December 6, 2021 • Mountain Living
Explore Bow Valley Trails
By Story & Photography Katharyn Sotvedt
Living in the mountains, you can explore not only your neighbourhood, but also the trails and sights around. Here are some amazing trails to explore in your back yard that will take you on many adventures.
This popular Canmore hike has great winter wonderland views with the snow and, of course, the iconic lakes themselves. From the parking lot, the trail splits into two routes. The easy route is quite wide and is easy to navigate, but with the winter conditions, it can be quite icy. Once you reach the top you can see a beautiful view of Canmore below, and the clear water of Grassi Lakes. Bring ice cleats to enjoy this winter wonderland!
The more difficult route is a narrow interpretative trail with signs about Lawrence Grassi, who built the original trail. It has excellent views of Canmore and the waterfalls, but it is closed in winter due to icy conditions.
Lake Minnewanka Trail
The trails along Lake Minnewanka have many beautiful views and great photo opportunities. The 15km out-and-back trail to the Warden’s Cabin passes campsites and sitting spots to relax and look at the view. The trail continues past this point, but it deteriorates quickly in the winter conditions. It’s popular with fat bikers, who can access this trail in the winter months.
The Stewart Canyon Trail takes about an hour to traverse the 1.5 km out-and-back trail that follows the Lake Minnewanka shoreline to a bridge over Stewart Canyon. It also provides access to areas that Stoney Nakoda people have used for thousands of years.
Lake Agnes Trail
The Lake Agnes Trail in Lake Louise is popular in the summer as tourists make their way up to the tea house. During the late fall, the trail is still accessible. Ice cleats are recommended as the trail can get icy this time of year!
Making your way around Lake Louise, you can see many views all the way up. The trail is a steady climb passed Mirror Lake to Lake Agnes and the tea house. The views at the top are astounding.
In the winter, the tea house is unfortunately closed, but it’s still a great spot for a snack. Make sure you check for avalanche warnings in the area before hitting the trail.