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If you’re looking for the ultimate city for outdoor adventures, Vancouver is a top contender. This coastal city in British Columbia has a wonderful blend of the urban experience and the natural environment. Hiking in Vancouver is one of the best ways to get outside and see all of the rugged, wild nature that this region of Canada has to offer! From evergreen forests to crashing waterfalls, sweeping mountaintops to the calm seaside, Vancouver offers a diverse set of outdoor experiences for hikers of all levels. We created this guide to the best hikes near Vancouver to help you plan your next outdoor adventure!

Photo Credit: Colin Knowles (Flickr CC)

Easy Hikes in Vancouver

Stanley Park Seawall

  • Trail Length: 10 kilometers
  • Location: Stanley Park, Vancouver

Located off the coast of Vancouver, the Stanley Park Seawall trail is easily one of the most scenic spots for hiking in Vancouver proper. Stanley Park is a formerly indigenous area of Vancouver, which features large, rocky cliffs and evergreen forests. The Seawall Trail runs around the perimeter of the park (bordering the coastline) and is a popular spot for locals to go running, biking, and walking. For one of the most convenient and accessible hikes in Vancouver for all levels of hikers, the Stanley Park Seawall is a great place to start.

Lighthouse Park

  • Trail Length: Varies
  • Location: West Vancouver

If you’re in the mood for a nautical hike, the trails at Lighthouse Park are a wonderful and easy way to explore this historic area. Unsurprisingly, this trail system boasts views of a historic lighthouse, as well as local plant and wildlife and views of the rocky shoreline of Vancouver. Locals especially love this park for hiking in Vancouver because it’s family-friendly and dog-friendly, meaning that you can bring the whole crew along to enjoy the lighthouse and the tranquil seaside vibes!

Photo Credit: GotoVan (Flickr CC)

Quarry Rock

  • Trail Length: 3.7 kilometers
  • Location: Cove Forest (northwest Vancouver)

Arguably the most popular of the easy hikes near Vancouver, Quarry Rock offers tremendously beautiful views to hikers of all levels. It’s definitely popular for a reason – you’ll get to see bird’s eye views over the water to the lush, forested areas surrounding Vancouver. We’d strongly recommend starting this hike early or going on a weekday, as it is one of the most crowded hikes in the area due to its easy trails and beautiful views.

Photo Credit: sharkhats (Flickr CC)

Lynn Canyon

  • Trail Length: 1.9 kilometers
  • Location: Northern Vancouver

A family-friendly trail near the north side of Vancouver, Lynn Canyon is one of the best hikes in Vancouver for beginners and less experienced hikers. It’s also great for people seeking beautiful, unique views, with a stunning 157′ suspension bridge that catches the eye of many artists and photographers in the Vancouver area. Along the way, you’ll find waterfalls, gorges, and thick evergreen forests. The trail is only 1.9 kilometers, perfect for a short, easy hike that’s not far at all from the center of Vancouver.

Photo Credit: Guilhem Vellut (Flickr CC)

Killarney Lake Loop

  • Trail Length: 7.9 kilometers
  • Location: Bowen Island

For an easy, scenic trail through the forest that boasts some particularly stunning views of Killarney Lake, the Killarney Lake Loop is a fantastic hike for all levels. This trail combines dirt trails with scenic boardwalks through the tropical forest and along the waterfront, perfect for misty days or those times when shade would be best. Don’t be fooled by the easy terrain on the trail – the views from the trail are absolutely incredible, with views across the lake to the surrounding mountains.

Dog Mountain

  • Trail Length: 4.5 kilometers
  • Location: Mount Seymour Provincial Park

If it’s an alpine-type environment you’re looking for, Dog Mountain offers bird’s eye views and evergreen forests to hikers of all levels. It’s the perfect place to go hiking near Vancouver for families or those wanting an easy, short trail. Bridges and trails will lead you through shady, forested areas and to some really stunning views of the surrounding forests and mountains. On clear days, you can see out to the water and the islands nearby.

Photo Credit: Michael Dorausch (Flickr CC)

Norvan Falls

  • Trail Length: 16.7 kilometer
  • Location: North Vancouver

For a day-long adventure on an easy-to-hike trail, Norvan Falls is a fantastic hike for all levels of experience. You’ll meander through the forest and pass by gorgeous waterfalls, with beautiful mossy tree trunks scattered between waterways.. While it’s lengthier than the other easy hikes at 16.7 kilometers, the trail itself is flat, easy and scenic. If you’re looking for the best day hikes in Vancouver, Norvan Falls will definitely give you and your fellow hikers a long, fun, and accessible adventure.

Photo Credit: Giuseppe Milo (via Flickr CC)

Moderate Hikes Near Vancouver

Joffre Lakes

  • Trail Length: 7.7 kilometers
  • Location: Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

While it’s 2.5 hours from the city, we couldn’t write a guide to hiking near Vancouver without listing one of the area’s most iconic hikes – Joffre Lakes. You’ve probably seen this hike all over landscape photographers’ Instagram accounts, as it has grown significantly in popularity over the last few years. With its turquoise waters, shady evergreens, and stunning snow-capped mountains, this moderately difficult hike packs a punch in terms of photogenic spots to go hiking in the Coast Mountains.

St. Marks Summit

  • Trail Length: 10.8 kilometers
  • Location: Cypress Provincial Park

Seaside cliff views meet foggy forests at St. Marks Summit, a moderately difficult trail located in Northwest Vancouver. Getting to the summit will take you through quintessential Pacific Northwest terrain, with tall evergreens and moss-covered trunks. Once you get to the top, you can hike out to the rocky outcroppings and see views of the islands off the bay, which is especially beautiful in the early morning or late afternoon. If you want to see the views, however, go hiking on a day that is clear – otherwise, you’ll be greeted with thick clouds and fog from the top.

Photo Credit: Brodie Guy (Flickr CC)

Elfin Lakes

  • Trail Length: 20.1 kilometers
  • Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park

Beloved by locals for short backpacking trips, the Elfin Lakes trip is one of the most visually stunning moderate hikes in Vancouver and the surrounding areas. At 20.1 kilometers, it’s very long, but local hikers typically split that over the course of 2-3 days. Unlike some of the summit hikes on our list, Elfin Lakes boasts sweeping views of the surrounding mountains almost all the way throughout. If you don’t want to camp in one of the many campsites, you can stay at the Elfin Lakes shelter, a bunk house for backpackers run by BC parks ($15/person per night).

Mount Cheam

  • Trail Length: 7.7 kilometers
  • Location: Bridal Veil Falls Park

Mount Cheam is one of the few moderately difficult summit hikes in Vancouver that will take you above the tree line, rewarding you with breathtaking views of some of the rocky, bare peaks in the region. While there is an uphill, it’s fairly gradual and accessible to less experienced hikers who are ready to work! This hike is best done on clear days, where you can see the exceptional views of the mountains nearby. Note that this trail is quite exposed, so be prepared for the potential of direct sun and strong wind. You’ll also need a 4×4 to access the trail head.

Mount Seymour

  • Trail Length: 8.2 kilometers
  • Location: Mount Seymour Provincial Park

If you want to bag not one, not two, but three peaks in one hike, the Mount Seymour trail is the perfect (and not too difficult) way to do so. The views from these rocky peaks are second to none, with sweeping panoramas of the sea and the surrounding mountains on clear days. With a gradual incline leading hikers up 570 meters of elevation gain, it’s not too difficult but will definitely work your legs on the ascent. The rewards at the top are absolutely worth the effort!

Photo Credit: Sathish J (Flickr CC)

Difficult Hikes Near Vancouver

Panorama Ridge

  • Trail Length: 28.3 miles
  • Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park

Not for the faint of heart, the Panorama Ridge hike is one of the longest and most challenging day hikes in Vancouver and the nearby areas, but is also one of the most iconic. At nearly 30 kilometers, this hike will take a full day (likely 11 hours or more) or require an overnight stay at one of the trail’s campsites. Given its length and 1,540 meter elevation gain, this trail takes experienced, adventurous hikers through all of the essential Vancouver landscapes – foggy, mossy forests, alpine lakes, and of course, rocky peaks. From the top, on clear days, you’ll be rewarded with one of the the absolute best views in the entire Vancouver region.

Garibaldi Lake

  • Trail Length: 21 kilometers
  • Location: Lexington, KY

If you’re looking for a slightly shorter hike than Panorama Ridge, Garibaldi Lake is a fantastic alternative. This 21-kilometer difficult hike is one of the most popular spots for camping and hiking near Vancouver. This scenic trail will take you through the pine forests and pas waterfalls and scenic viewpoints, before the beautiful finale at the scenic and incredibly gorgeous Garibaldi Lake.

You can choose to hang out here and hike back down or spend a night at the neighboring campsite. At the lake, you’ll find turquoise blue waters and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains in the park. There’s a reason why Garibaldi Lake is such a popular trail – it is an absolutely incredible (and challenging) hike!

Photo Credit: Lisa (Flickr CC)

Black Tusk

  • Trail Length: 25.9 kilometers
  • Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park

Another popular trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Black Tusk is visible from many of the other peaks in the area (including Panorama Ridge). As a strenuous, challenging hike, this one definitely isn’t for beginners or those who haven’t experienced alpine hiking before. It’s also a popular spot for a 2-3 day backpacking trip, as there are several campsites along the way. Be sure to bring snow shoes or crampons as the trail usually gets snowy and icy in the winter and shoulder seasons. In the summertime, be prepared to scramble up loose rock the last 2 kilometers. Your hard work will be rewarded by a a 360 degree view of Garibaldi lake, Shark’s Fin, and Mt. Garibaldi.

Crown Mountain

  • Trail Length: 8.9 kilometers
  • Location: Lynn Headwaters Regional Park

The trail up to Crown Mountain is a challenging trek that will test your determination and your ankles. What makes this hike especially difficult is the steep hike down to Crown Pass before another steep ascent to the true summit of Crown Mountain, meaning you effectively climb up the mountain twice each way. Be prepared for loos gravel and scrambling with the air of bolted chains. Your view at the top lets you see the gorgeous Capilano Watershed area, and, on an especially clear day, the city of Vancouver in the distance. Hikers can take the Grouse Mountain Skyride up part of the way. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, the Grouse Grind, BCMC Trail, and Hanes Valley trail can all be added on to the start of your summit trek.

Photo Credit: Jay Huang (Flickr CC)

Grouse Grind

  • Trail Length: 2.9 kilometers
  • Location: Grouse Mountain Park

The Grouse Grind is a popular hiking destination located within the borders of Vancouver. Sitting at just under 3 kilometers, this trail takes hikers up a stone and wooden staircase 780 meters to the top of Grouse Mountain. Set aside about 1.5 to 2 hours for this hike. It’s recommended to take the Grouse Mountain Gondola down (free trip downhill) to keep the trail safe from loose gravel pelting down on the ascending hikers. This trail can get crowded during the busy season. At the top of the mountain are cafes, restaurants, and bars, offering a delicious reward to the hikers that finish the grind.

The Lions

  • Trail Length: 12.4 kilometers
  • Location: Lions Bay

An iconic landmark overlooking the Howe Sound, the Lions are two twin peaks north of Vancouver. This 4 hour trail will take you to the ridge of the Lions. Here, you’ll catch stunning views of the Howe Sound and the North Shore mountains. Most of the hike is a steady incline up a gravel path. You’ll pass over a bridge which will be your last chance to refill your water before the top. The “heads” of the Lions are climbable, but they require extensive scrambling and straight-up bouldering. Do NOT attempt without a buddy or if you are afraid of heights.

Photo Credit: ActiveSteve (Flickr CC)

Golden Ears Trail

  • Trail Length: 21.7 kilometers
  • Location: Golden Ears Provincial Park

One of the most epic hikes near Vancouver, Golden Ears trail takes you up to the northern summit of the mountain. This trek is perfect for backpackers, as there are several campsites located within the park, as well as 6 tent platforms near the peak. Panoramic views of Pitt Lake wait at the end of the hike. We wouldn’t recommend this trail to any beginner hikers as the route is very technical. Additionally, the elevation gain means unpredictable climate. There’s an emergency shelter located near the top for hikers who get stranded by bad weather.

Photo Credit: Simon Morris (Flickr CC)

Stawamus Chief

  • Trail Length: 6.1 kilometers
  • Location: Stawamus Chief Park

A classic hike near Vancouver, the Stawamus Chief is a trail that takes hikers up one of the three peaks of this picturesque mountain. This trail is mostly wooden stairs and can get a bit crowded during the summer months. Ascending to the first peak requires climbing a metal ladder.More experienced hikers have the option to ascend all three peaks, adding about 5 kilometers to the trek. This option requires a lot of elevation change but will offer three unique perspectives and views of the Howe Sound and the town of Squamish below.

Photo Credit: JayCWSee (Flickr CC)

Wedgemount Lake

  • Trail Length: 10.3 kilometers
  • Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park

Wedgemount Lake is a gorgeous alpine lake located within Garibaldi Provincial park. This hike is known as one of the most challenging trails in the park, partly due to its steep elevation gain. The trail will initially take you through an old forest and some moderate switchbacks. Eventually, you’ll reach a viewpoint looking out at the 300 meter tall Wedgemount Waterfall. Once you cross the treeline, you’ll scramble up to the British Columbia Mountaineering Club hut. The end of the trail is a short distance further, offering spectacular views of glaciers and Wedgemount Lake, which is known for its radiant turquoise blue color.

Additional Resources for Hiking in Vancouver

What to Pack for Hiking in Vancouver

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

Related Links


Known for its massive Stampede and its proximity to the Canadian Rockies, Calgary is a beautiful city that’s perfect for outdoor lovers. Hiking in Calgary is a fantastic (and cheap!) way to enjoy nature in and around the city. Within a few hours’ drive, you can have access to stunning mountaintops, flower-filled meadows, desert-like canyonlands, and evergreen forests. No matter what kind of trail you’re looking for, you can find a place to go hiking near Calgary that will take your breath away! We wrote this guide with 17 of the most beautiful hikes in and near Calgary for all levels – beginners to advanced enthusiasts – so you can plan your next adventure!

Easy Hikes Near Calgary

Bow River Pathway & Prince Island

  • Trail Distance: Up to 48 kilometers total (5 kilometer loop near Prince Island)
  • Location: Downtown Calgary

While there are several short urban hikes in Calgary, our favorite trail by far is the Bow River Pathway. Running for a total of 48 kilometers along the Bow River through the heart of the city, this is one of the most popular trails for running, biking, and hiking in Calgary. With mostly paved, flat trails, this trail is accessible for all levels of hikers.

As you stroll, you can see people fishing or kayaking in the Bow River, epic skyline views of the city, and you’ll even pass by Calgary’s famous bright red Peace Bridge. We’d highly recommend the Prince Island area of the Bow River Pathway if you want a nice blend of nature and city elements along your hike.

Photo Credit: necopunch (Flickr CC)

Grassi Lakes

  • Trail Distance: 4.3 kilometers
  • Location: Canmore, AB (Trailhead GPS: 51.08105, -115.39472)

Located in nearby Canmore, Grassi Lakes is one of the most popular easy hikes near Calgary and is a scenic, fun choice for hikers of all levels. While the trail does include an ascent, which is gradual and involves some stair climbing, the rewards at the top are excellent. You’ll see beautiful views of Ha Ling Peak, as well as the deep turquoise lakes below. If you’re looking for a wonderful, family-friendly spot for hiking (that isn’t too far off the beaten path), Grassi Lakes is a short and fantastic option.

Grotto Canyon

  • Trail Distance: 4 kilometers
  • Location: Grotto Mountain Provincial Recreation Area

As another one of the more well-known hikes near Calgary, the Grotto Canyon trail is a short, easy hike that takes you through huge rock structures and canyon areas. Here, local rock climbers can often be found scaling the vertical rock faces. After you’ve wandered past the rock climbers, you’ll hike through a boulder-filled trail and end at a waterfall, which makes for a really nice picnic spot or a scenic place to take a rest.

Photo Credit: Sabrina Setaro (Flickr CC)

Horseshoe Canyon

  • Trail Distance: 2.9 kilometers
  • Location: Kneehill County (Trailhead GPS: 51.41554, -112.88567)

At less than 1.5 hours from Calgary, Horseshoe Canyon may be one of the most unique spots for hiking near Calgary. With striated rock formations and plateaus, this strange landscape is located near the Canadian Badland. Instead of the common alpine landscapes of the nearby Canadian Rockies, you’ll find a much drier, desert-like landscape at Horseshoe Canyon. Pair a morning hike here with a trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park for a wonderful outdoor getaway near Calgary!

Troll Falls

  • Trail Distance: 3.4 kilometers
  • Location: Kananaskis County, AB (Trailhead GPS: 50.9364, -115.14133)

Known for being a fantastic family-friendly option, Troll Falls is located just over an hour from Calgary and is a great waterfall hike for all levels, including children. It’s just 3.4 kilometers, meaning you can pair it with other hikes in the Kananaskis area or simply take your time along the way. With dirt paths through the forest that lead hikers to a towering waterfall, it’s a nice, short, accessible option for hiking near Calgary. If you choose to hike in the winter, don’t forget to wear microspikes for safety!

Photo Credit: L F (Flickr CC)

Johnston Canyon

  • Trail Distance: 5 kilometers
  • Location: Banff National Park

Johnston Canyon is one of the most popular hikes near Calgary, and it’s easy to see why. Waterfalls meet narrow stone gorges with a raging turquoise river in this beautiful and easy cliffside trail, which is perfect for solo hikers, couples and families of all hiking levels. This Banff hike is unique because it consists of a series of cliffside metal bridges that take you through this stunning canyon…no uphills necessary!

There are a few different options for this hike, including a short version that takes hikers right up to the Lower Falls (the first set of falls), or the longer version that extends all the way through the Upper Falls to the “Ink Pots,” a colorful phenomenon that occurs in these natural pools in Banff National Park. If you want to avoid the crowds (and yes, this trail does get crowded), be sure to get started hiking early in the morning.

Ha Ling Peak glows in the distance. Photo Credit: Darren Tennant (Flickr CC)

Moderate Hikes Near Calgary

Ha Ling Peak

  • Trail Distance: 8 kilometers
  • Location: Canmore, AB

Open year-round, Ha Ling Peak is arguably one of the popular and most picturesque moderate hikes near Calgary. It’s on the shorter end of the hikes in Canmore, at 8 kilometers out and back. But don’t let Ha Ling Peak’s distance fool you – the hike is actually decently challenging, as you’ll ascend well over 800 meters one way in about 4 kilometers.

The peak itself rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the Bow Valley below, as well as nearby East End of Rundle and Lady MacDonald peaks. As this trail is among the most popular day hikes near Calgary, we’d recommend starting very early to find parking and beat the crowds (plus catch the early morning alpenglow on the mountains!).

Photo Credit: Terry Lawson (Flickr CC)

Ptarmigan Cirque

  • Trail Distance: 4.3 kilometers
  • Location: Kananaskis County, AB

For gorgeous mountain views in a glacier-carved cirque, the Ptarmigan Cirque trail is a fantastic, moderate trail for hiking near Calgary. Beloved by locals, this trail is fairly short, but has a lot of variety to offer along its gradual slopes. You’ll pass by jaw-dropping views of the surrounding peaks, tiny waterfalls in the rocks, and lots of beautiful wooded areas. This trail is especially beautiful in the fall, when the larches turn orange and bright yellow amidst the blue backdrop of the mountains.

Photo Credit: nucksfan604 (Flickr CC)

Plain of Six Glaciers

  • Trail Distance: 15 kilometers
  • Location: Banff National Park (Park at Lake Louise)

As one of the most popular trails for hiking in Banff National Park, the longer, more difficult (and arguably more beautiful) sister of the Lake Agnes Tea House hike is the Plain of Six Glaciers trail. Rocky, winding dirt trails take hikers from the crowded shores of Lake Louise into secluded getaways deep in the Rocky Mountains. In our opinion, this is one of the most spectacular hiking trails in Banff National Park, and we’d recommend doing this one if you’ve got limited time in the park.

Visitors can expect to see beautiful, towering glaciers, craggy mountain peaks, and scenic passes through the wilderness. In the summer, hikers can stop for a quick rest at the Plain of Six Glaciers tea house, where they serve hot beverages and snacks for passers-by.

But before descending back down the way you came, be sure to stop by Abbots Pass for some of the most jaw-dropping views in the park.

How to get there: Park in the Lake Louise parking lot, pass the Chateau Lake Louise, and take the trail head that begins to the right of the lake at the edge of the forest. Once you are there, you will see signs to the Plain of Six Glaciers hike (it’s the same one as the Lake Agnes Trail).

Hoo Doo Trail

  • Trail Distance: 3.5 kilometers
  • Location: Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park

Try not to get too confused: there are several hikes in Alberta called the Hoo Doo Trail, but the one we’re talking about is in Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. With 3.5 kilometers of pathways through the strange, eerie “hoodoo” rock formations of the park, you’ll see why this trail is one of the most notable hikes in Calgary and the surrounding areas. The drier terrain in this area of Alberta is a welcome change to the otherwise evergreen, alpine scenery farther north.

Photo Credit: mark goble (Flickr CC)

East End of Rundle (EEOR)

  • Trail Distance: 5.6 kilometers
  • Location: Canmore, AB

One of our personal favorite hikes near Calagary is East End of Rundle, lovingly called EEOR by locals. This moderate to difficult hike isn’t for the faint of heart – while it’s not too technical, you’ll certainly need to use your hands and do some scrambling to reach the summit, especially once you’ve cleared the tree line. However, along the way, you’ll see beautiful views of the Bow Valley, nearby Ha Ling Peak, and the surrounding mountains.

Note that there are a few false trails that stray away from the main area – be sure to take note of your surroundings and make sure you follow the same pathway down from the top of the mountain as you did when you ascended.

Resting on a rock after completing the chain course on the Mount Yamnuska Trail

Difficult Hikes Near Calgary

Mount Yamnuska

  • Trail Distance: 11 kilometers
  • Location: Bow Valley Provincial Park

By far, Mount Yamnuska is one of our favorite adrenaline-pumping, muscle-throbbing hikes in Calgary and the surrounding areas. Known as the “gateway to the Canadian Rockies,” this 11-kilometer trail takes you through an evergreen forest, up a steep rocky scramble, around a chain cliffhanger (seriously), and up to the summit of this iconic Canmore peak. It’s a whopping 900+ meters of elevation gain, so be ready for some SERIOUS uphills and downhills if you choose to tackle this one.

Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass

  • Trail Distance: 17.5 kilometers
  • Location: Banff National Park

One of the most incredible day hikes near Calgary, Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass is a challenging but memorable hike to tackle. Located in Banff National Park, his full-day hike brings you to some of the best landscapes in the park, including many peaceful, secluded lakes, and panoramic views of the park.

Although this is the longest challenging hike on our list, it’s well worth the effort for a full day of adventuring through alpine trails and forests.

Throughout the hike, you might see some wildlife, including little chubby marmots (that we thought were adorable!). You’ll pass through Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Lake, both perfect places for a snack or a break. You also have the option of summiting Mount Bourgeau, although it is definitely a difficult scramble!

Photo Credit: Andres Alvarado (Flickr CC)

Mount Lady MacDonald

  • Trail Distance: 9.9 kilometers
  • Location: Canmore, AB

The Mount Lady MacDonald hike, named after the wife of the first Prime Minister of Canada, is a challenging trail that has breathtaking views start to finish. We definitely would not recommend this hike for beginners, but experienced hikers will absolutely have a blast. You’ll walk through evergreen forests, past a heli-pad, and all the way up to the rocky, scree-filled summit. Be prepared for some wind! We’d strongly recommend trekking poles for this one, as there are a lot of difficult ascents where they could come in handy.

Smutwood Peak

  • Trail Distance: 17.9 kilometers
  • Location: Kananaskis County

Easily one of the most beautiful summit views near Calgary, Smutwood Peak’s trail isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll hike, you’ll scramble, and you’ll gawk and the stunning, stunning views of the ridge and the alpine lakes and valleys below. Definitely not for the faint of heart, this long but vastly beautiful trail is best for experienced hikers who have already summited other peaks in the area. This hike is best to do in the summer or fall, when the snow has mostly melted.

Additional Resources for Hiking in Calgary

What to Pack for Hikes in Calgary

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

Related Links

There’s a reason why we strongly recommend hiking in Canmore — it’s easily one of the most overlooked places to visit in the Canadian Rockies. Out of all of the dozens of outdoor adventures in the Canadian Rockies, the Canmore and Kananaskis hikes are some of the most incredible ones in the area.

At just an hour’s drive from Calgary, Canmore and the Kananaskis Valley are some of the most beautiful and underrated areas of the Canadian Rockies. They often get overshadowed by nearby Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper National Parks. But in just 10 minutes of driving through Canmore, you’ll find similar jagged rocky peaks, stunning alpine lakes, and breezy evergreen forests.

But don’t be intimidated by the stark peaks in the area. In addition to tough summit trails, there are plenty of hikes in Canmore & the Kananaskis Valley that are suitable for people who have never set foot on a trail before, too!

To help you choose the best Kananaskis & Canmore hiking trails for your own skills and preferences, we’ve created this guide to 15 of the most beloved Canmore hikes, organized by difficulty and length. 


By the way, if you’re heading to the Canadian Rockies, don’t miss our other hiking guides:


The Bow River Loop crosses through this picturesque bridge, which used to be part of the railway that ran through the Canadian Rockies.

12 Incredible Canmore & Kananaskis Hikes for All Levels

Easy Hikes in Canmore & Kananaskis

Bow River Loop

  • Distance: 2-3 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Estimated time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

For beginner hikers, families, or a nice, easy walk around the Canmore town area, the Bow River Loop is the perfect hike. For most hikers, this 2-3 kilometer loop can be done in less than one hour.

The Bow River Loop is a nice little trail that starts in Canmore town center, crosses the scenic Bow River Bridge and loops around along the Bow River. On the trail, you’ll catch scenic views of the town of Canmore, Mount Rundle, and the glimmering river itself.

If you’d like more information on the Bow River Loop hike, read this information page.

Grotto Canyon

  • Distance: 4.4 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Estimated time: 1.5 to 3 hours

One of the most unique hikes in Canmore, the Grotto Canyon trail is a short, easy hike that takes you through huge rock structures and canyon areas. Here, local rock climbers can often be found scaling the vertical rock faces.

After you’ve wandered past the rock climbers, you’ll hike through a boulder-filled trail and end at a waterfall, which makes for a really nice picnic spot or a scenic place to take a rest.

For more information on the specifics of the Grotto Canyon trail, read this guide.

One of the many lovely views from the Grassi Lakes trail.

Grassi Lakes

  • Distance: 4 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Estimated time: 1-2 hours

Grassi Lakes is one of Canmore’s iconic hikes and is a local favorite that’s perfect for hikers of all levels. It really brings out the best in Canmore hiking, as a family-friendly trail that offers both easy and more challenging ascents.

The trail takes you to two deep turquoise alpine lakes and a waterfall surrounded by evergreen trees. It’s a very tranquil place to go for a short morning hike.

For more information on the Grassi Lakes trail, read this short guide.

Quarry Lake

  • Distance: 3 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Estimated time: Less than 1 hour

This family-friendly loop trail winds around the banks of Quarry Lake, offering beautiful views across the water toward the mountains. The entire lake is surrounded by mountains and evergreen trees. In the summer, after your hike, you can also swim in the lake if the weather is warm enough!

If you’d like to read more on this hike, head to this resource page.

Yours truly on the summit of Ha Ling Peak.

Moderate Hikes in Kananaskis & Canmore

Ha Ling Peak

  • Distance: 5.3 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Estimated time: 3-4 hours

Open year-round, Ha Ling Peak is arguably one of the shortest, coolest, and most picturesque Canmore hikes. It’s on the shorter end of the hikes in Canmore, at less than 6 kilometers out and back.

But don’t let Ha Ling Peak’s short trail distance fool you: the hike is actually quite difficult, as you’ll ascend well over 800 meters in less than 3 kilometers. The peak itself rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the Bow Valley below.

Lady MacDonald

  • Distance: 9 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Estimated time: 4-6 hours

This hike, named after a tea house that was never actually built, is a gorgeous trail that has beautiful views start to finish. One of the more popular hikes in Canmore, this moderately difficult hike is a perfect half-day adventure for hikers looking for a bit of a challenge and the reward of stunning photogenic viewpoints.

For more information about the Lady MacDonald hike, read the full guide on 10Adventures.

Chester Lake

  • Distance: 10 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Estimated time: 1.5-3 hours

For a challenging but accessible hike for beginners, Chester Lake is a fantastic trail that leads out to a picturesque evergreen-rimmed lake. The trail is largely through forests and trees, until you arrive at the lake, which has turquoise water and is surrounded by snowy mountains.

This guide can help you find the trailhead and learn more about what to expect on the hike.

Galatea Creek to Lillian Lake

  • Distance: 14 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Estimated time: 4 to 6 hours

A nice, challenging but doable hike for beginners, this trail takes you from Galatea Creek to the gorgeous Lillian Lake. On the way, you’ll pass through stunning valleys and over a picturesque wooden bridge. Lillian Lake is a tranquil, deep turquoise lake surrounded by a rocky shore, pine forests, and vertical rock faces.

Difficult Kananaskis & Canmore Hikes

Mount Yamnuska

  • Distance: 11 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Estimated time: 6+ hours

By far, Mount Yamnuska is one of my favorite adrenaline-pumping, muscle-throbbing hikes in ALL of Canada! This 11-kilometer trail takes you through an evergreen forest, up a steep rocky scramble, around a chain cliffhanger (seriously), and up to the summit of this iconic Canmore peak.

It’s a whopping 900+ meters of elevation gain, so be ready for some SERIOUS uphills and downhills if you choose to tackle this one.

Heart Mountain Horseshoe

  • Distance: 11 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Estimated time: 6+ hours

I haven’t actually hiked this one, but I’ve heard awesome things about it from friends back in Calgary. This is a moderate to difficult trail that involves a bit of rock scrambling towards the top. The views from the trail and the summit are said to be absolutely incredible, sweeping down below to the valley and the highway below.

Read this guide for more information and photos about the Heart Mountain Horseshoe hike.

Centennial Ridge to Mount Allan 

  • Distance: 16 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Estimated time: 8 to 10 hours

This summit trail is a challenging hike that eventually rewards you with some of the most incredible views in Canmore and Kananaskis. You’ll hike up a steep ascent, to a ridge overlooking the valleys and fellow peaks nearby.

Here’s a complete guide to Centennial Ridge to Mount Allan.

Smutwood Peak

  • Distance: 17.9 kilometers
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Estimated time: 6 to 8 hours

Easily one of the most beautiful summit views in the entire Canmore area, Smutwood Peak’s trail isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll hike, you’ll scramble, and you’ll gawk and the stunning, stunning views of the ridge and the alpine lakes and valleys below.

While it’s best to do this in the summer or fall, you can tackle the hike as early as spring with the proper equipment.

Here’s a great guide to Smutwood Peak that details a bit more about the route itself.

Know Before You Go: Tips for Hiking in Canmore & Kananaskis

Things to Know Before Traveling in Canmore 

While traveling in Canmore is pretty straightforward, there are a few things you should know to help plan your trip:

  • Canmore is a year round destination! While most people flock to Canmore in the summer months (July through August), there are things to do here all year. In the summer, there are hiking and camping opportunities (like this ones in this post), while in the winter, there are amazing places to try snow sports.
  • Wildlife is rampant in Canmore. Chances are, if you’re in Canmore for any significant amount of time, you’ll run into some wildlife. We’re talking anything from chipmunks to grizzly bears. When hiking, always bring bear spray with you and walk with a buddy or a group to protect yourself. And, of course, DO NOT FEED OR APPROACH ANY WILDLIFE. EVER.
  • There can be ice and snow on the trails year round. Just because the weather is nice outside does not mean that the trails are free and clear of ice. If you’re hiking outside of June-September, it’s a good idea to bring over-the-boot crampons and sturdy trekking poles for extra support, and don’t be afraid to cancel a hike or turn around if conditions aren’t optimal.

Additional Canadian Rockies Travel Resources


Toronto may be known as Canada’s first city, but it’s also got a surprisingly wide variety of things to do outside. From skiing to running to hiking and biking, there are plenty of ways to explore the outdoors in and around the city! Hiking in Toronto is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to get some fresh air and learn more about this amazing city. With old industrial areas, mountain views, and rocky cliffsides, there’s so much variety in the hikes in Toronto and the surrounding areas. We created this guide to the best places for hiking near Toronto to help you plan your next outdoor adventure!

Photo Credit: Payton Chung (Flickr CC)

Easy Hikes in Toronto

Evergreen Brickworks

  • Trail Length: 2.4 kilometers
  • Location: Downtown Toronto

Located in the heart of Toronto, Evergreen Brickworks is an urban community space that occupies a former farm and brick factory that was built in the 1880s. Today, it offers community gathering spaces, as well as several footpaths and trails that are accessible to hikers of all levels and families so that they can get to know the vast outdoor and environmental opportunities in the Don River area.

The park’s paved trails wind through some of the old industrial structures of the original brick factory, as well as several green spaces. Perfect for a short stroll or an afternoon fresh air break, this unique hike is an easy way to go hiking in Toronto without leaving the city!

High Park Trails

  • Trail Length: 5.3 kilometers
  • Location: High Park

For a more nature-infused outdoor experience, High Park is home to some of the most scenic urban hikes in Toronto. Located in the city, High Park’s paved paths offer an accessible and easy option for all levels, including children and dogs! The paths pass by the peaceful Grenadier Pond and through miles of shady forested areas, perfect for an early morning walk or a mid-day stroll. Because its mission is to help Toronto locals learn about the environment, the park also offers lots of classes about the outdoors, wildlife, and gardening.

Photo Credit: Karin Lewis (Bookatz) (Flickr CC)

East Don Parkland

  • Trail Length: 10.9 kilometers
  • Location: East Don Parkland

Situated in the outskirts of the city, the East Don Parkland trail is a wonderful and convenient place to go hiking in Toronto. Located on the Don River Watershed, the park area consists of several waterways that all flow into Lake Ontario. For hiking, the trails here are flat and easy, and are heavily forested with lots of wildlife. On a hike through, you’ll encounter some very picturesque historic bridges, tons of waterways, and paved pathways perfect for hikers of all levels.

Photo Credit: Ashton Emanuel (Flickr CC)

West Humber River Recreation Trail

  • Trail Length: 19 kilometers
  • Location: Downtown Toronto

If you’re looking for a longer urban trail for hiking in Toronto, West Humber River Recreation Trail is a fantastic option for you. Running along the peaceful West Humber River, you can typically find several Toronto locals here running, walking, or biking. The paved pathways of this 11.8-mile trail are perfect for hikers of all levels, as well as children and dogs. Along the way, you’ll find recreation areas, wooded patches, scenic waterways and bridges, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Photo Credit: Viv Lynch (Flickr CC)

Scarborough Bluffs Trail

  • Trail Length: 6.8 kilometers
  • Location: Bluffer’s Park

Perhaps one of the most unique easy hikes in Toronto, Scarborough Bluffs looks like a landscape out of Greece or California. With towering, rugged cliffs bordering teal blue lake waters, this stunning recreation area is perfect for photographers or hikers seeking a true break from the city grind.

Located along Lake Ontario, the trail here leads you down to the beach, where you can wander and view the amazing bluffs (just don’t climb them, or you’ll face a hefty fine). As Scarborough Bluffs is one of the most popular day trips from Toronto, we’d strongly recommend going early in the morning to avoid heavy crowds along the trails.

Blue Mountain Cascade Trail

  • Trail Length: 3.5 kilometers
  • Location: Blue Mountains

It may be short, but the Blue Mountain Cascade Trail is one of the prettiest hikes in Toronto for hikers of all levels. Passing through 2.2 miles of forests, meadows, and scenic waterfalls, the trail is a perfect escape from the concrete and noise of the city. While there is a bit of an incline, the trail is fairly easy and accessible, and the rewards (and photo opportunities) of the surrounding scenery are well worth the hike!

Photo Credit: CO1867 (Flickr CC)

DeCew Falls

  • Trail Length: 2.3 kilometers
  • Location: Thorold

History lovers, listen up! DeCew Falls is one of the most unique hikes in Toronto for you. Beginning at the Morning Star Mill, this beautiful trail passes through the forest to a scenic view of Twelve Mile Creek and some very beautiful waterfalls. For an extra challenge, hike down to the creek so you can get a closer look. Note that this trail can get a little slippery and muddy, so it’s important to wear solid hiking boots and avoid after heavy rainfall.

Rouge Valley Vista Trail

  • Trail Length: 9 kilometers
  • Location: Rouge National Urban Park

For a tranquil outdoor getaway that’s not far from the city, the Rouge Valley Vista Trail is a fantastic place to experience the natural attractions that Toronto has to offer. This forest trail is quiet and peaceful, and offers lovely views of the creeks nearby, especially in the fall when the leaves blaze red, orange, and yellow. Many locals cite the Rouge Valley Vista Trail as one of their favorite hikes in Toronto (and with so many hikes to do, that’s pretty high praise!).

Photo Credit: Sean Marshall (Flickr CC)

Mount Nemo

  • Trail Length: 5.3 kilometers
  • Location: Mount Nemo Conservation Area

If you’re a hiking beginner but want to summit a mountain, Mount Nemo is one of the most accessible summit hikes in Toronto and the surrounding areas. This forested trail is just 3.3 miles, but will take you up to the summit of Mount Nemo, which boasts views of the Toronto skyline and the nearby farmlands and countryside. The best time to hike the Mount Nemo trail is on the weekends, when it’s much less crowded and offers a quiet, peaceful experience to hikers of all levels.

After the winter or heavy rains, the trail can get very muddy and slippery, so be sure to wear solid hiking boots and avoid this hike when conditions are wetter than usual.

Photo Credit: Ram R (Flickr CC)

Moderate Hikes near Toronto

Dundas Peak Trail

  • Trail Length: 2.9 kilometers
  • Location: Spencer Gorge Conservation Area

The Dundas Peak Trail is an absolutely epic place to go hiking in Toronto, featuring a historic mill and some stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Spencer Gorge waterfalls. Need we say more?

However, before you jump in a car and immediately head over, there are some serious pros and cons about this trail. The pros: it’s absolutely gorgeous, accessible to hikers of all levels, and one of the most iconic hikes in Toronto. The bad news? For this reason, this trail is one of the most crowded on our list. There are entrance fees and parking fees, and you’ll probably be waiting for things longer than you’ll actually be hiking. Go early and proceed with caution.

Lower Don River Trail

For those not wanting to go too far but still get a very nature-driven hiking experience, the Lower Don River Trail is one of the most wonderful spots for hiking in Toronto. This wooded trail follows the Don River and truly feels like an escape from the city, despite being right there in the middle of it. Needless to say, you’ll find peaceful waterways, easy, paved paths, and a bit of quiet on this beautiful trail.

Photo Credit: Chung Ho Leung (Flickr CC)

Cliff-Top Side Trail

  • Trail Length: 8 kilometers
  • Location: Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

Mono Cliffs is one of Ontario’s most beautiful provincial parks, and the Cliff-Top Side Trail is the perfect way to explore all it has to offer. With 5 miles of scenic, forested trails, you’ll pass by towering rock formations, quiet lakes with crystal clear water, and lots of wooden staircases that bring you up and down the cliffside.

While it’s not the easiest hike – there are lots of steps to climb – it’s certainly accessible to hikers of all levels in the warmer months of the year. During the winter, this trail can get very icy and slippery, so be sure to bring crampons and/or microspikes and proceed with caution if you choose to hike in cold weather.

Joker’s Hill Trail

  • Trail Length: 2.9 kilometers
  • Location: Thornton Bales Conservation Area

Forest lovers will appreciate the lush wooded areas of Joker’s Hill Trail, which is located in the Thornton Bales Conservation Area. There’s not much in the way of sweeping views here, but there is plenty of plant life, wildlife, and shade for those hot summer days where you want to get outside but don’t want to suffer the direct sunlight of the mid-afternoon. Locals love this trail because it has dirt paths and feels separate from the city, but isn’t too difficult or exposed.

Photo Credit: Eric Parker (Flickr CC)

Leslie Street Spit Trail

  • Trail Length: 11 kilometers
  • Location: Tommy Thompson Park

Uniquely located on a peninsula in Lake Ontario, the Leslie Street Spit trail offers unparalleled views of the lake and city skyline. The park is actually a former construction site dumping ground that mother nature reclaimed over the years. You can still see piles of rubble and concrete along the trail, but amateur artists will frequently turn these into small pieces of temporary art.

No dogs are allowed on this trail, unfortunately. Most of the trail is an asphalt road shared by bikers, so be alert while trekking. Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars as the park is a bird sanctuary, offering wildlife watchers plenty of things to do on this long hike near Toronto.

Albion Hills Trail

  • Trail Length: 12 kilometers
  • Location: Albion Hills Conservation Area

Albion Hills is one of the closest parks to Toronto if you’re looking for an overnight getaway. The park has a nice lake and campgrounds for families and solo hikers alike. There are many short trails inside the park, but they can be combined together into a moderately difficult 12 kilometer loop trail that circumscribes the park. Expects dense trees, wild raspberries, and lots of deer on the trail. Locals recommend bringing a GPS or map with you as the trail seems to be poorly marked, making it easy to get lost.

Photo Credit: ndh (Flickr CC)

Rattlesnake Point & Nassagaweya Canyon Loop

  • Trail Length: 10.5 kilometers
  • Location: Crawford Lake Conservation Area

As one of the most strikingly beautiful hikes in Toronto and the surrounding areas, the hike to Rattlesnake Point is a local’s favorite. Majestic forests, striking rock formations and canyons, and sweeping viewpoints characterize this 10.5 kilometer trail, which has fairly challenging ascents and descents. The trail is also home to lots of local wildlife, so don’t be surprised if you come across some critters along your hike!

*Note that there’s an entrance fee of $7 to enter this park area.

Beamer Memorial Conservation Area

  • Trail Length: 4.2 kilometers
  • Location: Grimsby

Few trails on our list have access to the panoramic views of Lake Ontario that Beamer Memorial Conservation Area has. This moderately difficult trail has a great variety of sights to see – from the sweeping views of the lake to tiny waterfalls scattered across the trail. Throughout the trail, there are lots of walkways and stairs that bring you through the woods and up to many of the overlooks. There are lots of overlooks here that boast views of the surrounding countryside, and there are also ample opportunities for wildlife viewing along the way.

Photo Credit: Joe Nicholl (Flickr CC)

Tom East Side, Cam Snell Side, and Bruce Trails Loop (Hockley Valley Trails)

  • Trail Length: 13.8 kilometers
  • Location: Hockley Valley Provincial Park

If you’re looking for a full-day, moderate hike, the Tom East Side, Cam Snell Side, and Bruce Trails Loop in Hockley Valley Provincial Park is a perfect way to spend a day hiking near Toronto. This long trail winds through meadows, forests, and creeks, and provides a much-needed respite from the noise and chaos of the city. In the springtime, the entire trail turns bright green and has lots of local wildflowers blooming along the edges. Many locals love this trail for the variety, length, and scenery that’s unique to this area.

Challenging Hikes near Toronto

Bruce Trail to the Grotto

  • Trail Length: 7.7 kilometers
  • Location: Cabot Head Provincial Nature Reserve

Arguably topping the list of scenic hikes in Toronto is the Bruce Trail to the Grotto, a difficult but incredibly beautiful hike located in Cabot Head Provincial Nature Reserve. While it’s not the longest hike on our list, it’s definitely one of the most challenging. Definitely not a hike for young children, beginners, or the faint of heart! This rocky path consists of lots of scrambling and frequent ascents and descents, but you’ll be rewarded with the stunning views of the Grotto (pictured above), as well as a cold dip in its teal blue waters.

Ganaraska Trail: Devil’s Lake to Black River Road

  • Trail Length: 30.9 kilometers (suitable for camping)
  • Location: Minden Hills

The Ganaraska Trail is one of Canada’s longest hiking trails, and hiking a stretch of it is a rite of passage for any Canadian hiker. The Devil’s Lake to Black River Road is one of the most scenic stretches of this hiking trail, and also one of the more difficult ones. You’ll find plenty of technical hiking here, with rocky trails and scrambles beginning very early on in the hike.

This hike is point-to-point, meaning that you’ll need to find transportation back to your starting point, or turn back around to reach the beginning. To shorten the hike, you can turn back around at Victoria Lake and head back to where you started. Alternatively, you can turn this trail into a multi-day backpacking excursion and camp at Victoria Lake, Sheldon Lake, or any of the other various campsites along the way.

Additional Resources for Hiking near Toronto

What to Bring for Hiking in Toronto

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

Related Articles


While Montreal is a fun and beautiful city in itself, one of its most wonderful attributes is its proximity to beautiful outdoor areas. Hiking near Montreal is one of the best ways to get outdoors and explore some of the beautiful mountains, lakes, and national parks that Quebec has to offer. We created this guide to 17 of the best hikes near Montreal to help you plan your next outdoor adventure. Once you’re done exploring the cute cafes and European vibes of Montreal, grab your favorite day pack and lace up your boots to experience some of the most breathtaking views in Canada!

Autumn Montreal Lachine Canal Landscape From the Bridge

Easy Hikes Near Montreal

Lachine Canal

  • Trail Length: 4.1 miles
  • Location: Westmount

As one of the most beautiful and scenic urban trails in Canada, the Lachine Canal trail extends 4.1 miles through the city and offers beautiful glimpses into the Lachine Canal and the surrounding neighborhoods. Used by hikers, runners, and bikers, the path does tend to get quite crowded, but it’s fabulous for people watching or soaking up fresh air on a sunny day without having to leave the city. Here, you’ll find paved, flat paths that line the canal, perfect for hikers of all levels, children, and dogs.

Morgan Arboretum

  • Trail Length: 1 to 2.8 miles
  • Location: Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec

Accessible by public transportation, Morgan Arboretum in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is a lovely place for an afternoon stroll through a beautiful, wooded setting. While this trail does not have any bird’s eye views or ascents, it does have a few historic structures and lots of shady pathways to explore. For a peaceful, tree-lined walk on a flat, shady trail, you can’t go wrong with Morgan Arboretum.

Photo Credit: Robert Cutts (Flickr CC)

Mount Royal

  • Trail Length: 8.4 kilometers
  • Location: Parc du Mont-Royal

For the best views of the Montreal skyline, head to Mount Royal for an easy, fun hike to a spectacular city viewpoint. While there is a gradual incline to get to the top of the hill, this trail is accessible to hikers of all levels, as well as children. You’ll definitely break a sweat on the staircases, but trust us – the vistas are 100% worth it. We’d recommend going early in the morning for the smallest crowds and the most stunning city views.

As the Mount Royal trail is an urban trail and a famous landmark for tourists, it attracts ~4 million visitors each year. Therefore, if you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful nature experience, this is probably not the trail for you.

Le Haut-Lieu Trail

  • Trail Length: 8.4 miles
  • Location: Sentiers de l’Escapade

A local favorite, Le Haut-Lieu Trail is one of the best and most beloved hikes near Montreal. A full 8.4 miles, this longer stretch of gravel trails is a fun way to spend a half or full day exploring some of the beautiful forest paths of Sentiers de l’Escapade. With a mostly wooded pathway, don’t expect any crazy panoramas here, but for people who want to spend a long time in the woods, away from the crowds of the city or the more popular trails, Le Haut-Lieu Trail is a great option.

Photo Credit: Ehsan Shirvanian (Flickr CC)

Lac des Bouleaux

  • Trail Length: 5.4 miles
  • Location: Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park

One of the most beautiful areas for hiking near Montreal is Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park, which is known for its sweeping forests, rolling mountains, and gorgeous lakes. One of the most popular hikes near Montreal is the Lac des Bouleaux trail, which features a loop trail around two scenic mountain lakes. “Bouleaux” translates to birch trees, which are abundant in the heavily forested trails in Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park. The trail offers ample opportunities for wildlife watching and is especially beautiful in the fall, when the leaves change to bright reds, oranges, and yellows. Head here year round for a solid, picturesque hiking experience.

Mont Saint Gregoire

  • Trail Length: 1.4 miles
  • Location: Mont-Saint-Grégoire

If you’re looking for a short trail that has a little bit of everything, head to Mont Saint Gregoire for some great hiking near Montreal. With scenic views, historic sights and ruins, and wooded paths, this trail packs a punch for such a short distance. Accessible to hikers of all levels, we’d recommend starting this trail as early as possible, as the summit does not have much shade (although the trail itself is full of trees). At the summit, you’ll find nice views of the surrounding farms and countryside, as well as several rocky outcroppings perfect for a snack or a picnic!

Photo Credit: Sarah (Flickr CC)

Gorge de Coaticook Trail

  • Trail Length: 2 kilometers
  • Location: Coaticook

If you’re looking for (in our opinion) the best of the short hikes near Montreal, the Gorge de Coaticook trail is a must. Home to an incredibly scenic suspension bridge that was once the longest in the world, this breathtaking trail is short but absolutely stunning. You’ll catch glimpses of the deep canyon and river here as you cross the suspension bridge, and enjoy some of the forested areas nearby in just 2 short kilometers. Bring your camera – this is definitely a place you’ll want to take pictures at!

Le Grand Tour Trail

  • Trail Length: 18.4 kilometers
  • Location: Yamaska National Park

For those seeking a break from some of the more popular trails on our list, head to Yamaska National Park and tackle the easy but long Le Grand Tour trail. This quiet loop trail wraps around the perimeter of the Choiniere Reservoir in Yamaska National Park. You’ll get plenty of waterfront views, wooded areas, and rocky trails here! There are also lots of opportunities to see local wildlife, like birds and deer.

Moderate Hikes Near Montreal

Photo Credit: abdallahh (Flickr CC)

Mont-Saint-Hilaire Grand Tour Loop

  • Trail Length: 7.3 miles
  • Location: Mont-Saint-Hilaire

Mont-Saint-Hilaire is one of the most beloved places to go hiking near Montreal, and the Grand Tour Loop offers a combination of everything this nature area has to offer. With 4 summits and lots of beautiful forest views, this trail has a variety of terrain across moderate inclines and descents. The nearby Dieppe Trail is also a fantastic, shorter option if you are a little more crunched for time. Locals say that this is the closest of the hikes near Montreal that truly feels like a nature trail, rather than a more urban setting.

Mont Rougemont

  • Trail Length: 7.6 miles
  • Location: Rougemont

A less-crowded alternative to Mont-Saint-Hilaire is nearby Mont Rougemont. This is one of the more rugged hikes near Montreal, as the trails are quite narrow and split off in all different directions. However, the route is quite beautiful and culminates in some very pretty summit views. Local hikers say that this trail can be very rocky, somewhat slippery, and hard to follow, so be sure to plan ahead and bring along a hiking GPS system to ensure you know where you’re going!

Photo Credit: T.E.A Photography (Flickr CC)

Oka National Park

  • Trail Length: 5.1 miles
  • Location: Oka National Park

Oka National Park boasts some really lovely hiking trails past lakes, forests, and hilltop summits. While the trails here aren’t too challenging, they do offer some rolling inclines and descents to make things interesting! There are a few nice views of the countryside here, but one of the main highlights of the trail is a historic chapel that still remains along the dirt paths. Be sure to tackle the Calvaire trail for the best views of nearby Lac des Deux Montagnes!

Lac-du-Pimbina Trail

  • Trail Length: 8.1 miles
  • Location: La Mauricie National Park

Located in La Mauricie National Park, the Lac-du-Pimbina trail is a jaw-dropping hike through the top of the mountains, with views overlooking the stunning lakes dotted throughout the park. During the colder months, there’s a heated shelter that serves food so you can warm up around the halfway point. For experienced hikers who want even more of a challenge, the Sentier Mekinac Trail is a fantastic alternative! Note that the park is home to bears, so be sure to come armed with bear spray and know what to do when you encounter a bear.

View from the Mont Jacques-Cartier in Quebec, Canada

Le Scotora Trail

  • Trail Length: 15.8 kilometers
  • Location: Jacques-Cartier National Park

Jacques Cartier National Park may be one of the most beautiful places for hiking near Montreal, and the Le Scotora Trail is the cream of the crop. At 15.8 kilometers, this longer hike brings you up a gradual ascent to the summit of Le Scotora, where you’ll enjoy incredible, breathtaking views of the valley and the Jacques Cartier River below. Watch out for loose rocks and mosquitoes along the trail – good hiking boots and bug repellent is ALWAYS recommended here.

Photo Credit: Artur Staszewski (Flickr CC)

Challenging Hikes Near Montreal

Grand Brule to Pic White

  • Trail Length: 7.3 miles
  • Location: Mont Tremblant National Part

While there are tons of trails in Mont Tremblant National Park during the summer (when the snow from ski season has melted!), local experienced hikers love Grand Brule to Pic White, which is a summit hike that takes you through forests, rocky areas, and to a few lovely viewpoints along the way. This trail’s got wide meadows, waterfalls, and lake vistas into the valley. As a fun plus, you can zipline down from the summit with advance reservations, or take a ski lift down! Note that this is a very heavily trafficked trail, so start early to avoid the crowds.

Sutton Ridge Loop

  • Trail Length: 12.9 kilometers
  • Location: Sutton Natural Environment Park

For experienced hikers looking for a rugged and beautiful challenge, the Sutton Ridge Loop trail is a memorable option for hiking near Montreal. The trail’s got a bit of everything – wooded paths, beautiful creeks and cascades, and sweeping summit views of the entire Sutton Natural Environment Park area. However, don’t think that getting to the top is a breeze – the trail has got rock scrambles, rope climbs, and steep staircases en route to the final summit. Definitely a trail for adrenaline-seeking, experienced hikers only!

Photo Credit: Simon Claus (Flickr CC)

Pic de l’Ours via Le Sentier des Crêtes

  • Trail Length: 7.2 miles
  • Location: Mont Orford National Park

For intrepid souls who want to experience the best of Mont Orford National Park, the Pic de l’Ours trail is one of the most spectacular hikes near Montreal. Taking experienced hikers through the forests of the park up to the highest peak, Pic de l’Ours, this trail boasts absolutely jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys and Lake Stukely.

This trail is particularly challenging because of its rocky ascents and steep elevation gain, but can be done by children who have hiked previously (according to local reviewers). You can do this loop on its own or continue on the trail to summit Mount Orford as well (which adds another 8 miles to the hike).

Photo Credit: Jean-David & Anne-Laure (Flickr CC)

Sept-Chutes (Seven Waterfalls) Loop

  • Trail Length: 6.5 miles
  • Location: Sept Chutes Regional Park

Of course, we’ve saved the best for last. Perhaps the most magnificent trail on our entire list, the Seven Waterfalls Loop (Sept Chutes) is an absolutely stunning trail that’s well worth the difficult trek to get through. Locals love this trail because it’s generally less crowded than some of the national park trails on our list, but offers unique views of the seven waterfalls along the trail, the nearby lakes, and the valleys below. This hike definitely has its share of rocky ascents, but the many viewpoints, waterfalls, and beautiful forest areas are a perfect reward for your effort!

Additional Resources for Hiking Near Montreal

What to Bring Hiking Near Montreal

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

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