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Hike of the Month

Grassi Lakes Trail

Access: The trailhead 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.

Rating: moderate

Trail distance: 3.8 km return

Allow: 2 hours return

The trail: From the parking lot, follow the service road for the first 100 metres, then keep left on the well-defined hiking trail. The first kilometre is a gentle ascent through forest with a delightful assortment of wildflowers in bloom throughout the month of June.
The last section of the trail to the first lake is much steeper, but very manageable because of steps built in to the trail. Highlights along this last section include a waterfall and a panoramic view of Canmore and area. Benches and viewpoints conveniently allow for a pleasant break if needed.

Hike of the Month
Hike of the Month

Shortly after crossing a bridge over an outlet stream, you arrive at the first lake. From here you can rest on a bench by the lakeshore and admire the crystal-clear water, or look for sheep on top of the cliffs. A trail circles the second lake, allowing you to get a close-up view of the cliffs.

For more adventurous souls, a short scramble above the upper lake takes you to a canyon and a genuine petroglyph on a large boulder.
The area around and above the upper lake is also a popular spot for sport climbing and provides lots of entertainment if you like watching spandex-clad climbers practice their moves.

Hike of the Month
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Last Update: October 13, 2005

Maps for the Canadian Rockies
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