It may be chilly winter in Alberta, but this day trip up to Grotto Creek Trail located just outside of Canmore, AB is a must do for anyone looking for an afternoon of adventure!
Basic Hiking Details:
Distance: 4 km
Time: 3 hours
Physical Rating: moderate (when icy!)
Activities: Rock Climbing, Snowshoeing, Hiking
Season: Spring, Winter, Fall, Summer
For this hike in the Winter months, ice grips are a MUST. We did not heed this advice and, although we did complete the walk, it was more of a skate and it was filled with large amounts of irritation, and some rough falls. Most people appeared to have basic ice grips (which would run you between $20-40 CAN), but many individuals partaking in the ice climbing had full gear on (and they were not sliding anywhere I assure you, but this gear can cost upwards of $200 CAN). I will add that all ages were on this hike and, with the right gear, it can be accomplished by almost any skill or age level. On almost any day you will encounter all levels of ice climbers mastering the Falls, which is extremely fun to observe, though I would recommend some research and practice before attempting it!
Finally, make sure to arrive early on weekends as parking at the trailhead fills up quickly. As this is Canada’s 150th, do expect extra tourists taking in the sights just outside the National Park boundaries at many of the easier trails.