7 Of Alberta's Most Breathtaking Hikes
Alberta, in Western Canada, has a very diverse geography. Large coniferous forests, mountains, prairies, and even some desert badlands are all contained within its borders.
It's safe to say that there is something for any type of nature lover to see and do here. Of course, with all the natural beauty of Alberta, there are A LOT of provincial parks - 1,287 to be exact! And, in all those parks there are A LOT of hiking trails. I'm highlighting 10 of what I think are the most breathtaking.
I'll start with one of the easiest, Alder Trail. This is a 1 mile loop hike starting on the southeast side of Highway 758 near Bragg Creek. The hike is suitable for any fitness level - very young to very old.
The tricky part of the hike will be crossing Highway 758, which is a very busy highway. Please be extra cautious crossing, especially if you have young children with you. Even though it is a short hike, you will still find a lot of gorgeous scenery.
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Now for one of the more challenging hikes on this list. Aylmer Pass hiking trail is a 7 to 8.4 mile day hike, depending on how far you want to go.
This trail is for experienced hikers who are in good physical condition. The trail gains a total of 1,890 feet as you travel along it and reaches an elevation of 6,750 feet. Check this trail report before you go.
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This is a moderately difficult 7.5 mile day hike in Jasper National Park. The trail takes you across beautiful meadows where you are very likely to see some bighorn sheep grazing.
For just a bit of effort, you will be rewarded with one of the absolute best views of the Columbia Icefield. It's easy to see why this trail is so popular.
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This trail is also of moderate difficulty. It's around 7 miles round trip and provides you with gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains along the way. There is a rise in elevation along the trail of over 2,000 feet, which some people find difficult.
Just a few miles west of this trail and you're in British Columbia. If you need a good spot to camp there, check out my 5 favorite camping spots in BC.
This hiking trail in Banff National Park is a fairly long day hike of 10 miles, but it's also an easy hike for most. The last few miles can be a little challenging for some, however.
There is an elevation gain of almost 1,200 feet, but that doesn't begin until around the 3 mile mark. As the trail is located very near the Columbia Icefield, it's advisable to take a jacket. If you make it clear to the pass, you will see an incredible view of Brazeau River.
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Named after the family who homesteaded on the property until 1930, this hike is perfect for those who want to see wildlife. Moose, boreal birds and field bison are often seen in the area.
The trail is located in Elk Island National Park and is a 7 mile, moderately difficult trail. Stick close to the trail as there are hidden areas of quicksand in the meadows.
This trail is not for the beginning hiker. It's an almost 14 mile round-trip hike that increases in elevation almost 3,000 feet along the way.
But, if you're an experienced hiker and in good physical condition, you have to hike this trail! Gorgeous Forum Falls can be discovered at mile 1.2 and, once you reach the ridge, the scenery will take your breath away!