With the Rocky Mountains as our backdrop, Calgary is truly an amazing place to live with world-class hikes right in our backyard. Whether popular and less well-known, these areas listed below are some of the most beautiful in the world – and we’ve travelled a lot! For your next day, week, month-long excursion, consider being a tourist in Western Canada and visiting one, or all, of these gorgeous destinations.
Red Rock Canyon, Waterton Lakes National Park
In just over three hours, you can be exploring the beautiful national park of Waterton. Access this short hike from a scenic drive through the park and make your way through the natural vegetation and uniquely coloured rock.
Prairie View Trail, Kananaskis
This moderate hike can be found less than an hour from Calgary with stunning views over Barrier Dam. Hike, run, mountain bike – do whatever you like – to reach the very highest viewpoint and gaze out over the grand Kananaskis mountains.
Natural Bridge, Yoho National Park
This popular attraction is found just off the highway, two hours from Calgary near the town of Field, British Columbia. Wander the area, dip your feet in the water and admire the Kickinghorse River as it flows smoothly around the rocks before travelling up the road to Emerald Lake.
King Creek Ridge, Kananaskis
Drive just over an hour into Kananaskis country and you’ll find this hidden gem located on Highway 40. This moderate hike may start off steep, but it definitely rewards you with incredible 360-degree views of the mountains near and far.
James River, Alberta
Feeding into the Red Deer River, James River is a quiet solitude found east of Bowden, perfect for a quiet picnic or dip in the river. Nature never looked so good.
Bear’s Hump, Waterton
This short but steep hike offers rewarding views of the Waterton townsite just three hours from Calgary. Climb over rocks and roots to arrive on a rocky peak, gazing around at the mountains, lake and architectural wonder of the Prince of Wales Hotel.
Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park
Travel just over two hours from Calgary on Highway 1 to reach this popular tourist destination. With an adorable lodge, plenty of accommodations and hiking trails suitable for all levels, make this a must-see on your next mountain getaway.
Upper Kananaskis Lake, Kananaskis
Travel two hours from the city and you’ll find this stunning lake complete with mountain views and fresh, clean air. Bring your canoes, fishing rods, hiking shoes – whatever gets your heart pumping – and explore Kananaskis backcountry style.
Eight destinations, one month left – how many can you visit before fall hits Calgary?!
Kelsey is the Editorial & Events Manager for Date Night. Monday-Friday she works as an independent Marketing & Communications Contractor, providing writing, editing and digital marketing services for small businesses here in YYC. When she’s not busy writing about our city, you can usually find her trying the newest fitness studio, exploring the Rockies or chasing the sun – whether here in AB or halfway across the world.