Hiking Montane Traverse in Canmore

in #travel4 months ago

The town of Canmore seen through the trees lies between Mt Lawrence Grassi and Grotto Mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Located about an hour from Calgary, it is the gateway to Banff and the perfect spot to base your adventures from. Normally we avoid the town in the height of the summer because it is crowded and they charge for parking but on this day we decided to go for a walk about a local trail.


There is free public parking off of Elk Run Blvd on the opposite side of the highway from the downtown part of Canmore. Because some of the trails were closed due to flood control construction we didn't have an issue finding a spot. Some lady came down the trail just as we were starting out and said to turn around because there was a bear, ignoring her, I put the bear spray in my pocket and continued down the path. We didn't see a bear and you can't believe everything someone tells you, there are often bears in the forest and they usually mind their own business.


Don't stray off the path, the forest is closed as it is a wildlife corridor for animals wondering in and out of Banff. There are cameras and they can fine you, Canmore is surrounded by a Provincial Park. You might need the Kananaskis or Bow Valley park pass to legally park here. It's definitely worth it, you can read other blogs about hiking in Kananaskis and judge for yourself.


After passing the Silver Tip golf course, the forest becomes deeper and some of the trees are covered in moss. Occasionally you can see views across the valley and up the mountains. The path is easy to follow and at any junction there are signs telling you where you are and where you shouldn't be going.


We sort of left the trail and cut down to the highway along the creek bed, there is a path on the right bank but it was later in the season and dry. These can be dangerous in the Spring so stay on the path. The path coming down was called Johnny's trail. We chose not to walk in the forest because the open view up and down this creek bed is phenomenal.


Since walking along the highway bike path is noisy and not as nice as hiking through nature, we cut back through the Douglas Fir Trail. It was along a ridge offering more incredible views. We stopped for lunch (see image below) and enjoyed the view of Mt. Lawrence Grassi and the Three Sisters behind it.


One doesn't always have to go into the back country to enjoy a hike. I'd love to live in Canmore but the local wages do not support the real estate. It's a tourist town and a highly sought after place for purchasing recreational property. There are 4 Ski hills within a reasonable driving distance and 10,000 plus square kilometers of picture perfect scenery to enjoy.


There wasn't too much vertical on this hike as we stayed in the valley. A couple hundred meters at most, we probably walked about 9-10 km and Started at the P on the map. Even hiking in the area that went through the town was a pleasure. If you are ever in the area and don't want to stray too far, I highly recommend exploring the locals back yard.

All Photos taken on Samsung A70 and are unedited except for cropping.


Looks like you have some magnificent nature there! It's a great blessing to live in proximity to wilderness, like that.


Thanks, we sure do and the cats don't miss downtown living one bit

I’m looking for somewhere new to hike, and I’ve never done this one. Will be in the area soon. Maybe we’ll give it a go.

We wanted to hike Cougar Creek but it was closed for the season. This back up plan exceeded our expectations, did it counter-clockwise.

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