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Your Guide to Alberta's Hiking Trails: Photos, Filters, and FAQs

13 Hiking Trails

What to expect

Alberta has 13 trails including medium and difficult trails. The trail with the highest elevation climb is the Waterton Lake Trail and the one with the least climb is the Tamarack Trail. The longest trail is Brazeau Loop at 84.8 km. To complete this hike you should budget at least 5 days. For a shorter adventure, you can try the Caldron Lake Trail a t 7.26 km. This could be done in as little as 1 days. Trails with the best offering of hostels include Waterton Lake Trail, Porcupine Lookout Trail via CDT, Poboktan - Jonas Pass, Cairn Pass Trail, and Fiddle River Trail.

Guide to hiking in Alberta

Be prepared for hiking in Alberta with the HiiKER app

FAQs about hiking in Alberta

What is the climate like for hiking in Alberta?

Alberta's climate offers a distinctive experience for hikers in each season. In winter (December to February), temperatures can plummet below freezing, leading to icy trails and a need for warm gear. However, Alberta's winter wonderland offers a unique snowy landscape, with snowshoeing as a popular activity.
Spring (March to May) can be unpredictable with lingering snowfalls and chilly temperatures, transitioning into milder conditions later. As trails start to thaw, muddy and slippery conditions might challenge hikers. Summers (June to August) are delightful, with warm, long days and a myriad of wildflowers, offering the best time for hiking, with the caveat of occasional thunderstorms.
Fall (September to November) brings a beautiful array of autumn colors but trails can be slippery due to falling leaves and early snow. Always check the weather forecast and trail conditions before embarking on a hike (Alberta Parks website is a great resource: No matter the season, Alberta's natural beauty provides an unforgettable hiking experience.

Do I need a permit to hike in Alberta?

For backcountry hiking in Alberta, permits are typically required, obtained through Alberta Parks ( Permits can be purchased online or at park visitor centers. They ensure controlled human impact, maintaining the environment's integrity. Always confirm specific permit requirements for your desired hiking location ahead of time.

Is wild camping allowed in Alberta?

Wild camping in Alberta is generally allowed but comes with certain restrictions to safeguard nature. It's typically permitted in designated backcountry areas with a valid permit from Alberta Parks ( Restrictions, like campfires or food storage due to wildlife, apply, so it's essential to check site-specific rules before camping.

Are there mountain rescue services in Alberta?

In case of emergency while hiking in Alberta, the Alberta Search and Rescue Association ( can be contacted. However, the immediate line of response should be to dial 911, providing accurate details of the situation and location. Preparedness and caution are crucial to ensure safety while hiking.

Are there dangerous plants in Alberta?

Alberta's diverse landscapes offer hikers a wide range of flora. From boreal forest's conifers in the north, to deciduous trees and grasslands in central regions, and the alpine flora of the Rockies. Hikers should note that some plants, like poison ivy, can be harmful. More information is available at

What wildlife should I be aware of when hiking in Alberta?

Hiking in Alberta brings encounters with diverse wildlife. Expect anything from deer and elk to potentially bears in the Rockies, while the plains host various bird species. Mosquitoes and ticks can be common, so insect repellent is advised. Be wildlife aware; visit for more information.