Mountain Lakes

Grassi Lakes Trail, Kananaskis
  • Parking: On site
  • Washrooms: Outhouse on site, near the trail head
  • Your choice of a rough dirt path or service road
My first glimpse of the falls.
Today's walk has been described as a "popular family hike", and around noon on a weekend it was extremely popular.  There were a couple hundred cars in the lot and long cues for the washrooms, but once we got on the trail I forgot all about the crowds.  

At the fork in the trail, a helpful sign points out your two options: "Easy or More Difficult".  To the right is a service road, navigable by a sturdy stroller.  To the left is an adventure.  For the most part it's a rough but well established dirt path, at points crossing springs and patches of loose rock.  Near the summit (the path does climb a fair amount) I ended up using my hands to help climb the stone steps set into the slope.

The left trail is more challenging, but very much worth the effort.  There are great vistas of Canmore and the lake, springs tumbling down the hillside, and of course the waterfall.  You hear it long before you see it, crashing hundreds of feet down and disappearing into the trees below.  
The colors of Grassi Lakes.

The falls themselves would justify the trip, but you end your climb at the Grassi Lakes - crystal clear water you can't help but dip you hands in, and neon green plants just under the surface that give way to the sky blue of the deeper water. Combine all that with the forest and mountains that surround this pair of perfect lakes and, well, it's eerily beautiful.  

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