Hiking is one of the best ways to spend a summer day – but if your kids are anything like ours, they had to be introduced to the concept with short trails that had a good ‘payoff’ at the end. A waterfall, a cave, an iceberg – hiking in the Rockies you can experience all of these! Here are four great kid-friendly hiking trails in the Alberta Rockies.
Cat Creek Falls, Kananaskis
Kid-friendly hikes in the Canadian Rockies are an exciting (and free) way to discover the world around you. Hidden away in Kananaskis, Cat Creek Falls provides a gorgeous pay off – a waterfall perfect for wading, at the end of it. Just under two-hours, out and back, the hike is easy enough for toddlers to do but the trail isn’t stroller friendly. Along the way, you’ll find lookout points that change from grassy fields, to a creek and finally, a forested area where you can start to hear the falls.
Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park
Easily one of the most popular hikes in Banff National Park, Johnston Canyon gives families the best bang for their buck. There are three hikes: the lower falls, the upper falls and the paint pots – the lower falls are easily attainable for young families, with plenty of places to rest and stop along the way. Though not incredibly stroller friendly, especially if you’re hiking at popular times throughout the day, parents can easily baby wear on the excursion. Boardwalks and paths lead to a caved area, at the lower falls, with a fantastic view. The upper falls, even more impressive – can be reached in just under an hour. Find tips for hiking Johnston Canyon with kids, here.
Grotto Canyon, Canmore
Walking upon a path of the creek bed in Grotto Canyon, you’ll reach a fork in the road. Turn right and you’ll reach a sparkling waterfall, and turn left and you’ll reach a cave with hoodoos. This is a hike you’re going to want to take twice, because you’re going to want to experience both hikes. In fact, mark it down on your list three times, as it’s a completely different experience during the winter, as you can take a guided ice-walk tour. The Canyon is a fantastic place to explore, five kilometers out and back, making it a great, family-friendly, beginner hike.
Path of the Glacier Loop Trail, Jasper National Park
A relatively easy hike with small elevation gains, this hike fares well in Spring for families, because of the small islands of ice that you’ll find in the pond. Bundle up for this one, even if you are travelling in the spring and summer because it can be cool up at the glacier. The 2km hike can be easily finished in under an hour, but you’re going to want to stick around to enjoy the incredible scenery – and cool off from that hot summer sun.
Getting out and hiking with the kids doesn’t have to be hard – start with these beginner paths and begin exploring! Perfect for weekend day-trips in the mountains, these hikes are easy enough for most kids to tag along and will provide a great introduction for longer hiking trips in the future.
Do you have any suggestions for kid-friendly hikes in the Alberta Rockies? We’d love to hear them!