Grassi Lakes - Canmore - Hiking Alberta

 

Grassi Lakes is a very popular, easy hike above Canmore, Alberta, Canada.

 

Grassi Lakes, Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

 

Grassi Lakes offer easy, family hiking near Canmore, Alberta, Canada to incredibly beautiful Grassi Lakes nestled beneath Ha Ling Peak and Mount Lawrence Grassi.  The hike is very popular and will likely be very busy on fair weather days year round.

Grassi Lakes are two, small, shallow, pristine, aquamarine lakes accessed by the Smith-Dorrien Trail just south of Canmore, and wedged between Ha Ling Peak  (Chinaman's Peak) and the east end of Mount Rundle (EEOR) which stretches between Canmore and the Town of Banff.

Drive up the hill on the Smith-Dorrien Trail southwest of Canmore and drive a gentle left past the Canmore Nordic Centre to the sign for Grassi Lakes.  The left turn to Grassi Lakes is at the end of paved road.  When driving on gravel road, you have gone too far.  From the little parking area, hike past the residential buildings to the trail-head.  There are two options.

 

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada Easy and More Difficult with Grandson Michael

 

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

The 4.2 KM (2⅝ mile) trail can be done back and forth along the easier elevation, interpretive trail or as a loop in either direction which will employ the steeper trail option.  The loop taking the wide easy interpretive trail down and the steeper trail up the 245 meters (803 feet) of elevation will be a full experience that is easier on the knees.

 

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

This wonderful hike can be very busy on weekends but it is a memorable treasure.  The smorgasbord of visual feasts includes water falls, a bolted and anchored short rock climbing wall which is usually busy, shallow caves to explore, ancient rock paintings and a plethora of birds, chipmunks and squirrels.

 

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

The flat trail at the bottom does a figure eight loop around the two lakes and there are multiple side excursions to choose.  For children, the hike can be a full day of exploration and education.  For photographers, Grassi Lakes offer a goldmine of opportunity for creativity with color and reflection.

 

Grassi Lakes - above Canmore, Alberta, Canada

 

The lakes are named for miner Lawrence Grassi who constructed marvelous trails and there is a prominent memorial plaque mounted on a rock at Grassi Lakes.  He is also the namesake for Mount Lawrence Grassi, adjacent and east of Ha Ling Peak.  The Grassi Lakes location is also the home of the Spray Power Plant however the overwhelming beauty of the surroundings render that tucked-away infrastructure virtually inconsequential.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Highly recommended. Pick a nice day and you will not be disappointed. Best to stay back from the climbing walls unless wearing a rock helmet. The mountain sheep often knock rocks down from the top of the canyon wall.

I haven't been to Grassi Lake but the next time my daughter visits it will be a destination point for certain. Thank you for the inspiration to go there, and for the gorgeous photo posted on your blog.

It is surreal. Every time I go I find a previously undiscovered trail which leads me to new discoveries. My grandson, featured in the photos did his first rock climb here. It is a special place.

This is one of my favorite hikes that I take "non-hiking" friends on, and I absolutely love the color of the lakes.

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