Thursday, 2 June 2016

Grotto Canyon - Canmore

To better enjoy the photos, please click on them to increase their size.

Our hike started from beside a delightfully small lake with picnic tables and hopeful fishermen. Not long after starting, I was wondering why Stuart had chosen this trail. We were passing the extremely loud, Baymag #2 Magnesium Processing facility. Thankfully its noise was just a memory, as the trail veered right through mixed forest and small pretty wildflowers, taking us to the edge of the drainage system for the canyon.

The views across the Bow Valley, near Canmore, were constantly changing with the weather patterns. The depth and width of this drainage would have multiplied ten fold in 2013, when 220 mls fell in just 36 hours. As we hiked, I tried to imagine the torrent of water surging between the narrow walls.

The trail trekked above the creek bed for a short distance, before dropping down and paralleling the trickle of water of today's stream.

The canyon walls appeared and the creek bed very quickly narrowed.

At this point the rain began to fall, so the camera was put away and the wet gear donned.
Some distance and time later, we left the canyon and again walked along the creek bed that was showing obvious signs of the force of nature.

This cave tempted us, but the slippery conditions prevented our entry.

It was at this point we turned round, but I feel that there must be more canyon around that corner.

Thankfully the rain passed and as we descended, we were fully able to appreciate the sheer canyon walls and tenacious trees, growing in the most improbable clefts of the rock.

The canyon is a popular rock climbing area and we witnessed several people readying to climb. Looking closely at the walls we could see many bolts, anchors and chains. These 2 lads had just finished climbing this wall. [medium difficulty for the area.]

Try this one.

A side canyon here took us to a small waterfall.

The wet conditions enhanced the colour of the rocks.

We found several ancient pictographs on the flat rock surface.

We missed the high level trail that we had hiked earlier and continued down an even narrower part of the canyon, wondering if we would have to retrace our steps.

The exit. Too bigger a drop.

Let's try the slide technique.

The final hike back through the trees began, just as the rain drops rejoined us, thundering down just as we reached the car. Lunch beside the lake was cancelled.

At just over 6 kms, this was a short hike, but with its dramatic features, incredibly rewarding.

This is a link to the same trail, hiked by another blog friend in Feb 2013, before the weather event.

I would love to read your comment. 


  1. That looks like a cool trail to hike between those tall rock cliffs. At least you almost beat the rain!

  2. Fabulous! Laura wants to thump me sometimes because I see faces in everything--- I even saw a shark in one of your rock walls. Lots of faces, lots of fun. Wonderful walk.

  3. Wow... the sheerness of the walls of the canyon is unreal. What a fabulous hike.

  4. Amazing views!
    Thank you for sharing and happy Sunday!