Hiking is one of my favorite things to do in the late spring, summer and early fall. I am so lucky to live on the doorstep of the Rocky Mountains, where the beauty and grandeur are like no where else. Unfortunately I have been unable to make it out to the mountains much this season. So I thought I would curate a list of hiking trails you have to try before the snow hits those peaks. I reached out to my wonderful Twitter family, and they gave me this list.
So here you go: seven hikes you have to try before fall
Located in Waterton National Park, Crypt Lake is a 17.2 km hike that is challenging, but extremely rewarding. This hike is actually only accessible by boat. You take a short boat ride from Waterton Marina to Crypt Landing where you begin your trek up a fairly steep elevation, taking in the sights such as Burnt Falls and various tunnels on the way to the lake. The hike takes approximately six hours to complete.
Beehive/Lake Agnes Tea House
This is one of my favorite hikes. It's not very difficult, but the reward is worth it. You start at the Chateau Lake Louise trail head and you pass by Lake Agnes Tea House. I recommend stopping there for a some tea and scones! The Beehive is just a few minutes hike from the tea house, and you are rewarded with an incredible view of the Rocky Mountain range.
This moderate hike is a classic for a reason. There are three levels of elevation and difficulty: Lower Falls, Upper Falls and Ink Pots. The Lower and Upper Falls are guided and suitable for inexperienced hikers, families and pets. If you want more of a challenge, keep going to the Ink Pots. The terrain is more back country and there are some fairly steep hills; however, the view is worth it. Not only do you get to see these beautiful spring-fed pools, but you get a cool view of the inside of the canyon. This is a great beginner hike with a big reward. It is a busy hike so go earlier in the day to avoid most of the crowd.
The hike around Moraine Lake is a short, simple but sweet hike. It is a 3km return jaunt that will take you approximately 45 minutes. You are surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Rockies. You can take the option of hiking a little further to see the lake from a different angle and view the Tower of Babel.
Plain Six Glaciers
Touted as one the most scenic hikes in the Rocky Mountains, the Plain of Six Glaciers is definitely a trail you are going to want to try before fall! The hike starts fairly steady, but you get a wonderful reward at the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House. Along the way, you get the most wonderful views of the peaks surrounding the famous Lake Louise. If you keep going, you will get to a viewpoint where you can see Abbot Pass.
This was the one and only hike I have been on this year! It had a slightly higher elevation that I was anticipating and took a little big longer than planned. However, seeing the stunning blue/green lakes were worth every step. This is another great hike for beginners, families and puppies. Like Johnston Canyon, it is quite busy, so make sure you plan accordingly. We arrived at the trail head around 10am and could barely find a parking spot. When we left, people were parking nearly a kilometer away. Getting up an extra hour is worth it - because after you've hiked, you can chow down on some famous Canmore ice cream!
A moderate hike, Ptarmigan Cirque is located in Kananaskis Country. The first bit of the hike is quite steep; however, once you make it through, you are rewarded with incredible views of the cirque. The 5km hike takes approximately three hours to complete.
What are your favorite hiking trail in and around Calgary? Let me know in the comments below!