Many people love to hike during the winters for the sake of thrill offered by the chilly weather and empty trails. No mosquitoes, snow-capped peaks, and ice falls are some of the other reasons people love winter hiking. So, we decided to put a small compilation of best hiking routes near Calgary to venture out in winters. Each route has something to offer and it is recommended that you read about all of them to find the best-suited one for your journey.

  1. A Walk in Grotto Canyon, Exshaw

The Grotto Canyon hike is a classic winter hiking experience that you cannot afford to miss. It is located near Canmore and features frozen creekbed, stunning icefalls and pictographs. You must pack microspikes to cover this trail as the solid ice layer over the path might not be covered in snow. The total distance of the round trip is 4.3 km. It offers mesmerizing views and is great for taking pictures of the natural ice sculptures.

  1. Lake Louise Shoreline Trail

Take a walk across Lake Louise to avoid the slopes notorious for avalanches on lake’s boathouse side. You can also take the shoreline route going towards the Louise Falls. The spectacular ice falls are quite popular among ice climbers because of their height of over a hundred metres. You can also pursue other activities like skiing, skating, and snowshoeing on Lake Louise. The total distance of the walk is 5 km for a return trip.

  1. Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park

Winter season is the best time to visit the Johnston Canyon. All the falls are frozen and the trail is packed down. Walk across the catwalk and go through a small tunnel going to the Lower Falls Lookout, now carry on to the upper falls. Keep your microspikes and ice cleats ready for walking on this amazing icy way. The total length of the walk for a round trip of upper falls is 5.4 km and for lower falls is 2.2 km.


  1. Hike on the Grassi Lakes, Canmore

The Grassi Lake is a popular winter hiking destination near Canmore. It features two azure lake, ancient pictographs and waterfalls. The lake has two walkways: Grassi Lakes Upper and Grassi Lakes Interpretive. The Grassy Lake Upper is hikeable year-round and is sports stroller friendly. The interpretive way is the tougher one and features stairs and ice flows. Total distance for a round trip of Grassi Lake is 3.8 km.

  1. Jura Canyon Ice Walk

This is a unique hiking route through a slot canyon. You will require microspikes to walk on the sculpted canyon featuring icy way and rock formations. The way features plunge pools with deepness up to 1 metre. For safety, you must visit after a long cold snap to ensure that the plunge pools are frozen. The trip is quite picturesque and 3 km long including an 800 metres walk to the canyon.

So, these were the 5 best places for a winter hiking experience near Calgary. You must pack all the weather protection layers and traction device for your safety during the hike. Also, try starting early for your walk as it will save you from getting caught in the everchanging rough weather in the dark. If heading out with kids, always stay in contact with them as the icy walks could be dangerous for them without supervision.