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Hike Grotto Creek




3.7 miles

Elevation Gain

410.1 ft

Route Type



Added by Dan Rawlyk

Take a leisurely stroll up a creek canyon with a side order of rock paintings, a cave, waterfall and rock climbers.

This is a great hike that could be a quick 2 hour sprint or stretch into a full day affair.  The trailhead is located just off Highway 1A at a fishing pond with outhouses and ample parking.  The trail is well signed and in a quick kilometre, hikers will be at the actual creek bed. In summer, hikers will need to hop repeatedly over the small trickle that is Grotto Creek. After a few hundred metres the canyon walls rise and tighten.  Dogs and small children can easily navigate this route.  Watch for climbers and the climbing bolts sprinkled along the steeper slopes in the canyon. At approx. the 2 km mark, just before the waterfall, look to the left for the faded red rock pictures.  "Sources" say they are Hopi in origin and approx. 1000 years old. Two minutes upstream there is a small waterfall to the right.  Many rest and turn around here.  For those looking for more, an addition 10 - 15 min. will lead further through the narrow canyon and then open to some hoodoo-ish towers and a small cave.  We ended our trip here, but the canyon looks approachable for quite a distance beyond.  

Hikers will alternate between sun and shade, and in heavy rain would experience slippery terrain.  The added bonus is that Canmore and its refreshments are less than 15 min. away.

Avoid flip-flops and open toed shoes and be prepared for Alberta Rocky Mountain unpredictable weather.  

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Rock Climbing
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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Leave No Trace

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