10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta

 

This is a collection of ten easy and scenic hikes for beginners near Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

Cascade Ponds In Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

To stay safe, and build skills gradually, it is important to choose hikes appropriate to individual skill levels and capability.  Following are a few hikes worthy of consideration by beginners. 

Nearly anyone can do these short and easy day hikes.  Also, there is a category entitled 'Easy Hikes' to provide some guidance for beginners.  Consult a good hiking guide, carry the guide and a map, and gear up appropriately for the terrain and a potentially broad range of weather.

 

Click on the red links for more detailed information about each easy hike.

 


1.  Eau Claire Trail - Kananaskis Country - Hiking Alberta


 

10 easy hikes, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Kananaskis River from the Eau Claire Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

2.  Wedge Pond - Kananaskis Country - Hiking Alberta


 

10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta Wedge Pond between Mount Kidd and 'The Wedge' on Kananaskis Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.

 

3. Big Hill Springs Provincial Park - Airdrie or Cochrane - Hiking Alberta


 


 

10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta Beautiful Big Hill Springs Provincial Park near Airdrie and Cochrane northwest of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

4.  Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park - near Cochrane - Hiking Alberta


 

10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta The old Glenbow Store and brick factory in historically rich Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park near Cochrane northwest of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

5.  Paskapoo Slopes - Canada Olympic Park - Calgary - Hiking Alberta


 

10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta The Calgary skyline from Paskapoo Slopes near Canada Olympic Park in northwest Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

6.  Writing on Stone Provincial Park - Milk River - Hiking Alberta


 

Note:  Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, near Milk River, is a four-hour drive from Calgary.  An overnight could be considered as an alternative to a very long day.  This pristine, little park is isolated near the Montana border in South-east Alberta and offers a unique, incredibly beautiful and historically rich experience.  Highly recommended.

10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta Hoodoos in the beautiful and historically vibrant Milk River Valley southeast of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

7.  Forget-Me-Not Pond - Kananaskis Country - Bragg Creek - Hiking Alberta


 

10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta Gorgeous and pristine Forget-Me-Not Pond west of Bragg Creek in Kananaskis Country, Alberta Canada.

 

8.  Baker Park - Bow River - NW Calgary - Hiking Alberta


 

10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta The Bow River from the banks of Baker Park across from Bowness Park in northwest Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

9.  Cascade Ponds - Banff National Park - Hiking Alberta


 

10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta Pathways and picnic grounds beneath spectacular Cascade Falls and Cascade Mountain in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

10. Barrier Lake Lookout - Kananaskis Country - Hiking Alberta


 

10 Easy Hikes near Calgary - Hiking Alberta 

Guard Tower # 8 in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

 

These ten examples are only a few among many possibilities.  The City of Calgary is a mecca for outdoor recreational opportunity. 

The City of Calgary publishes a paper pathway map annually.  There is also a downloadable PDF electronic version as well as a mobile app.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Thank you for your comment, Leigh. I hope a few easy hikes may encourage a few people to begin enjoying our natural treasures. Writing-on-Stone is a fascinating valley with very rich historical roots. The old RCMP site is situated at the mouth of a canyon connecting Alberta and Montana. The canyon was used for running rum during prohibition, I believe. Lots of interesting stories about pioneer settlement of the west. It can get very warm there in the summer so hydration is important. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is enough out of the way to be less busy, and natural formations are extraordinary photographic opportunities. As always, early and late day light provide some of the best opportunities. Milk River has a very comfortable feel about it with many original and retored buildings. I am impressed you were on the Iceline so early in the season. Snow on Nigel Pass? Yoho is one of my very favorite National Parks. I am scheduled to be hiking there again in 2013 with my son and daughter-in-law.

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park has been on my list since I read your report. It definitely sounds like a few days are warranted in the area. I like the rundown of hikes you've given. I've only done a couple as I'm busy exploring a little further afield right now - eg a three day hike that included the Iceline last weekend.

I hope you can make an opportunity to get to Milk River. The new Visitor Centre is outstanding. Milk River has a lot of preserved history and the Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is a photographic and historical gem. It is worth the time to book in on the tour given by very knowledgable guides. Transportation by air-conditioned mini bus. Thank you for your comments, Charlie.

Writing-on-Stone is a special place with outstanding photographic opportunities. Charlie, I suggest you grab a couple of extra days and do a loop of Calgary to Dinosaur Provincial Park, northeast of Brooks, then to Red Rock Coulee Conservation Area (another early or late light photographic gem) south of Medicine Hat and west of Cypress Hills, on your way to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park southeast of Milk River and incidentally very close to the Alberta - Montana border. Then loop back to Calgary - Edmonton. There is no typical weather in the South. In the valleys heat can get trapped and escalate against rock. It can be very warm in the Milk River area so it is important to wear protective clothing and to maintain proper hydration and electrolyte balance. Desert rules can apply.

Just realized it was already on my super long list......I knew there was a reason I was drawn to that one :)

Writing on Stone Provincial Park is now on my list of things to see and photograph, Barry. There are so many places I want to see in the south. Being in Edmonton makes that trip just a bit too long for a short weekend. I never imagined it could get 48 degrees out there. Is this typical weather in the south?

Ptarmigan Cirque is available in my blog and one of the excellent hikes off Highwood Pass. I agree exactly with your assessment of the hike. It is one of those hikes which can be completed in a variety of stages and the vistas are spectacular. Thank you for your comment. I can tell you share my passion for the wilderness and have embraced geocaching as well.

Good catch, Helen. Fixed now. Poor quality assurance on my part. I hope you will need to use your bookmark on a future visit to Canada. I am aware it can be difficult sometimes to assess the nature of a hike, which is described without reference to terrain and in net elevation, so I thought it would help to identify the experiences suitable for beginners or young families with children. There is great potential for a lifelong relationship with nature but bad experiences near the beginning can discourage anyone from continuing. Thank you for you comment and observation, Helen. Much appreciated

Have booked marked these in the hope they will be needed in the future, however when I click on 9 'Cascade Ponds', it opens as 8 'Baker Park'.

Barry - I really like the great photos you posted to highlight these great "starter" hikes. Not sure if you've covered Ptarmigan Cirque (in Kananaskis country) elsewhere in your blog, but it's a short (4-5 km), interpretive loop close to the summit of Highwood Pass and is one of the first hikes we did as a family (our youngest was just about 4 at the time). I would suggest it as a good "next step" after beginner hikers have tried some of the great options on your list of easy hikes.

Thank you for your kind words.  Yes, there is a post for Ptarmigan Cirque and it is an excellent hike.  The hiking opportunities around Calgary are virtually endless.

Thanks for the comprehensive list, Barry! As someone new to Calgary and we are, this has been very helpful!

You are welcome, Julie.  Happy trails and stay safe.

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