Hiking in Alberta is a popular activity for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, as the province boasts a diverse range of landscapes and trails, from the rolling hills of the Alberta Badlands to the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
One of the most popular hiking destinations in Alberta is Banff National Park, which is part of the larger Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. Banff National Park is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world, including glaciers, valleys, and hot springs. There are a variety of trails in the park, ranging from easy nature walks to challenging hikes that require a high level of fitness and technical skill. The most popular trails in Banff National Park include the Banff Gondola, the Lake Louise Trail, and the Moraine Lake Trail.
The Banff Gondola is a scenic ride that takes visitors to the top of Sulphur Mountain, where they can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Lake Louise Trail is a moderate hike that takes you around the iconic lake and offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks. The Moraine Lake Trail is a more challenging hike that takes you through a picturesque valley and up to the stunning Moraine Lake, which is surrounded by towering peaks.
Another popular hiking destination in Alberta is Jasper National Park, which is located to the north of Banff National Park. Jasper National Park is known for its rugged beauty and is a popular destination for backcountry hiking and camping. There are a variety of trails in Jasper National Park, ranging from easy hikes to strenuous multi-day backcountry adventures. The most popular trails in Jasper National Park include the Maligne Canyon Trail, the Jasper SkyTram, and the Tonquin Valley Trail.
The Maligne Canyon Trail is a short hike that takes visitors to the stunning Maligne Canyon, which is a deep, narrow chasm cut into the rock by the Maligne River. The Jasper SkyTram is a scenic ride that takes visitors to the top of Whistlers Mountain, where they can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The Tonquin Valley Trail is a challenging hike that takes you into the heart of the Tonquin Valley, which is surrounded by towering peaks and glaciers.
In addition to the well-known parks, there are many other hiking destinations in Alberta that offer breathtaking scenery and challenging trails. One of these destinations is the Alberta Badlands, which is a unique landscape characterized by rolling hills and deep canyons. There are a variety of trails in the Alberta Badlands, ranging from easy hikes to challenging backcountry adventures. The most popular trails in the Alberta Badlands include the Horseshoe Canyon Trail, the Hoodoos Trail, and the River Valley Trail.
The Horseshoe Canyon Trail is a challenging hike that takes you to the bottom of Horseshoe Canyon, which is a deep, narrow chasm cut into the rock by the Red Deer River. The Hoodoos Trail is a moderate hike that takes you to the Hoodoos, which are towering rock formations that are unique to the Alberta Badlands. The River Valley Trail is an easy hike that takes you along the Red Deer River and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Best 30 places to do hiking in Alberta
- Banff National Park
- Jasper National Park
- Kananaskis Country
- Waterton Lakes National Park
- Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park
- Elk Island National Park
- Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
- Mount Robson Provincial Park
- Mount Rundle
- Mount Yamnuska
- Ha Ling Peak
- Grotto Canyon
- Pocaterra Ridge
- Mount Allan
- Cougar Creek
- Opal Ridge
- Rockbound Lake Trail
- Sundance Canyon
- Mount Edith Cavell
- Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass
- Heart Creek Trail
- Ribbon Creek
- King Creek Ridge
- Taylor Lake Trail
- The Rampart Creek Trail
- McLean Creek
- Saddle Mountain
- Pincher Ridge
- Mount Shark
- Ironstone Mountain.
Please note that conditions can change and hikers should be prepared for the trail and check for any updates or warnings before heading out.
Must-have equipment for hiking
Hiking is a wonderful way to explore the great outdoors, but it is important to be properly equipped for the trail. Proper equipment not only makes the hike more enjoyable but can also help ensure your safety. Here are some of the essential pieces of equipment that you should bring on any hike:
Footwear: The right pair of hiking shoes or boots is essential for a successful hike. Look for shoes with good support, good traction, and that fit comfortably.
Backpack: A backpack is a crucial piece of equipment for carrying all of your supplies and essentials. Make sure to choose a backpack that is the right size for you and has enough room for all of your gear.
Water: It is important to stay hydrated while hiking, especially in warmer weather. Bring a water bottle or hydration bladder, and make sure to drink water frequently.
Food: Pack snacks and a lunch for energy and sustenance during the hike. Trail mix, energy bars, and fruit are all good options.
Clothing: Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather and trail conditions. Pack layers so that you can add or remove clothing as needed, and bring rain gear if there is a chance of rain.
Map and compass: Bring a map and compass to help navigate the trail and stay on track. A GPS device can also be useful, but make sure to bring a backup in case your device fails.
First-aid kit: A small first-aid kit can be a lifesaver in case of an injury. It should include items like adhesive bandages, gauze, pain relievers, and antiseptic wipes.
Headlamp or flashlight: A headlamp or flashlight can be useful in case you get lost or need to navigate in the dark.
Sun protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and prevent sunburn.
Multi-tool: A multi-tool or knife can be helpful for cutting rope or opening packages, as well as providing a sense of security.
Trash bag: Pack out what you pack in and bring a small trash bag to collect any litter or waste.
Having the right equipment for your hike is essential for a successful and enjoyable experience. Remember to check the weather forecast, and adjust your gear accordingly. And always let someone know your hiking plans and expected return time, just in case of an emergency.
Alberta is a province that is rich in natural beauty and offers a diverse range of hiking opportunities, from the stunning peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the rolling hills of the Alberta Badlands. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a nature lover, there is a trail in Alberta that is sure to suit your needs and provide you with a unique and unforgettable outdoor experience.