Grizzly Peak Trail is a wonderful hike that you can do well into the winter months if you are comfortable with some light scrambling. This hike has become more popular over recent years, and now the route is well engraved into the mountain. Keep in mind, that winter comes earlier to the mountain peaks than anywhere else. Summertime this hike reminds me of an easier Opal Ridge.

On this peak expect strong wind at all times, and in the summertime, you have nowhere to hide from the sun. This is a great conditioning check hike before you try longer and steeper hikes.

Getting There

From TransCanada Highway take Highway 40 turnoff aka Kananaskis Trail.  About a 20 min drive south, the trailhead parking is just after Fortress Junction Service Centre, and by Evan Thomas. The parking is more of a find a spot where you can around Ripple Rock Creek. It should take you about 1.5 hours to get here from Calgary.

The Hike

From parking you want to find the trail that is on the left side of Ripple Rock Creek, and at all times you should be on the right side of the peak. Hopefully you are well aware of the elevation over a short distance so as expected you will be going up hill right away.

After about 1.7km you will have a break from the uphill climb as the trail goes horizontally to the right, and essentially around the mountain. Once you start climbing again look to your right. You are all but guaranteed to see some wildlife between the valley, and the col. You get some truly beautiful views here. This section gets muddy in between seasons.

From the saddle is the final climb to the ridge that should take you 20 minutes. Here is where the wind will start kicking in, and where the snow will start to appear even into late October, and November.  The final walk to the peak is only a couple minutes but if you are not comfortable with your footing don’t risk it. Kananaskis valley will open up to you with the beautiful views rewarding you for the effort.

The thing to remember about this hike is that there are a lot of animal trails, and even though the route in general is easy to spot it is also just as easy to get carried away off it. There is some basic scrambling involved on this hike but nothing that should put you in a dangerous or uncomfortable position. If you are in that position then it’s a good sign that you went off the trail.

The Grizzly Peak trail is beautiful when the mountains are starting to get powdered with snow, and summer time when the wildlife is out and so are the flowers. I would highly recommend to do this hike in both times of the year.

Distance:  8.5km Many online places say to 7km but we had it a little longer.

Elevation: 870m

Difficulty: Advanced. Somewhere between medium, and hard.

Time: 5-6 hours.

Season: Mid May to early November should be doable for all skill levels.

Dog Friendly: Yes! There is no water on the trail so you will have to pack for your pups.


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