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Grotto Canyon

  • Difficulty
  • 4.4km
  • 115m
  • 1.5-2.5h

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A hike through Grotto Canyon is a local’s favourite. Expect to see families and rock climbers as they hike along the pretty Grotto Canyon.

Getting there

Head east from Canmore on the Trans-Canada Hwy for roughly 24.5 km. Take the Seebe turn-off that takes you to the 1A (this turn-off is 4km before the Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino). When you come to a T-junction with the 1A highway, turn left and follow this road for 10.9km and take a right after “Grotto Pond”. Park in the parking lot.


Total Gain: 115m


Type of Hike Out and Back
Crowd Levels Moderate
Route Signage Poor
Toilets At trailhead
Family Friendly Yes
Backcountry Campgrounds No
When to Do May – October

 Detailed Description

From the Grotto Creek parking lot, pass the Grotto Creek Trail sign and hike on a trail that roughly parallels the 1A highway.

Follow this trail for roughly 1.1km, before you reach Grotto Creek, where you have some nice views. Head right (North) at Grotto Creek.

This is a challenging hike up Grotto Canyon, with several slick boulders that are especially difficult for young children. It is also a lot of fun for children, as the views change with every turn up Grotto Canyon.

As you head up the Canyon you will often see rock climbers climbing the walls of Grotto Canyon.

As you go up the canyon the hike crosses and re-crosses the small stream. Kids love jumping over the stream.

Eventually you come to a rock-face, with a waterfall on your right. This is a great place to stop and people-watch and have a snack. Hiking up the side of the waterfall is quite slick, and while some people do it, we prefer to watch them go!

Return the way you came.

Insider Hints

  • The Grotto Canyon hike is a popular family-friendly hike, but with some slick bits getting over some rocks in places.
  • The Grotto Canyon hike can be done in winter if you have appropriate gear and training.
  • There are some picnic tables overlooking the pond at the parking lot. This is a great place for a picnic.