Canmore, Alberta: Find the Right Hike for Your Vacation

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Written by Patrick J. Smith posted on Friday, June 18th, 2010

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One of the most terrific places for hiking vacations in the Canadian Rockies, that often gets passed over by visitors, is the Canmore, Alberta area. It’s name may not carry the weight that Banff and Jasper do to people who haven’t been, but trust me, this little town that borders the wilderness paradises of both Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country has everything you need for a hiking vacation.

Canmore offers great opportunities for local hiking.

There are miles and miles of trails to explore, some beautiful mountain peaks, and pristine rivers and waterfalls the make for a truly spectacular piece of the Rockies.

On top of all that you’ve got terrefic local restaurants, pubs and lodging, to take care of you once you’re back off the trail. Want to see it yourself? Visit the free Canmore webcam! Below you’ll find three great hikes. Everyone should be able to do at least one of these.

Heart Creek

This is nice easy trail that begins along the highway pull-off. Just follow the highway very shortly, then walk along Heart Creek. Stroll upstream towards Bow River, as you take in the view of huge limestone rocks frequented by expert rock climbers. You’ll finish up at a small waterfall that you can actually get pretty close to, if you don’t mind getting a little wet.
Skogan Pass

This hike’s a bit more moderate. You’ll find it near Dead Man’s Flats and tackle Skogan Pass. From Alpine Resort Haven to the top of Skogan Pass, this hike is a respectable 10k. It climbs 677 meters (2,221 feet) upwards. 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.

Heart Mountain

My final hiking suggestion is not an easy one, or moderate for that matter. If you’re looking to get some real exercise during your Canadian Rockies vacation, this is your hike. 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 you’ll be rewarded by a great view of the Bow Valley.

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