If you’re hunting for an outdoor adventure that’s easy on the legs and a feast for the eyes, look no further than the mesmerizing Grassi Lakes near Canmore. Further, this picturesque hike is tailor-made for families and friends, offering a delightful escape into nature just a stone’s throw away from Canmore.
- Length: 4.3 kilometers
- Duration: 1 to 4 hours
- Elevation Gain: 203 meters
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Grassi Lakes Trailhead
Best Time to Hike
Lucky for us, you can tackle the Grassi Lakes trail all year round. But, a word of caution – keep an eye on avalanche cycles during winter and spring. As the seasons change, so do the lakes. Moreover, they freeze over in late autumn, only to thaw out again in the early spring.
Finding Your Way
Your journey kicks off 2 kilometers past the Canmore Nordic Center, where you’ll stumble upon a decently sized parking lot, but be warned – it fills up fast on weekends. If you arrive and the lot resembles a puzzle of parked cars, it might be wise to explore other trails nearby. However, it’s tough to resist the allure of Grassi Lakes, which remains accessible throughout the year, making it a favorite among families.
The Easy Way Up
Follow a well-maintained gravel path from the parking lot that leads you gently upwards. Moreover, it’s a 200-meter ascent, so don’t be surprised if you start to break a sweat as you approach the lakes.
Are you feeling adventurous? There are two routes to the lakes: the easy main trail and the “hard” trail. But don’t let the name fool you; both are pretty manageable. The rugged trail, however, may not be accessible in the winter and spring, and it can get a bit congested during the summer. Moreover, most hikers stick to the easy, well-graded, and maintained path. But for those who dare, the challenging trail rewards with better views and only a steeper section towards the end.
This short 2-kilometer (4-kilometer round trip) hike climbs 250 meters. Plan for 2-3 hours to explore the lakes fully. Moreover, if you’re quick, you can do it in 1-1.5 hours round trip.
Find the trailhead off Spray Lakes Road, on Ken Ritchie Way, 2 kilometers past Canmore Nordic Center. Keep an eye out on your left for a “No Exit” sign; you’ll spot a gravel parking lot on your right. Descend towards the parking zone and follow the signs indicating the way to the Grassi Lakes Trail.
When to Hike Grassi Lakes
To avoid crowds, hike early or later in the evening, especially during summer. Further, Grassi Lakes is accessible year-round, but in winter, be prepared for snow and check for trail conditions.
How Challenging Is It?
The Grassi Lakes hike is like nature’s red carpet for beginners, families, and those who prefer a stroll. With its short length, slight incline, and a manageable elevation gain of 203 meters, it’s a walk in the park compared to other hikes in Canmore and Banff.
Bring Along the Family and Furry Friends
Have you got kids? Got dogs? Bring them along! Grassi Lakes is a welcome mat for young adventurers, senior family members, and four-legged companions. You might even spot intrepid souls pushing strollers up the easy trail. Though it’s not the smoothest path – their determination is inspiring!
- Arrive early or late to avoid crowds, especially in summer.
- Further, be cautious of falling rocks, especially around climbing areas.
- Remain on the designated path to safeguard the natural surroundings.
- Practice “Leave No Trace” principles by carrying out everything you brought in with you.
Be aware of wildlife like bears, moose, coyotes, and cougars. Further, carry bear spray, check park websites for wildlife information, make noise on the trail, and travel in groups.
What to Wear
Layering is essential. Wear proper footwear, especially in winter. Your clothing should help regulate body temperature and provide element protection. Dress warmly in winter.
In a nutshell, Grassi Lakes is a slice of heaven for hikers seeking an easy, family-friendly adventure with postcard-worthy views. Follow our guide, embark on this remarkable journey, and let the natural beauty of Grassi Lakes take your breath away. Happy hiking!