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Castle Lookout - Hike

A trek beside the highway that leads up and up and up until you can see some amazing views of the valley below.

Difficultymoderate
Round trip: 7.4 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours 
Elevation Gain: 520 m
FitBit: approx. 12,000 steps and 173 flights of stairs
Location: Banff National Park


TRAIL HEAD
Marked: yes
Facilities: no
How to get there: From Calgary drive west on Hwy 1 until you pass Banff. You are heading to Hwy 93/Banff-Windermere Hwy. Turn right to cross the Bow River and drive to the end of the road where there will be a little corner station (your last chance for a washroom). At the end of the road turn left onto the Bowvalley Parkway/ Hwy 1A and drive for about 6km to the parking lot on the north side of the road.
Click for directions from Calgary.



HIKE DETAILS
Your trailhead is easy to find at the end of the parking lot. And the trail is well defined and easy to follow. Enjoy your hike through the trees with many peeks at the view beyond, but the best is to come at the final destination. You'll know you've reached the end when you see some large cairns and a piece of the old lookout foundation. Return the way you came.





Kid Friendly: yes
Dog Friendly: yes

Happy Hiking!




Mt. Indefatigable - Hike



No longer an official trail, which is almost un'bear'able because the views here are breathtaking!

*Note: This trail has been decommissioned and is not an official trail*


Difficultystrenuous
Round trip: 9.24 km
Hiking Time: 3.5 - 4.5 hours 
Elevation Gain: 692 m
FitBit: approx. 13,800 steps and 227 flights of stairs
Location: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
*The details above are not to the summit, but rather to the viewpoint just before the scramble portion begins.

TRAIL HEAD
Marked: No
Facilities: Yes

HIKE DETAILS
The start of this trail is to the north from the parking lot. Cross over the dam between the two lakes and the trail starts shortly after in the trees to your right. You'll know you've hit the trail head when you come to a large sign warning about Grizzly habitat. So from there you are hiking at your own risk (but remember if something happens to you, you not only put yourself at risk, but the others that have to assist you, so always keep that in mind).

The trail is easily distinguishable because though it has been decommissioned, it is well traversed. And for good reason. The views here are amazing. You really don't have to hike the full trail to come to views worth your time, but the higher you go, the better they get.



Kid Friendly: no
Dog Friendly: yes


NOTE
-Proper hiking footwear is a must on this trail and poles would be extremely beneficial as well. 
-Check at the visitor center about bear sightings before heading out. You will be in their territory, not the other way around, so respect them and their home. 

Happy Hiking!





***Her Mountain Adventures does not accept any liability or damages resulting from the use of information contained in this site***

Baldy Pass - Hike



A moderate hike through the trees and across varying terrain. There is no amazing view from the top, but for exercise and a simple good time this can be a nice short hike.

Difficulty: moderate
Round trip: 8 km
Hiking Time: 2.5 - 3.5 hrs 
Elevation Gain: 420 m
FitBit: approx. 13,500 steps and 138 flights of stairs
Location: Kananaskis


TRAIL HEAD
Marked: yes
Facilities: yes 
How to get there: From Calgary drive west on Hwy 1 until you can take exit 118 to Kananaskis Trail/ Hwy 40. Drive approximately 15km to where you will see a sign for Baldy Pass Trail and park in the lot on the west side of the road.

Click for directions from Calgary.
Trail Map
HIKE DETAILS
Your trailhead is across the road from the parking lot so on the east side of the highway. You'll see a pedestrian crossing leading to the start of the trail. The initial part of the hike is easy, you won't accumulate terribly much elevation until you are about midway. The terrain changes back and forth from dirt and rooty paths to a rocky washed out riverbed, so as usual wear appropriate footwear.

There is only one fork in the path, but it is close to the start and there is a map to direct you. Simply keep left along the more beaten trail and continue hiking east. Most of the trail is among the trees, but when out of the shade the sun can be warm on sunny day. You'll know you are at the pass when you reach a large pile of rocks and a cairn someone has built on top. The trail splits and continues both north and south, but details for those are not found here yet. When you are satisfied with your progress, return the way you came. You'll find the views are better on the way down!

Kid Friendly: yes
Dog Friendly: yes


NOTE
-This one has limited views as you climb and at the top (they are behind you so better on your descent), so your best bet may be to make this a longer trip and continue the climb a little ways. Though details for that are not available here yet. 

Happy Hiking!






Johnston Canyon & Ink Pots - Hike


An extremely popular hike to the lower and upper falls, and while the views may not disappoint, the volume of people may. If you hike this trail be prepared for single file almost the entire way to the falls. 

Johnston Canyon Upper Falls
Difficultyeasy - light
Round trip: 5 km
Hiking Time: 0.75 - 1.25 hours 
Elevation Gain: 143 m
FitBit: approx. 7,000 steps and 47 flights of stairs

Johnston Canyon Ink Pots *from the same starting point, these stats include those of the Upper Falls*
Difficultystrenuous
Round trip: 12 km 
Hiking Time: 3.5 - 4.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 530 m (cumulative)
FitBit: approx. 18,000 steps and 174 flights of stairs
LocationBanff National Park

TRAIL HEAD
Marked: Yes
Facilities: Yes
How to get there: From Calgary drive west on Hwy 1 past Banff to hwy 1A/Bow Valley Pkwy. Exit west and follow it 17.5 km to the Johnston Canyon Hiking Area. There are two parking lots (one larger one where the washrooms are, and one smaller one for the resort) and if both are full, people will be parking on the road.

Click for directions in Google Maps

HIKE DETAILS
Your trailhead begins across the bridge from the large parking lot with the washrooms and then past the cafe. It is paved for quite a while and eventually when you enter the canyon will be a narrow walkway. There is lots to see as you walk and there are interpretive signs to read as well. It won't take long before you are arrive at the lower falls where you can enter a small cave to get up close to the waterfall.

Don't stop there, but continue to the upper falls now where the climb intensifies slightly. You'll reach a lookout that is actually at the bottom of the upper falls and so continue just a short ways farther to the upper falls look out. You'll know it when you see it. (i.e. if you are underwhelmed by the view, you're probably not there yet.) Look for this sign below which shows you only have 0.3 km to the upper falls lookout.

From there you can decide if you wish to continue. If you do, remember that your trip will double in length and quite a bit more so in elevation. Continue on the path upwards towards the Ink Pots, but when you are nearly there you actually start to lose elevation (which means you have to climb up on the way back). Before you know it you'll come out of the trees into a meadow surrounded by mountains. You'll see a sign with a quick overview of the Ink Pots and from there you can venture around the paths to see them.

Some might say it's not worth hiking that far for a meadow view, but it all depends on how you see your effort! If nothing else, enjoy the fact that you made it, take a lunch break near the river and then return the way you came. 



Kid Friendly: yes 
Dog Friendly: yes *but note this hike is so busy I would consider leaving Fido at home next time


NOTE
-This hike is so extremely busy it may leave you wanting, because as you hike it's hard to enjoy the scenery with many people to navigate around. Thus choose your timing wisely, go early or late when the majority of crowds aren't around, or else try a weekday.
-For those with extreme phobias of heights, this may not be the hike for you. There are parts where the walkways are over top of the river at quite a height up.

Happy Hiking!



Big Hill Springs - Hike

A hike so close to the city, it's a hidden gem. Within a small provincial park, it's a hike you can do on a summer evening, pack a picnic and enjoy some nature!

Difficultyeasy
Round trip: 2.3 km
Hiking Time: 20 min - 45 min
Elevation Gain: 20 m
FitBit: approx. 3,000 steps and 17 flights of stairs
Location: Big Hill Springs Provincial Park


TRAIL HEAD
Marked: No
Facilities: Yes
How to get there: From Calgary drive north west on Hwy 1A through Bearspaw. At Hwy 766 (across from Rock Pointe Church) turn right (north).Then at Hwy 567 drive west a short ways to Range Road 34A where you'll turn south. Drive to the parking lot at the end of the road.

Map to Big Hill Springs, click for directions

HIKE DETAILS
The trailhead is not marked, but is very easy to find. Once you have parked in the small lot (which is a dead end from the road leading into the park) head to the trail which is west, across from the outhouses. Immediately there are four picnic tables and a small stream.

Follow the most boot beaten path around, stopping to admire the natural waterfalls and surrounding nature. There aren't any mountain views, but that doesn't mean it's not beautiful! Smaller paths shoot off from the main one, but all in all the loop shouldn't take more than an hour if you are taking it quite slow, 20 min if you cruise and don't stop. ]

At the end of your hike, if it's not too busy and there is a table available, enjoy a picnic lunch in the cool shade near the pond. :)


Kid Friendly: yes
Dog Friendly: yes

Happy Hiking!