Grassi Lakes Circuit hike

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Grassi Lakes Circuit hike

Distance: 4.0km
Elevation: 185m
Time: 1-2h

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

Grassi Lakes Circuit hike Map

Getting there

Drive 1.1km past the Canmore Nordic Centre and take the left turn down Ken Ritchie Way to the Grassi Lake Trail head.

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When to do

May through October

Backcountry Campsites




Family friendly


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Grassi Lakes Circuit
Elevation Graph

Route Description for Grassi Lakes Circuit hike

As of July 3rd, 2018 the Grassi Lakes trail will be closed for construction until August 31st, 2018!

Perhaps the hardest part of the Grassi Lakes hike is getting to it. Head past the Canmore Nordic Centre and take your first left, down a paved road to a parking lot on your right. If you get here later in the morning, you may be parking on the road.

Start off on the hike up to Grassi Lakes on a wide gravel access road that leads into the forest from the parking lot. After approximately 150m, a smaller trail leads off to the left into the forest. At this point you can choose to continue on the wide “easy” path to the lakes or take this route to the left, which was built by Lawrence Grassi.

The “easy” path to Grassi Lakes is a steady climb on a wide gravel path. All-terrain strollers can handle this route, and the path is simple to follow. The “difficult” forest trail is a much more exciting route, though not suitable for strollers or young children. In wet or snowy weather we don’t recommend this trail, as the potential for injury is possible.

Personally, we prefer to do a circuit where we go up on the “difficult” trail and down on the “easy” trail, which we’ll describe below.

After taking the left-hand trail, you’ll be on a smaller path that heads away from the main route. There are few challenges with route finding, and your path will provide greater views. After approximately 1.7km you will reach the Lawrence Grassi Waterfall. Note that there is some exposure on the stone steps that have been created, and they do get quite slippery.

Coming past the waterfall you’ll soon reach a road. Turn right on this road and head towards Grassi Lakes. Take time to enjoy the first lake and then travel up to the second lake.

To return, head over the wooden bridges and towards the gravel path that is traveling back towards the start.

Insider Hints

  • This is a busy hike, so starting early or late gives increased solitude.

  • Head to Le Fournil Bakery in Canmore for the best pastries to bring along. Sit on a bench at one of the lakes and enjoy a wonderful break.


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Nathaliec 3 weeks ago

La randonnée "difficile " est définitivement la plus jolie en raison de la cascade. Il vaut mieux monter par ce côté et descendre par le côté "facile" à mon avis. Lorsque nous sommes passés, le sol était mouillé donc ça aurait été glissant en descente. Très belle manière de débuter notre périple dans les rocheuses.

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    Richard Campbell 3 weeks ago

    Nathalie, Merci pour votre response en francais. Je suis heureux que 10Adventures soit utilise par des francophones.

Wyatt Thomas 2 months ago

Lovely afternoon walk on the Grassi lakes circuit.

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sammy 3 months ago

easy walk for the whole family. But the crowds are quite intense.

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JudyW 3 months ago

What a lovely place to be, the lake looks like from the pictures

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RC-DC 3 months ago

Take the kids to Grassi Lakes every year. they love it! Well, maybe they just love the stop at the candy store after....

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