Canmore and Kananaskis are a hiker’s nirvana. There are hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls across wide valley bottoms to incredible ridge ascents with views of tumbling waterfalls. You may cross paths with turquoise glacier-fed lakes, remote alpine meadows peppered in wildflowers and exquisite Rocky Mountain formations with towering peaks. If you prefer a guided tour, our partner, On Top Mountaineering, can help you experience the mountains – ask the front desk for details or visit www.ontopmountaineering.com.
Commonwealth Creek, Smuts Pass to Birdwood Lakes
Distance: 15 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 430 m at Pass
This hike offers a variety of options, depending on your level of ambition. It begins on an old, mellow logging road, running parallel with our meadow towards Commonwealth Creek. About 3 km into the hike, with about 50 m elevation gain, you’ll come across Commonwealth Creek and a small rushing waterfall. If you’re still feeling energized, continue to follow the creek SW to the beautiful meadow surrounded by Commonwealth Peak and Mount Birdwood. Another 3 km through the meadow and you’re at the base of Smuts Pass. Ascend the 200 m gain on the pass and you’ll be welcomed by Birdwood Lakes.
Distance: 7 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 330 m to Lake
Rummel Lake offers an extremely rewarding hike with a challenging initial 1.5 km climb. If you are willing to gain some quick steady elevation, you’ll recover as you follow mellow terrain for about 1.5 km until lastly gaining a bit more elevation just before reaching the lake. The hike offers a stunning view over looking the Spray Lakes and SW peaks before entering the dense tree line as you braid your way back to the lake, nestled in at the base on Mount Galatea.
Distance: 9 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 500 m
If you’re after a breathtaking view, Tent Ridge delivers – but not exactly on a platter. Some scrambling and steep elevation gains are rewarded with an exhilarating walk around horseshoe ridge. No exposure along the route removes most dangers from the hike but those wary of heights may be challenged. Approach the ridge clockwise to minimize the inclined terrain. Ask our staff about Tent Ridge for some more details.
Watridge Lake and Karst Springs
Distance: 8.4 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 0m to Lake, 100 m to Spring
This hike follows along an old logging road through the heart of the Mount Shark Cross-Country Ski network. Simple to navigate, the hike offers mellow terrain to lead you to the emerald-green waters of Watridge Lake. In late June and early July, water temperatures allow for a quick and refreshing swim – a rarity in the Canadian Rockies!
All hikers must assume full responsibility for their own actions and personal safety while hiking on any trail. All hikers must also exercise sound judgment, be prepared for all weather and wilderness conditions, and check in with the front desk before embarking on a hike.