When it’s summertime in Calgary, it kind of seems like a given that you should hike. We’re only a few hours away from mountains, lakes and badlands with some of the most well known hikes in the world. Unfortunately the hiking season in Calgary is short and finding different trails and people to go with can sometimes be a pain. Luckily, as well as having some of the best hikes nearby, Calgary also has some of the best hiking resources and groups so you can make the most of the short season. Whether you need a hiking partner/group or the latest info on trails it’s all here.
Trail Information and Hiking Buddies
Barry has a great blog of hikes in Calgary and the surrounding area. He provides a detailed description of each hike from the beginning of the trail to the end, giving you a very detailed and thorough idea of what the trail entails. There are also pictures so you can see whether the views are worth it for you. If you prefer reading over studying a map or want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into this is a good resource for you.
Alltrails is a great source for hiking trails anywhere in the world. You can read trail reviews and see photos that people have taken. It also displays a trail map and a google map of where the trailhead or parking starts. It has one of the best trail search functions as you can search by area, difficulty, length, amenities and whether it’s kid or dog friendly. While most information can be accessed by downloading the app/creating a free account there is also a paid version where you can download trail maps and see more detailed information. Any aivd hiker or anyone that is looking for new hikes will enjoy the Alltrails App or website.
Hike Alberta is a great group for any Facebook users. It is one of the largest and most active Facebook hiking groups for the area and while the group is made up of people from all around the province, the majority seem to be from Calgary. Any sort of hiking related posts or questions are welcome, both the general and Alberta specific. It’s a good place to browse for new routes or ask for suggestions. You can also find hiking partners here.
If you’re the type of person that never leaves home without their GPS, Trailpeak features GPS data for many trails. You will have to sign up and either pay or contribute your own GPS trail data to get it. If you’re not familiar with how to use GPS they have a guide available. They also have short entries about the trails and pictures though they are not the most comprehensive. TrailPeak is a great site for those that are adventurous and like to head to new places and navigate.
While not the most active group, if you’re a Reddit user you’ll probably get a response to any Alberta related hiking question here.
If you’re a female and on Facebook this is a great hiking group. Find hiking partners or trail info and share your favorite hikes. While the group isn’t very big it’s very active.
For anyone that’s on Facebook and likes to scramble or wants to start this groups is great. The posts are organized so you can easily see if anyone is looking for a trip partner or see photos and reviews of routes.
If you prefer leafing through a book rather than looking online,this book is one of the best. It features lots of pictures, thorough descriptions and trail map booklets that you can pull out and take with you on your hike. With more than 100 hikes, it should keep you occupied for a year, if not longer.
If you enjoy hiking but can’t go at a fast pace, this group is for you. Hikes are a variety of different lengths and difficulties so as long as you are ok with going at a slower pace, there is a hike for you. Many of the hikes also carpool.
While the Calgary Outdoor Club does a lot of stuff other than hike, there’s usually at least a hike a week during the hiking season. The group is free to join and open to all adults. If you want to do things other than hike, this is a great group for you. There is also generally a carpool point for hikes.
This group focuses on hiking with a few other events thrown in. While there are hikes for all levels, there tends to be more intermediate hikes posted here. Carpools are offered.
If you love to ski and hike this is the group for you. Carpooling is offered for most hikes and there are also other activities in addition to skiing and hiking. A $50 membership is required for the year but you can try it out for free on the first few trips.
If your favorite part of hiking is nature, then join the Nature Lovers group. They have many beginner hikes and also have more difficult hikes. Carpools are sometimes offered.
This group caters to people that have experience hiking and like more difficult hikes or scrambles. Carpooling is usually offered.
Ramblers The Rocky Mountain Ramblers Club hosts hiking, scrambles, mountaineering and other outdoor activities. They also host instructional events. Most hikes and scrambles are at an intermediate level or above. You can try out a month of events for free and after that a membership is $25.
Hiking and snowshoeing are the main activities of this group although other outdoor activities are also offered. Hikes span different levels although most are in intermediate range. There is a $25 registration fee for the year
Hey Hiker is the most laid back out of the hiking groups. They organize a beginner-intermediate weekly hike for free. They also have some information about some of the popular hikes on line.
If you want some kid friendly hikes, tips or motivation Rockies Family Adventures is a great blog. They have done ana amzing number of hikes with their kid and sometimes other children.