12 Of The Most Beautiful & Best Kananaskis Hikes To Explore!

Sharing is caring!

Marvel at the beauty of the Canadian Rockies when you’re visiting Kananaskis Country. Here are 12 of the best Kananaskis hikes to add to your bucket list.

Found in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Kananaskis Country was named after the Kananaskis River. Established under the Alberta government as a self-improvement district in 1945, the area covers about 1,500 square miles and boasts utterly astounding natural landscapes.

Much of the land within Kananaskis is protected by law for ecological purposes, restricting the extraction of natural resources as well as activities that are permitted in the area. However, things like mining, oil and gas exploration, logging, and other industrial and commercial activities are allowed, but only under very strict and specific conditions.

Today, Kananaskis Country is beloved for its natural beauty and is a favorite location in Canada for outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing, horse riding, mountain biking, hunting, and, of course, hiking. 

At only an hour’s drive from Calgary, it’s a great location if you’re looking for the perfect break away from the city. With flights at under 2 hours from both Kelowna and Vancouver, Kananaskis makes for a great weekend getaway from BC, not to mention from other parts of Canada and the US too!

With a plethora of hiking trails to choose from, varying in length, difficulty, and type, this is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to hike in Canada.

As of 2021, visitors require a Kananaskis Conservation pass to be able to hike in Kananaskis and the Bow Valley Corridor. The passes are linked to vehicle registrations rather than individuals, you can choose between day passes or annual passes, depending on whether you’re a tourist or a local.

Without further ado, here then is our roundup of 12 of the best Kananaskis hikes and trails.

Ps. If you’re looking to add other North American hiking destinations to your travel bucket list, then be sure to not miss out on the beautiful hikes of Colorado Springs, Lake Arrowhead, and Sedona AZ, and hikes found near Stowe Vermont to name but a few!

Disclaimer: This post contains links to services or products that I trust and recommend and from which I may earn commissions. Read our privacy policy for more.

5 Must-Pack Hiking Essentials For These Kananaskis Hikes

  1. A hiking day backpack
  2. Comfy pair of men’s boots, or woman’s hiking boots
  3. Hiking water bottle for hydration
  4. A cozy men’s and woman’s windbreaker for those gusty summits
  5. A set of hiking poles

12 Top Kananaskis Trails & Hikes

1. Rawson Lake Hike

Rawson Lake © Image Courtesy of CoreyTse from Getty Images by Canva
Rawson Lake © Image Courtesy of CoreyTse from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Upper Kananaskis Parking Lot, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 5.4-miles

Best enjoyed during the summertime, the Rawson Lake Hike follows a mossy green forest trail. It’s about 5.4 miles long and while most of the route is reasonably flat, it does include some decent inclines that are sure to get your heart racing if you’re wanting to get some proper exercise.

The trail leads you out to Rawson Lake – enjoy the views of the water and surrounding forest as you wander along the path. 

It may be a little brisk early in the mornings, and you might even come across some snow and ice if you get there before the sun has started beating down. It’s pretty manageable and you should be fine hiking in trail shoes during the summertime, but if you’re there in winter, you’ll definitely need something more suitable like snowshoes.

The earlier you go, the better, because the trail tends to get quite busy with families and tourists often starting the hike a little later in the morning. If you get there before the crowds, you’ll be able to enjoy the route and the views in peace. 

Plus, if there is snow or ice, it’ll still be fresh, so you won’t have to deal with mud and sludge!

2. Ptarmigan Cirque

Ptarmigan Cirque © Image Courtesy of bgsmith from Getty Images by Canva
Ptarmigan Cirque © Image Courtesy of bgsmith from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Highwood Meadows Day Use Area, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada 
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.2-miles

While the Ptarmigan Cirque hiking trail isn’t particularly far – only 2.2 miles long – it’s still not an easy hike either. It’s steep and tough, ensuring that you’ll get a decent workout while exploring this trail!

Located in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, this trail will allow you to enjoy the gorgeous scenery that this part of the world is known for. 

Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be lucky enough to enjoy Alberta’s electrifying Autumnal colors. Along the way, you can look out for Larch trees and lovely waterfalls that you can get right up close to!

The steep incline doesn’t last the whole trail, but it may be a good idea to take along hiking poles if you really want to enjoy the trail.

3. Ha Ling Peak

Ha Ling Peak © Image Courtesy of David Yu from Alltrails
Ha Ling Peak © Image Courtesy of David Yu from Alltrails
  • Location: Spray Lakes Road, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 4.5-miles

Unfortunately, the Ha Ling Peak hiking trail is currently closed and is under construction for the remainder of 2022. However, we’ve added it to our list in the hope that it’ll reopen in the near future!

The Ha Ling Peak trail is a beautiful hike with awesome views and fantastic scenery along the way. But be prepared for lots of uphill! This route isn’t the most difficult, but it certainly requires a bit of stamina and involves some scrambling up and over rocks.

4. Grassi Lakes Hike

Grassi Lakes Hike © Image Courtesy of Jairo-Rene-Leiva from Getty Images by Canva
Grassi Lakes Hike © Image Courtesy of Jairo-Rene-Leiva from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Spray Lakes Road, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.1-miles

One of the best hikes near Kananaskis, and certainly one of the most popular, the Grassi Lakes Hike boasts extraordinary scenery. Unfortunately, this trail is also currently closed for upgrades, but it’s well worth putting on your to-do list for when it reopens!

Only 2 miles long, you’ll be able to enjoy views of multiple gorgeous lakes as you wander along, and the view of Canmore below is breathtaking. 

The most popular route is moderately difficult, but there’s also an easier option if you’re looking for something a little bit more relaxed. The different trails are well marked, so you shouldn’t get mixed up!

Be aware, however, that in winter, and even in the summer when things are on the chilly side, there may be ice on the trail. You don’t absolutely have to use hiking poles and cleats, but they’ll certainly help if you’re worried about slipping!

5. Pocaterra Ridge Hike

Pocaterra Ridge Hike © Image Courtesy of Daniel McQuillan by Canva
Pocaterra Ridge Hike © Image Courtesy of Daniel McQuillan by Canva
  • Location: Highwood Meadows Day Use Area, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Point to point
  • Distance: 6.1-miles

If you’re looking for a hike that’ll challenge you and help you get your heart rate up, the Pocaterra Ridge Hike is one of the best Kananaskis hikes to test your athletic ability. 6.1 miles in length, this is a point-to-point route that boasts awesome views the whole way.

If you lose your mojo along the way or find that the trail is too difficult, you can enjoy the false summits and turn back before you reach the main summit right at the top. 

The best part is that the Pocaterra Ridge Hike provides awesome scenery from start to finish, so if you don’t complete the full route, you’ll still have a wonderful experience.

6. Sarrail Ridge Hike

Sarrail Ridge Hike © Image Courtesy of Brady Anderson from Alltrails
Sarrail Ridge Hike © Image Courtesy of Brady Anderson from Alltrails
  • Location: Upper Kananaskis Lake Day Use Area, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 7.0-miles

If you’re looking for a hike that’ll make you work hard for spectacular views, the Sarrail Ridge Hike is the one for you. When it comes to Kananaskis hiking, it’s one of the most difficult routes, but boy is it worth the effort! This hike involves lots of uphill and a serious amount of climbing that isn’t for the faint of heart.

About 7 miles long, it’ll take between five and six hours to complete, depending on your ability and fitness, and it’s one that you’ll never forget. 

If you like, you can do the entire route as a hike in one day, but it’s also popular for camping and backpacking. If you’d like to have a truly awesome experience being one with nature in the majestic Rocky Mountains, make sure you do the Sarrail Ridge Hike.

Breathe in the fresh air and keep your eye out for wildlife – there are often sightings of wild animals, including little baby grizzly bears, so you best keep your wits about you.

7. Troll Falls Hike

Upper Troll Falls © Image Courtesy of ScottRBennie from Getty Images by Canva
Upper Troll Falls © Image Courtesy of ScottRBennie from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Evan-Thomas Provincial Recreational Area, Kananaskis Village, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 2.1-miles

With two different endpoints available, the Troll Falls Hike offers beautiful scenery and is accessible to all. The standard hike is about 2.1 miles long, and that’ll take you to the bottom of Troll Falls. 

One of the nicer easy hikes in Kananaskis, this is a great option if you’d like to get outdoors, stretch your legs, and enjoy a beautiful waterfall. You’ll also be able to marvel at gorgeous views of Wasootch, Old Baldy, and Kananaskis Peaks too.

If you’d like to head out a bit further, you have the option of extending your hike – one of the many reasons that Troll Falls is one of the best hikes in Kananaskis. 

Once you reach the bottom of the main set of falls, you can follow the path up above the waterfalls. It’ll lead you to a pretty little creek and more waterfalls to enjoy.

8. East End of Rundle Hike (EEOR)

East End of Rundle Hike (EEOR) © Image Courtesy of Émilie Thériault from Alltrails
East End of Rundle Hike (EEOR) © Image Courtesy of Émilie Thériault from Alltrails
  • Location: Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Out and back 
  • Distance: 3.0-miles

Unfortunately, the EEOR hike is currently closed for improvements, but we’re hoping it’ll reopen soon! 

When it does, the East End of Rundle Hike is sure to be just what you’re looking for if you’d like to do some challenging hiking in Kananaskis Country.

Steep and difficult, this 3-mile trail isn’t for the faint of heart! But we can assure you that the views, as with many other hikes on this list, are glorious and the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you reach the summit will be well worth the effort.

The first mile or so of the trail is tough – it’s steep, narrow, and rough. However, once you’ve completed that section, you’ll be welcomed onto a beautiful plateau – a great place to stop for lunch.

The last little bit of the hike requires some serious scrambling and even a little bit of rock climbing to reach the summit, so if you’re not so steady on your feet, it may be a good idea to skip the summit. 

Regardless, you won’t be missing out if you do, because there’s a lookout point nearby before the hike’s summit that provides beautiful views.

9. Grizzly Peak Hike

Grizzly Peak © Image Courtesy of James Hague from Getty Images by Canva
Grizzly Peak © Image Courtesy of James Hague from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Ripply Rock Creek, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 4.1-miles

The Grizzly Peak Hike is a pretty challenging route to choose when you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors in Kananaskis, but if you’re a fit, experienced hiker, it may be just what you’re looking for!

Covering about 4.1 miles, the route is almost entirely uphill and requires good shoes and even hiking poles for better stability along the way. 

Rough, rocky, and technical, the Grizzly Peak Hike involves some scrambling over rocks, but if you’re willing to put in the hard work, the views from the summit are well worth it.

10. Karst Spring Hike

Karst Spring Hike © Image Courtesy of Wendy Winder from Alltrails
Karst Spring Hike © Image Courtesy of Wendy Winder from Alltrails
  • Location: Shark Mountain Parking Lot, Spray Valley Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 5.7-miles

When it comes to Kananaskis trails, the Karst Springs hike is generally considered a moderately difficult choice, about 5.7 miles in total. With a combination of easy walking and a few uphill sections, this is a great hike to do if you’d like to get a decent bit of exercise, enjoy the fresh air, and take in the beautiful surrounding scenery.

The first bit of the trail leads along a fairly wide road alongside Watridge Lake, after which you enter a forested area that’ll take you to the summit. 

The route through the forest is shaded and lovely, and you can enjoy the running water as you go. Overall, this is a great hike to do early in the morning to watch the sunrise.

11. Tent Ridge Horseshoe Trail

Tent Ridge © Image Courtesy of Amanda Gass from Alltrails
Tent Ridge © Image Courtesy of Amanda Gass from Alltrails
  • Location: Mount Shark Road, Spray Valley Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 6.3-miles

6.3 miles in total, the Tent Ridge Horseshoe hiking trail is sure to make you earn your lunch. It’ll take about four-and-a-half hours to complete, but factor in more time if you’d like to stop for lunch and enjoy the views – never mind stopping for a break.

Easily one of the best Kananaskis hikes, reaching the Tent Ridge peak itself requires a bit of rock climbing and clambering. But don’t let this put you off – standing at the very top provides you with incredible 360-degree views of the surrounding area.

Embarking on the trail in a clockwise direction is certainly the best way to take on this hike, making the slopes and rocks more manageable. With exceptional views, Tent Ridge is one of the best Kananaskis hikes.

12. Wind Ridge Hike

Wind Ridge Hike © Image Courtesy of Iveta Kursite from Alltrails
Wind Ridge Hike © Image Courtesy of Iveta Kursite from Alltrails
  • Location: George Biggy Senior Road, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 7.9-miles

7.9 miles in total, the Wind Ridge trail is a difficult route and will take you about five and a half hours in total, depending on how often you stop and how quickly you’re moving. 

The difficulty rating of this trail is mostly dependent on the length and incline, but it doesn’t involve lots of scrambling and clambering over rocks. This makes it suitable for dogs on leads, but they may have some difficulty making the final peak – that’s not a train smash though! It’s fairly easy to navigate the route on the way up, and on the way down, there are a few different options depending on your preference with regards to incline. Boasting awesome views of Mount Lougheed, the Wind Ridge hike is definitely one of the best Kananaskis hikes to do while you’re in the area.

12 Most Popular Hikes in Kananaskis to Explore! Kananaskis hiking, Best hikes in Kananaskis, Kananaskis hikes, Hikes near Kananaskis, Hiking in Kananaskis, Best Canadian Hikes, Easy hikes in Kananaskis
12 Of The Most Beautiful & Best Kananaskis Hikes Worth Exploring! Kananaskis hiking, Best hikes in Kananaskis, Kananaskis hikes, Hikes near Kananaskis, Hiking in Kananaskis, Best Canadian Hikes, Easy hikes in Kananaskis.
Scroll to top