There is no shortage of gorgeous day trips in the province and this one proves it. The Cat Creek waterfall hike is so easy, but the end result is worth way more than the effort put in. After an hour or so of walking, you'll arrive at a magical waterfall and pool of turquoise water.

In terms of beginner trails, there's likely none better in the province than this — a 2.6-kilometre hike near the Kananaskis Improvement District.

Just an hour and a half drive outside Calgary, this adventure is perfect for a hot summer's day.

The walk is shaded by trees and comes with plenty of lookout points to fully take in the scenery.

It follows along a creek part of the way and crosses the water several times over wooden bridges. The trail is mostly uphill, with a 150-metre elevation gain — but it's a gentle incline.

Finally, you'll end at a clearing. There you'll discover the picturesque six-metre tall waterfall trickling down into a rock basin where it forms a pool of emerald water. Other than admiring the falls, this is a great spot to sit and enjoy a picnic.

Bicycling and horse-riding are also allowed on the trail. It's quite popular with dog-walkers as well — just note that it's on-leash only.

Once you've finished the 1.3-kilometre trek to the waterfall, it's time to head back the way you came. Make sure you savour the views over the Highwood Valley on the way down.

This hike is so quick and easy that there's no excuse not to go out for an excursion on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Cat Creek Trail

Address: Kananaskis Improvement Area, AB

Why You Need To Go: This short and sweet hike is perfect for beginners and leads you to a jaw-dropping waterfall.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment and obey any local laws.


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