Just because it’s not quite summer weather yet, that does not mean that you can’t enjoy all things hiking! Hiking in the early spring and throughout the winter is so beautiful and the snow and ice add a certain sparkly magic to trails and scenic paths, especially in Canada’s beautiful Rocky Mountains. A winter holiday in the Rockies is always a great idea, and hiking the frozen-over picturesque trails allows for a completely different landscape than that which can be explored in the summertime. The beauty of these trails is that you can hike them all year long! So break out your hiking boots and thermal layers and set out on one of these amazing winter hiking trails below.
Check Out The 8 Best Winter Hiking Trails In The Canadian Rockies:
Johnston Canyon- Banff, AB
This popular path is much less busy in the wintertime and is just as beautiful! The upper falls lookout of this hike offers an amazing view of the gorge from above. The lower falls allow you to view the magnificent frozen waterfall from below, and you will most likely spot a few brave ice climbers as well!
Wapta Falls- Field, BC
This 30m waterfall in the middle of Yoho National Park is a breathtaking view, no matter the time of year. Take in the picturesque mountain backdrop and the national treasure that are the Wapta Falls. The waterfall may or may not be frozen, but both sights are worth the 5km hike.
Crescent Falls- Nordegg, AB
This trail is wonderful in any season but makes for especially rewarding winter hiking. For an easier route, hikers can follow the trail to the top where you will find a glorious waterfall and winter wonderland scene of the forest. For more of a challenge, continue down the trail but ice cleats are recommended. Here you can marvel at the beauty of the waterfall up close and explore the frozen pond.
Troll Falls- Kananaskis, AB
Despite the ice-covered paths during the winter hiking season, this trail is still relatively easy to complete. Set out on the 30-minute journey to the frozen falls, passing through the dense evergreen forest. Bring your ice cleats if you wish to explore behind the cascading ice, a truly amazing experience!
Tunnel Mountain- Banff, AB
Take in the immaculate views that the city of Banff has to offer with this mountainous hike. Enjoy a panoramic view of the snowcapped town, the Bow Valley, the Mt. Norquay ski area along with an almost aerial shot of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Not only will you get photos to last a lifetime but you will also receive a killer leg workout on the way up!
Maligne Canyon- Jasper, AB
Discover the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park with this adventurous winter hiking trail. Beginners and expert hikers alike can explore this trail with 6 bridges crossing the canyon over different points. The second bridge is the highest point of the canyon but venture to the third for a magical waterfall view and perfect picture spot. This canyon is best experienced in the winter as you are able to explore the frozen canyon floor and even take a guided ice walk tour.
Shirley Lake Trail- Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Explore Elk Island National Park, known for its magnificent wildlife sightings, with the beautiful Shirley Lake Trail. These trails are best travelled with snowshoes but hiking is also possible, especially if you have lots of time to make your way around the trail. The 12.5km loop is not the easiest course to complete but is an amazing adventure for those looking for a bit of a challenge. Be sure to bring binoculars in case of any deer, bison, moose or elk spottings!
Grassi Lakes- Canmore, AB
This easy trail is great for winter walking with the family. Choose the shorter route for quick access to the beautiful turquoise lake or the more challenging wooded trail that passes a waterfall and spectacular views of Canmore and Bow Valley. If you set out on a sunny day, the glass-like reflection atop the lake will make for an amazing sight.