The Grassi Lake hike is the perfect hike for friends and families. It’s an easy trail with a wide path that leads through the forest up to two sparkling turquoise lakes. If you’re looking for a good hike in the Canmore/Banff area that is child-friendly this is a great choice.
Grassi Lakes Trail
This hike is a highlight in the area as the well-trodden and wide trail is manageable for any skill level of hiker. The two sparkling lakes nestled below Ha Ling Peak and the east end of Mount Rundle (another famed hike— advanced level) are a wonderful sight to be seen by all visitors.
Grassi Lakes are two sparkling teal alpine lakes with two the areas most famed peaks towering above. The trail is the perfect family just outside of Canmore. On the way up to the two shallow lakes, there are a few viewpoints that offer wonderful panoramic views of the town of Canmore down below.
For the more adventurous and local’s, there are are a number of rock faces popular for rock climbing. Routes are pretty easy to find with a large number of bolts in place.
We needed a break from working around the house so we took the afternoon off and checked off the trail from the list mid-April. It’s why this hike is well loved because it’s easy to do late afternoon or a nice start to your day.
Grassi Lakes Trail Duration
The hike is a short 2km (4km round trip) jaunt that climbs a slight hill at an elevation of 250m. You should expect to take around two hours for the hike as the lakes are gorgeous and nice to explore for a little while. Although, it could easily be done in an hour.
Grassi Lakes Trailhead
The trailhead begins on Spray Lakes Road around 2kms past the Canmore Nordic Center. You’ll see a small sign that says “No Exit” on the left and gravel parking lot on the right. Drive down the hill to the parking area and sign for the Grassi Lakes Trail. I’ve dropped the GPS coordinates where you need to take a left coming from Canmore.
There are two options for getting to Grassi Lakes. An “easy trail” and a “hard trail” though really, they are both very simple and some of the easiest trails you can find in Canmore.
When Can You Hike Grassi Lakes?
This is one of the most popular hikes in the area on a nice a day so it’s best to get on the trail early or late in the evening that way you have a parking spot and quiet trails in the summer months. In addition, hiking earlier in the day ensures cool temperatures as day time temperatures can get pretty warm.
Seasonally, it’s a go year round although the lakes do freeze over in the coldest winter months and you may need snowshoes or crampons. However, generally, it’s well-trafficked enough to where the snow is packed down and easy to walk along. A good pair of hiking poles should be more than enough.
The more advanced hike does close in the winter months and should open back up around late April or early May.
Wildlife Awareness On Grassi Lake Trail
If you’re on any hikes in the area you should practice good wildlife awareness. In the region, there are frequent sightings of black bears, grizzly bears, moose, coyotes, and cougars. They all present a threat to humans and we should reduce our impact on their natural lives.
Before any hike or walk in Banff National Park or Kananaskis Country, you should pack bear spray, check the park websites for wildlife information (Parks Canada and AB Park), and then check again for notices at the trailhead.
When you’re on the trail make noise by banging hiking poles, talking, whistling, clapping, or singing. This is particularly important around blind bends and corners, although there aren’t many on the Grassi Lake Trail. It’s also a busy trail so you generally don’t need to make too much noise, but always be bear aware.
Which means staying alert, traveling in a group, minding children and pets, and finally carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it. If you’ve come to the park without bear spray Valhalla Pure Outfitters in town sells spray and holders with employees who will demonstrate how to use properly.
What To Wear On A Day Hike?
The most basic principle of what to wear hiking is layering. Anyone that has spent time in wilderness or mountains can speak to the fact your temperature can fluctuate a lot on a hike. So the goal of clothing is to help regulate your body temperature, element protection, and moisture management. Temperature management is best done through a layering system. If you want to learn more about what to pack for a day hike or what to wear on a hike you can see ours.
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