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Published August 11th 2013
Good exercise, beautiful lakes and fresh mountain air
When holidaying in the Banff area, be sure to fit in a trip to Canmore and visit the Grassi Lakes hiking trail. This was one of the highlights of my recent trip to the Canadian Rockies.
This 3.9km hike is such a lovely way to spend a summers day whilst enjoying the fresh mountain air and the surrounding natural beauty. You will need at least 1-2 hours each way to complete this picturesque hike, although you may wish to take longer to soak in the surroundings and spend some time at the top. This is a family friendly hike suited to people of all ages.
The towering trees will lead you towards the lakes
There is both an easy and a more difficult route to choose from depending on your ability level. Both routes have the same starting point, you then veer left at the junction for the more difficult route and right for the easy route. The more difficult route is not that challenging. There are a few flights of stairs to conquer on the steep bits but there are several benches and lookout points along the way where you can stop, breathe and take your time. The more difficult path is definitely the most scenic with a waterfall and a view of Canmore town on route making it a really enjoyable experience. I would suggest a good option would be to hike up the easy route and back down the more difficult route. Both the easy and the more difficult trails will lead you towards the most exquisite turquoise blue and green lakes, like hidden jewels in the forest.
The lakes combined with the serenity of a mountain walk makes the rest of the world melt away.
So give it a try, trust me, you won't be let down!
Note that there are washrooms at the base of the hike for your convenience.
The Grassi Lakes trail is located 4.7 km south of Canmore on the Smith-Dorrien-Spray Lakes Road (Highway 742).To get there from the west or far end of Canmore's Main Street (8th St.), follow the signs for the Canmore Nordic Centre which will take you south of town. When you reach the end of the pavement just past the Nordic Centre, turn left at the Grassi Lakes sign. Follow this descending road for 500 metres and you will see the trailhead on your right.