SW Alberta Hikes

Hiking in the South West Alberta Front Ranges is rewarding. Quickly accessible from Calgary, these hikes generally provide great views of the rockies to the west and prairies to the east without a huge amount of work. Terrain varies between grassy, wild-flower filled meadows to thick forests to rocky exposed ridges.

Click ‘+MORE INFO’ below to find of the 10 Best SW Alberta Hikes

The top 10 Hikes in SW Alberta

SW Alberta is a wonderful region for beginners as well as experienced hikers, and there are many great hikes win the area.  Here are the 10 Best:

#1. ForgetMeNot Ridge (14-25km, 944m): Great views without a ton of work? Sign me up! This walk up Forget Me Not Mountain gives great views of the surrounding peaks, the elbow river valley, and gravel fields.

#2. Moose Mountain (14.7km, 573m): This long but rewarding hike starts in the trees and bring us to the fire lookout at the top of Moose Mountain. This is really popular shoulder season hike just 45 minutes from Calgary.

#3. Nihahi Ridge (10-11.3km, 706m): This hike has it all, starting in the forest before traversing a beautiful grassy meadow then gaining elevation in the alpine as climb the ridge. The views are spectacular throughout the hike.

#4. Volcano Ridge (18.7km, 659m): This is a relative low effort high reward hike up a grass topped foothill of the Rockies just west of turner valley. From the top we have great views as the foothills turn into the towering peaks of the Rockies.

#5.Mesa Butte (3.5km, 229m): At only 3.5 km round trip this is a short and easy hike that is perfect for after work. Mesa Butte is a mid elevation hill with tremendous views of the surrounding area. The fire pit at the top it also made for a great picnic.

#6. Powderface Ridge (8.3km, 656m): Powderface Ridge is a popular early or late season hike at the end of Highway 66. There are several variations of the trail, all with decent views, making it suitable for a variety of fitness levels.

#7. Foran Grade and Windy Point (12.5km, 454m): Foran Grade and Windy Point Ridge are two smallish peaks in the front ranges providing great views of the surrounding ranges to the west and the prairie to the east. The views are gorgeous, especially considering the limited elevation you gain at just over 1000 feet.

#8. Mount Ware (14.5km, 603m): This mid-length moderate hike has us summit Mt. Ware. As our final elevation takes us above all the surrounding foothills we are afforded great views of the surrounding area, including the impressive Bluerock Mountain to the west.

#9. Praire Mountain (6.9km, 699m): While this is not the most scenic of hikes until you reach the summit, it can be done year-round (no avalanche risk) and is one heck of a workout.

#10. Canyon Creek Ice Caves (13.7km, 285m): This hike is more about the destination than the journey. The first 6km is more of a walk along a forestry road before things get good, with a steep 1km hike before we reach the cave.

FORGETMENOT RIDGE

01. FORGETMENOT RIDGE

  • Difficulty
  • 14-25km
  • 944m
  • 4h / 7-8h

MOOSE MOUNTAIN

02. MOOSE MOUNTAIN

  • Difficulty
  • 14.7km
  • 573m
  • 4.5-5.5h

NIHAHI RIDGE

03. NIHAHI RIDGE

  • Difficulty
  • 10-11.3km
  • 706m
  • 3-4h

VOLCANO RIDGE

04. VOLCANO RIDGE

  • Difficulty
  • 18.7km
  • 659m
  • 5.5-6.5h

MESA BUTTE

05. MESA BUTTE

  • Difficulty
  • 3.5km
  • 229m
  • 1-2h

POWDERFACE RIDGE

06. POWDERFACE RIDGE

  • Difficulty
  • 8.3km
  • 656m
  • 3-4h

FORAN GRADE AND WINDY POINT

07. FORAN GRADE AND WINDY POINT

  • Difficulty
  • 12.5km
  • 454m
  • 4.5-5.5h

MOUNT WARE

08. MOUNT WARE

  • Difficulty
  • 14.5km
  • 603m
  • 4.5-5.5h

PRAIRIE MOUNTAIN

09. PRAIRIE MOUNTAIN

  • Difficulty
  • 6.9km
  • 699m
  • 3-4h

CANYON CREEK ICE CAVES

10. CANYON CREEK ICE CAVES

  • Difficulty
  • 13.7km
  • 285m
  • 5-7h

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees

– Henry David Thoreau