My Favourite Kananaskis Hikes

Kananaskis is one of my favourite places to hike. Highway 40 brings you to so many amazing locations. I’ve been lucky enough to live right in Banff and Canmore, giving me the a ton of opportunities to hike very mountain in sight! Although I haven’t quite climbed them all, I have definitely done enough to make an all time favourite list! So here we are, my all time favourite hikes in Kananaskis! 

 

As always, make sure you dress appropriately and be ready for anything the outdoors can throw at you. Weather can be unpredictable and change at any minute. Respect the wildlife by staying at appropriate distances and stay on the trails in order to preserve the forest! For more information on each hike you can check them out on AllTrails.

Chaser of Waterfalls
Mountain Climber
Adventure Seeker

1. Pickle Jar Lakes

Pickle Jar lakes is the first Kananaskis hike on my list of favourites. TECHNICALLY the lakes themselves are not in Kananaskis, but the hike begins in the park, and then you hike up and out of it on to crown land. So it counts as far as I’m concerned. You can bring a tent with you and stay the night at the lake if you love back country camping! Best part is you don’t need reservations because it’s on crown land! 

2. Wasootch Ridge

Even though it was extremely cloudy when I climbed Wasootch Ridge it was still a really great adventure day! We got super unique views of the mountains tops peaking out of the clouds every so often and the whole feel of the day was very moody, which if you know anything about me, I absolutely LOVE!! From the parking lot, you literally head straight up. When I was there. there was a little tipi structure set up to mark the path when you head up. If you can’t find it, just look for a path that goes straight up the mountain basically right beside the parking lot!

3. Opal Ridge

The first time I hiked Opal ridge was on my 25th birthday and man did it not disappoint! This is one of the few hikes that actually has its own parking lot, well kind of. You park in the side parking lot of the gas station on highway 40. There is a fair bit of incline right from the beginning, but in the middle it levels out a little bit. When you get closer to the false peak the climb begins again. When you think you are just about there, SURPRISE! You’re not HA HA! There is another little push uphill until your on the ridge, but trust me, its so worth the extra climb. It was early June when I hikes Opal ridge last, and as you can see there is still a fair bit of snow at the top!

Take 15% off Mountain Life Apparel with code

JESSICA15

Travel maps

Skip the endless research of activities and jump right into adventuring with my Banff Map! 

4. Tent Ridge Horseshoe

Out of all the hike I have done this is by far my absolute favourite! Tent Ridge Horseshoe is located in Kananaskis Country near the Mount Engadine Lodge. It it a loop trail so you can start either left or right from the parking lot. I highly recommend starting left! If you start right you have a nasty climb down some tricky rocks at the end. Its way easier to go up them. You will get a lot of the elevation gain done at the beginning if you start on the left, and then have a relaxing ridge walk and decent!  This trail is fairly popular so if you want to avoid the crowds I recommend starting earlier than later. The trail is fairly defined as you go up, but you do have to do a bit of rock climbing. You don’t need gear or a helmet or anything like that, but definitely make sure you have good boots on and plenty of water! Once you reach the top of the rocks, you have a view of the valley below and the ridge you are about to cross!

5. East End of Rundle (EEOR)

Last but certainly not least is East end of Rundle (EEOR). This is probably one of Canmore’s most popular hikes because it is only 10 minutes from town and provides a great view of the reservoir, and the valley below. The best time in my opinion to do this hike is at 3am! That’s right, 3AM! We sat at the top and watched the sun rise with cold beer and mimosa’s in our hands. I couldn’t have asked for a better morning!

Related Posts

Summer Weekend Getaway in Banff

Summer Weekend Getaway in Banff

Summer weekend getaway for BanffBanff National Park is a great place for a weekend getaway! Its only an hour and a half away from the hustle and bustle of Calgary, and offers endless activities for all capabilities.  Weekend getaways to Banff are a staple in my life...

Hiking in May; What To Expect

Hiking in May; What To Expect

Hiking in May; What To ExpectSo you want to go hiking May?! Before you head out there are a few things you definitely need to know before you hit the mountains. Hiking in May in Canada is considered to be shoulder season. It is a great time to hike because the trails...

How to Avoid Crowds in Banff

How to Avoid Crowds in Banff

How to Avoid Crowds in BAnffBanff is one of the top travel destinations in Canada and there's no surprise why. The region is filled with beautiful landscapes, glaciers, mountains, canyons, and of course waterfalls everywhere you look. Some of these locations draw...

1 Week Itinerary for Canmore

1 Week Itinerary for Canmore

Free 1 Week Itinerary for CanmoreSo you're heading to Canmore for a week and not sure what the best things to do are! There are so many great hikes, sight seeing locations and dining to explore in the area! You definitely won't be disapointed with your trip! As...

14 Comments

  1. Sabrina

    Definitely adding all these to my list! Thanks for the info!

    Reply
    • Backpacker Jess

      You’re welcome!

      Reply
  2. Hannah

    These hikes look stunning! I want to do them ALL! Opal Ridge looks especially breath-taking! And an early morning climb of East end of Rundle sounds like a phenomenal way to start the day! Thanks for the great guide!

    Reply
    • Backpacker Jess

      Thank you! Yes Opal Ridge is AMAZING! I think that will be my next sunrise hike. You would get incredible 360 views from the top!

      Reply
  3. Emma

    I loved my time in Kananaskis, it’s such a great area, and so many amazing hikes around there and Canmore. You’ve given me some great reasons to go back soon and expand my hiking past BC

    Reply
    • Backpacker Jess

      Yes!! Definitely come back again! My bucket list of hikes in the area just keeps growing it seems!

      Reply
  4. Val

    These hikes look amazing! Will definitely use this list when I’m in the area

    Reply
    • Backpacker Jess

      RIGHT! And these are just a few that I’ve managed to cross off my list!

      Reply
  5. Catherine

    WOW. Seriously wow. I’d love to hike all these Kananaskis trails. The views from mountaintops are epic!

    Reply
    • Backpacker Jess

      Its easy to make your photos look good when the views look like this!

      Reply
  6. Josy A

    Oooh these all look really fun! I have still not made it to Canmore or been hiking in Kananaskis bit I would looove to! Here’s to more epic hikes in 2021!

    p.s. Ha for Opal Ridge – I feel your pain for reaching a peak only to see it’s not the peak! 😀

    Reply
    • Backpacker Jess

      False peaks are literally the bane of my existence. It seems every single time I’m hiking and I think I am close to the top it turns out I’m still not there yet. Still worth the climb though!

      Reply
  7. Karen

    They look like fabulous hikes. And your photos attest to the beauty. I looked at Rundle a lot when I was in Canmore/Banff but didn’t get to climb it. Too bad–looks great.

    Reply
    • Backpacker Jess

      thank you! It really is easy to take great photos when the views look like that! Rundle is definitely a huge take! Its very popular which is why we did it at sunrise, in hopes that there wouldn’t be as many people. I think there were about 4 or 5 other groups but that’s it. The views coming down with the sun glistening on us was also amazing!!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *