11 Breathtaking Alberta Hikes To Cross Off Your Bucket List This Summer

Time to dig those hiking boots out from the back of your closet - it's summer!

Alberta is one of the most gorgeous places in the world. With the Rocky Mountains carving their way through our lands and crystal clear waters running through our cities, we don't have much to complain about. This kind of accessibility to nature leaves many Albertans with a hunger for the outdoors, one that can only be satiated with a good ol' fashioned hike.

Can't decide which mountain to summit next? Look no further, here are 12 absolutely amazing hikes with breathtaking views that will make you feel like you're on top of the world. Just starting out on the mountain hiking scene? Check out these beginner hikes too. 

General Tips: Leave these trails in just as good or better shape as when you found them. AKA don't litter! If you see litter, pick it up! Don't forget your bear spray and make sure you bring sunscreen and water (lots and lots of water). A snack or two is essential too (especially if you're like me and are hungry literally 24/7). 

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1. Lake Agnes Trail

Distance: 7 km

Time: 4 hours

This is definitely one of the most populated hikes in the province, but once you get to the top you will see why. It has excellent birds eye views of the glowing waters of Lake Louise, plus a tea house at the top for a mid-hike snack!


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2. Wilcox Pass

Distance: 12 km

Time: 5 hours

The views from this hike are second to none, and often people warn not to do this hike as it will make any other hike you do pale in comparison! Tip: make sure you wear proper hiking boots for this one, as the trail can get quite muddy. 


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3. Galatea Creek Trail

Distance: 6.3 km to Lillian Lake, 1.5 km more to Upper Galatea Lake

Time: 4-5 hours

What's better than reaching the summit of a trail? Reaching the summit of a trail only to find that there are stunning emerald-coloured lakes to greet you there. 


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4. Mount Pocaterra 

Distance: 6.9 km

Time: 5 hours

Pocaterra Cirque is an impressive bowl under Mount Tyrwhitt at Highwood Pass. It's lush greenery and babbling brooks are both refreshing to the senses and to the mind. 



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5. Tunnel Mountain

Distance: 4.3 km

Time: 3 hours

This is the perfect hike if you're looking for a great view of Banff and if you're looking to summit one of its most iconic mountains. It's an easier trail, and there's also an option to do a short version of the hike if you start slightly higher up the mountain


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6. Crypt Lake Trail

Distance: 17.2 km

Time: 7 hours

Alright, now we're getting into the more advanced stuff. This hike is rated by National Geographic as one of the top 20 most thrilling hiking trails in the WORLD, and if you're able, is a definite bucket list item for any outdoorsy Canadian.


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7. Vimy Peak

Distance: 10 km

Time: 7 hours

This hike is definitely on the difficult side, and is located in prime grizzly bear country, so be sure to bring bear spray and make lots of noise as you hike. Though all you need to do is look at that view and you'll see why it's so amazing.


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8. Sentinel Pass

Distance: 13.6 km

Time: 5 hours

This beautiful hike starts at the infamous Moraine Lake, and leads you up to an alpine pass with breathtaking views. It's best to do this hike with a group, and often fellow hikers offer to link up with you to form one (meeting new people! yay!). 


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9. Aylmer Lookout

Distance: 29 km

Time: 8 hours

Although this hike is on the longer side, the views of Lake Minnewanka are second to none. There is an elevation gain of just over 1000m, so it will definitely give you a good workout!


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10. Geraldine Lakes

Distance: 11km

Time: 5 hours

This challenging trail involves some rock scrambling and is not for the faint of heart, but the stunning lake at the end of it is definitely worth every second. 


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11. Lake Of The Falls 

Distance: 34.3 km

Time: 3 days (approximately)

This one is for all the serious hikers out there who are looking for an overnight hike. You can also try your hand at fly fishing once you reach the stunning lake!


Note: Cover photo features an area of Waterton that is currently closed due to safety hazards. Please note that the image is used for illustrative purposes only.

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Kaleigh Bruijns