On Kananaskis Hikes: 9 Best Places

Kananaskis hikes are truly one of the major attractions in Kananaskis, Alberta. These hikes take to breathtaking sites, including stunning waterfalls, mountains, and lakes. This article provides you with all you have to know about the best hikes in Kananaskis. It helps you plan your trip to Kananaskis country in a better way.

On Kananaskis Hikes: 9 Best Places

1. Rawson Lake and Sarrail Ridge

End of the trail at Rawson Lake - Picture of Rawson's Lake Trail
Photo by Devon Hawkins on Unsplash

Situated near Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Rawson Lake, and Sarrail Ridge is some of the best places to go hiking in Kananaskis country. The Sarrail Ridge is about 11.3 kilometers long and is a highly trafficked area during the season times. The best time to visit the lake and ridge is from June to October.

You will get to enjoy amazing views of the Canadian Rockies when hiking the Sarrail Ridge. It would be better to go hiking on a less snowy day if planning to cover the entire area. You will get to see stunning views of Rawson Lake and Upper Kananaskis Lake once you reach Sarrail Ridge.

2. Pocaterra Ridge

The Fantastic Pocaterra Ridge Hike in Kananaskis Country
By John Johnston/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Pocaterra Ridge is one of the most popular and heavily trafficked Kananaskis hikes. The Ridge is 11.4 kilometers long, and the best time to visit the place is during autumn. The golden yellow trees give you a great visual treat. You can hike here at any time, from June to September.

The starting point of the ridge is located 80 kilometers south of the town of Canmore. Travel through the sides of Pocaterra Creek 1.5 kilometers and 310 meters of elevation gain to reach the treeline. An extraordinary hiking experience awaits you once you cross this area. This is also one of the top-visited hikes in the Canadian Rockies.

3. Chester Lake Trail

Chester Lake Trail
By Edna Winti/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Featuring next on the list of best Kananaskis hikes is Chester Lake Trail. Located in the Rocky Mountains, this trail leads you to a grand alpine meadow through the forest area. Chester Lake is one of the many attractions of Spray Valley Provincial Park. You can enter the trail free of charge.

This is an easily accessible and perfect one-day hiking spot. Chester Lake counts among the popular family hiking areas. The best thing about the trail is that you can visit this any season you wish.

4. Ptarmigan Cirque

Ptarmigan Cirque - The Best Short Hike in Kananaskis - Play Outside Guide
By Glen Belbeck/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Ptarmigan Cirque is yet another splendid hike of 4.2 km. It is one of the shortest Kananaskis hikes with an elevation gain of 210 meters. If you are looking for a quick yet picturesque hike, this one is for you! The Cirque consists of waterfalls, mountains, rich vegetation, alpine meadows, and forests.

You can visit this heavily trafficked Cirque anytime from June to November. The hike is kids friendly and is known for bird-watching activities. Since the place is rich in natural wildlife, it would be better to carry a bear spray. Do visit the area during summer to see unique wildflowers.

It is one of the most visited family picnic spots in Kananaskis Country. You can also click amazing pictures from here. Ptarmigan Cirque is also a highly preferred photoshoot location.

5. Ha Ling Peak

Ha Ling Peak
By Michael Lawton/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Next on the list of best Kananaskis hikes is Ha Ling Peak. You can hike through the Ha Ling Trail to reach the Peak. This highly-trafficked trail is 7.2 km long and is a fairly difficult hiking spot. Carrying spikes and poles would help you hike smoothly.

Hiking activities at Ha Ling take place mainly from May to October.

It is advised not to hike to Ha Ling Peak during winters because of extreme snowfall. You can park your vehicles at the Goat Creek Day Area parking lot. Visitors are allowed to take their dogs inside, provided that they are on a leash.

6. West Wind Pass

Do you love adventurous trips? West Wind Pass is for you then. West Wind Pass is a hiking spot with moderate difficulty and is located in the Bow Valley Provincial Park. The elevation gain is 390m, and it would take you 3 hours to explore this trail.

The trail offers stunning views of Spray Lakes and Lougheed Peak. You may require spikes here as the trail gets pretty steep and narrow in places. The trail is most visited from June to October. Since the West Wind Valley remains closed from December to June 15th every year, visit the trail anytime to get a better experience.

7. Elbow Lake Trail

Elbow Lake Trail In Kananaskis Country
By Anson Chappell/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Elbow Lake Trail is the next one on the list of best Kananaskis hikes. The trail takes you to Elbow Lake and the lake’s Backcountry Campground. This trail connects to several awesome biking trails in Kananaskis.

Try visiting the trail sometime between May and September to experience the best views of Elbow Lake. You will reach the lake 1.3 kilometers from the trailhead. This is a family-friendly trail, and you can go camping near the Elbow Lake Backcountry Campground.

The trail is safe for kids with an elevation gain of 137 meters. You can make use of the outhouse located in the parking lot to freshen up.

8. Grassi Lakes Trail

grassi lakes trail
Photo by McKay Savage/Flickr, Copyright 2021

Grassi Lakes Trail is one of the excellent Kananaskis hikes that offer breathtaking views to visitors. It is an out-and-back trail of 4.3 kilometers and is heavily trafficked. When you travel 100 meters from the trailhead, there would be two paths for you to choose from. You can either choose the easy trail or the difficult one to reach Grassi Lakes.

Upper Grassi Lakes trail, the easier route is the path on the ride side of the trail. It takes you through a forest area to the lakes.

The difficult trail is named Grassi Lakes Interpretive and includes steep and forested regions. You will get to view the stunning sceneries of the town of Canmore and waterfalls from this trail.

The Interpretive trail is closed during winters due to icy and slippery paths. You may find bears on both trails, so make sure to carry the bear spray with you.

9. Upper Kananaskis Lake Trail

Upper Kananaskis Lake Trail - Alberta, Canada
By Adam Kahtava/ Flickr, Copyright 2021

Situated near the Kananaskis Improvement, Upper Kananaskis Lake Trail is a heavily trafficked trail of 15.3 kilometers. This is one of the best Kananaskis hikes suitable for camping, bird watching, and wildlife watching.

The trail is most visited from March to October. The trail is mostly preferred in summers as it would get snow-packed during winters.

The course offers wonderful scenery throughout the path, which includes a waterfall and a lake. The turquoise blue lake is something you cannot miss out on here. You’ll find wildflowers and dense forest cover on your way to the lake.


Make sure to visit the Kananaskis hikes mentioned above on your trip to Kananaskis Country and Canmore. These hikes are never to be missed out on when planning to spend your holidays in Kananaskis. Do hike in those stunning trails for a whole new experience.

If you plan to visit Kananaskis, do not forget to check these out:



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Last Updated on by Priyanshi Sharma


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