Top 5 destination hikes in the Rockies

August 31, 2014

As I've been asked a few times now for my favorite or my "must see" destination hikes in the Rockies, I decided to put together a short list.  As I've surpassed 50 waterfalls and collected information on at least 60 of them here, I thought this might be a fair enough time to provide my assessment of the "best" trails thus far.

My runner-up is none other than Moonlight Falls and the Evan-Thomas Creek trail.  This is a contender as, for no better reason, the waterfall itself is a absolutely stunning waterfall to marvel at in the winter.  The contrasting colour of blue in the surrounding blanket of white snow; it's no wonder why it's a "must-climb" and talked about in ice climbing circles.

5. Charlton Glacier Falls (Malign Lake, Jasper National Park)
Having just recently completed this adventure in the summer for the first time, I can remember it fondly.  This being the only waterfall I have listed that needs a canoe in order to access, it was an obvious addition to the top 5.  At a distance of 13 Kilometers on Canoe Maligne Lake can be a great stroll for a day or you can bring overnight gear and camp next to this Glacier at Fisherman's Bay!

4. Corall Canyon Falls (Corall Creek trail, Bighorn Backountry)
For a trail that starts our flat and dull in the thick of trees, this trail alongside the Cline River opens up to some stunning scenery.  The drive in with views of Abraham Lake is also an important feature in selecting this location; however once you reach the canyon you will be just as shocked of the open and peaceful views.  Since this is not a provincial or national park you're in luck with a drastically reduced number of visitors.  Just you, the canyon and it's resident Eagle (which I've seen over the course of two years doing this trail).

3. Kananaskis & Sarrail Falls (Lower Kananaskis Lake loop, Peter Logheed Provincial Park)
Bringing it back to the water for my next selection at number 3! The Kananaskis Lake loop has to be a top "must" for many people.  Having done this is both Winter and Summer, and as I was awestruck by the beauty year round, this choice gets put up higher on my list.  With the options of side trails and waterfalls along them, this lake area is a definitive gem in the Rockies.

2. Crypt Falls (Crypt Lake Hike, Waterton National Park)
The change in scenery and the obstacles that exist on this hike make this a number one contender for trails in the Rockies. Starting off on Waterton Lake in a ferry ride and moving up from below to above treeline and eventually to the mountain top with Crypt Lake, this was a scenery changer that offers a great catch all of what the Alberta Rockies have to offer.  In addition to the views you have scaling along the rock edge and climbing through a tunnel to add the adrenaline and adventure of a life time.

1. Snake Indian Falls (North Boundary Trail, Jasper National Park)
This wouldn't be a top 5 if I didn't at least go to mention this bike trail.  As somebody who never really took biking (or mountain biking) as a possible hobby, I discovered a new love while peddling my way along the North Boundary Trail.  This near 30 Km trip to the waterfall is topped of with a splendid view and jaw-dropping powerful waterfall.  Though you're in the trees almost the entire trip, the clean and well kept remote trail offers possibly the best bike path in the Rockies.