5 of the best hikes in Southern Alberta


If you haven't explored Southern Alberta, chances are you've heard of its beauty. There are countless places to roam and what seems like an endless tangle of trails that thread hikers through wildflower-filled valleys, along alpine ridges, and above glacier-fed lakes. But what we really love about hiking in Wild Rose Country is that you don't have to be in the Rockies to find unscripted wilderness. Wide open plains and arid badlands beg to be explored too. Walk the banks of heritage rivers, discover local culture and get a look at North America's largest land mammal. Here are 5 hikes to get you started: 

1) Frank Slide

Crowsnest Pass
Photo: Travel Alberta

The easy, 1.5km graveled Frank Slide Trail begins and ends at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre parking lot and winds through the edge of the famous Frank Slide, giving visitors an up-close look at the awesome power of nature. An interpretive guidebook to the trail is available from the Centre, which is open year-round, with notes corresponding to several concrete markers along the way.

Suggested Reading: Explore Crowsnest Pass on the Water 3 Ways

2) Crypt Lake, Waterton National Park

Crypt Lake
Photo: Travel Alberta

The elevation gain along this trail is 700 metres, most of which is along the second half. The trail to Crypt Lake offers something for everyone – several waterfalls, a beautiful lake, cutthroat fishing, a 25-metre cave to explore and plenty of stunning scenery. Make sure you’re back in time to catch the boat.

Suggested Reading: Five ways to find your Zen in Waterton

3) Badlands Trail, Dinosaur Provincial Park

Photo: Travel Alberta

This trail is a Loop Interpretive Trail. As such, you’ll find plenty of trail signage that will give you information about the area, the environment and why dinosaur bones are found in the area. You’ll see hoodoos, pinnacles, sandstone ridges and so much more.

Suggested Reading: Discovering dinosaurs in Dinosaur Provincial Park

4) Hoodoo Trail, Writing on Stone Provincial Park

Hoodoo Trail

While hiking the Hoodoo Trail in Writing on Stone Provincial Park, you’ll come by a variety of landscapes – hoodoos, sandstone cliffs and rock art, prairie grassland, the Milk River valley and coulees. There are stairs and steep sections, and the trail can get hot. You’ll hike up to Police Lookout and back again.

Suggested Reading: Easy spots with the best views in Alberta

5) Star Creek Falls, Crowsnest Pass

Star Creek Falls
Photo: Stacy Head

Star Creek Falls is a hidden gem in West Coleman. The cool features of this short, but scenic hike include two bridges, two viewpoints of the falls, and a 75-metre deep canyon.

Suggested Reading: Grab a bike and pedal the trails of Crowsnest Pass

When You Go

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