Looking for big mountain views and a satisfying scramble up one of Canmore’s most iconic peaks? This route around Heart Mountain ticks all the boxes and is one of our favorite day hikes in Canmore. You’ll enjoy a ridge walk, sweeping wildflower meadows, and some breathtaking views.

Heart Mountain Horseshoe Hike Guide

4. Mt. Yamnuska Hike

This epic hike is certainly not for the fainthearted! With some steep parts and a challenging section with chains, there’s certainly plenty of variety and you’ll need to be a confident hiker. However, the magnificent views from the summit and all along the upper part of the trail provide ample compensation for your efforts.

Mt. Yamnuska Circuit Hike Guide:

5. Grotto Canyon Hike

Grotto Canyon is one of our favorite hikes in Canmore. It’s also a firm favorite among older kids, who love to scramble over the boulders and marvel at the streams and waterfalls. You’ll see plenty of rock climbers attempting to scale the walls of the canyon along the way, and there are lots of good places to stop for a break and a picnic!

Grotto Canyon Hike Guide

6. Lady MacDonald Tea House Hike

The name of this lovely hike is somewhat misleading, as you won’t find a teahouse at the end of the trail. The teahouse itself was never actually built, although the site is the perfect place for a picnic! You’ll enjoy magnificent views into Banff National Park and down towards Canmore, and although the route is a little steep, it’s a manageable walk for most people.

Lady MacDonald Tea House Hike Guide

7. Ha Ling Peak Hike

The route up to Ha Ling Peak is an exciting challenge for budding mountaineers, and a great route if you’re a beginner hiker looking for a more advanced route. The path rises steeply, first through dense forest and later with some fabulous views over Miners Peak and the Three Humps. This route will take you to all three peaks, and you’ll need to do some scrambling and navigate a scree slope. Nevertheless, it’s a satisfying challenge and one of our favorite hikes in Canmore!

Ha Ling Peak, Miners Peak, and the Three Humps Hike Guide

8. Main Street, Bow River, and the Rail Bridge Hike

Looking for a family-friendly hike that starts right in the center of Canmore? This easy trail is ideal for families with young kids, taking in the Bow River and the historic Canmore Engine Bridge. The hike culminates at Riverside Park, the perfect place for a pit-stop!

Main Street, Bow River, and the Rail Bridge Hike Guide

9. Grassi Lakes Hike

This easy route to the very pretty Grassi Lakes offers two options, making it the ideal family hike in Canmore. If you’re travelling with a stroller or with people with mobility issues, take the gravel path all the way to the end, where you’ll enjoy stunning views over two beautiful turquoise lakes. The forest trail is much more exciting and passes by the Lawrence Grassi Waterfall – energetic kids are sure to love this option!

Grassi Lakes Circuit Guide

10. Wind Ridge Hike

This exhilarating ridge walk is one of the best hikes in Canmore! With magnificent views and plenty of variety along the trail, you’re sure to enjoy every moment of the hike, passing through lush forest and wildflower meadows before ascending a wild, rocky ridge. You might need to use your hands in places and some scrambling is required, but this is a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable hike.

Wind Ridge Hike Guide

When Is The Best Time To Hike In Canmore?

The best time to hike in Canmore is September when the crowds have dispersed, the weather is still warm and the trees begin to shine in a blaze of autumn colors. Although you may run the risk of catching some early snow, this is a wonderful time to be out on the trail, with fairly warm weather and far fewer people on the busier routes.

The peak season is from June to August, when visitors flock here to enjoy to wonderful summer scenery of the Canadian Rockies, and particularly, to admire the wonderful selection of wildflowers as they bloom in the summer months. Outside this period, the trails are likely to be covered in snow, although you’ll always have some opportunities for low-elevation hikes and snowshoeing, particularly in the valleys. That said, hiking in the Rockies is primarily a summer activity: although the mountains are devastatingly beautiful under a carpet of snow, they can be appreciated from the trail better in the summer.

Other Outdoor Activities In Canmore

Although hiking is one of our favorite activities in this glorious region, there are lots of other outdoor activities in Canmore, which are sure to keep adrenaline junkies happy! Canmore is a brilliant place for backpacking, and there are many multi-day treks and longer routes that can be easily accessed from the town. When your feet get tired, take to two wheels, and explore some of Canmore’s beautiful trails by bike! You’ll find some wonderful road biking routes, as well as some truly epic places for mountain biking. If you enjoy watersports, you could try your hand at canoeing, rafting or paddle boarding, or even go whitewater rafting. There are also opportunities for fishing, horseback riding, climbing, caving, and canyoning, not to mention the usual roster of winter sports when the snows hit. What more could you ask for?

How To Plan A Trip To Canmore

If this has got you dreaming of your next hiking adventure, why not start planning a trip to Canmore? We’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you get the most out of your stay, with accommodation recommendations, seasonal top tips, and of course, all our favorite hikes in the region. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly strolls or challenging scrambles, we’ve got a hike for you.

For those who don't have the time to plan and book their own trips, check out these amazing pre-organized tours in the Canadian Rockies.

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Best Hikes in Canmore

Open details for Heart Mountain Horseshoe

Heart Mountain Horseshoe

Hard
11.8 km
935 m
4.5-6.5h

Hiking the Heart Mountain Horseshoe is a wonderful hike near Canmore. Hiking the full Horseshoe gets you away from the highway and into incredible, big-mountain views. Who knew hiking around Heart Mountain would be this great? We love this hike!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Wind Ridge

Wind Ridge

Moderate
13.9 km
775 m
4.5-6.5h

The hike up Wind Ridge, near Canmore, takes you away from the Bow Valley into the stunning West Wind Valley. Sometimes confused with West Wind Pass (which is accessed from the Smith-Dorrien Hwy), Wind Ridge is a great hike.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Grassi Lakes Hike

Grassi Lakes Hike

Very Easy
4.0 km
185 m
1-1.5h

The Grassi Lakes hike is an ideal route in Canmore for beginners, families unaccustomed to hiking in the mountains, or visitors with smaller children. It includes a pair of picturesque, crystal-clear lakes surrounded by impressive rock faces.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Ha Ling Peak Hike

Ha Ling Peak Hike

Moderate
9.0 km
860 m
4-5.5h

The amazing Ha Ling Peak hike rewards you with some stunning views over the Canmore area. This particular Ha Ling Peak trail takes you past Miners Peak and the Three Humps, offering better views and extending the hike. This popular hike near Canmore is a great way to feel like a mountaineer only 20 minutes from the town.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Quarry Lake

Quarry Lake

Very Easy
3.0 km
15 m
0.5-1h

A hike around Quarry Lake is one of Canmore’s hidden gems. Not only is Quarry Lake a great place to swim, but a family hike around Quarry Lake and the surrounding area delights with wonderful views. Quarry Lake is also a popular off-leash dog-park.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Main Street, Bow River and the Rail Bridge

Main Street, Bow River and the Rail Bridge

Very Easy
3.7 km
25 m
0.5-1h

This is one of Canmore’s best family-friendly walks, and a great hike to introduce somebody to Canmore! Starting along Main Street you then walk down to the Bow River and then along the Spur Line Trail. Here you cross the Bow River on the historic Canmore Engine Bridge and then walk along the Bow River, eventually reaching Riverside Park. This is a family-favorite hike you’ll do again and again!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Lady MacDonald Tea House

Lady MacDonald Tea House

Moderate
9.2 km
905 m
4-6h

Hiking to the Lady MacDonald Tea House is a great hike in Canmore, but beware, you won’t get a Tea House, as it was never built. The Lady MacDonald Teahouse Trail gives great views of Canmore and has wonderful views almost the entire way.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.5
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Mt. Yamnuska Circuit

Mt. Yamnuska Circuit

Very Hard
10.0 km
935 m
4.5-6h

The hike around Mt. Yamnuska is one of Canmore’s favourite hikes. Hiking to Mt. Yamnuska has wonderful views and this is a great hiking trail. But be warned, the chains section is terrifying for many!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Bow River Trail

Bow River Trail

Very Easy
11.8 km
60 m
2.5-3h

Walking along the Bow River is one of the best family-friendly trails in Canmore, and a great way to explore the Bow Valley and Bow River. Start in Downtown Canmore and wander up or down river, with great views and a fine path. Great hike for those with strollers.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Grotto Canyon Hike

Grotto Canyon Hike

Easy
4.4 km
115 m
1-1.5h

The Grotto Canyon hike is a local favourite. Expect to see families and rock climbers as they hike along the pretty Grotto Canyon near Canmore.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.3
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.

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