Did you set a resolution to get your family outdoors more? I had a request in our Better LIVIN Crew Facebook group (if you haven’t joined- do!) to put together a list of easy, family hikes in Southern Alberta. I decided to share the ones I’ve done already, but there are a lot more than the list below.
1. Lower Bertha Falls (5.2 km/ 3.2 miles round trip)
This is one of the only hikes open in Waterton currently (the Kenow Fire closed a lot of the park) but it has always been my top easy hike in Waterton. It’s a great year ’round option.
There is a slight incline, but nothing overly challenging and the views are beautiful!
The fire did wipe out a lot of the trees which means no cover on hot sunny days. Kids of all ages can handle this hike and adults on almost all abilities.
You can read recaps and see more photos of this hike on some of the recaps below. There are a LOT of recaps of this hike, so feel free to search my site and read them all.
2. Wishbone Trail (13 km/ 8 miles to the Vimy/Crypt trail break and back)
This is a great hike that wasn’t closed by the fires. This trail is also open to bikes and is a GREAT easy biking/hiking trail.
The trailhead is off the road to the Chief Mountain Border Crossing, so not through the park gates. In the beginning you do a small climb through trees and then down you go into the meadow.
You can access a beach on Middle Waterton Lake or cross a creek and continue all the way on the the Mt. Vimy trail.
You can read a few recaps of past hikes/bike rides I’ve done on Wishbone.
3. Crandell Lake ( 3.5-4 km / 2.2.-2.4 miles)
Crandell Lake is one of the Waterton hikes that reopened this year, but there was no road access to the trailhead. You had to bike or walk up Akamina Parkway (It’s 13.4 km/ 8.4 mi) or Red Rock Parkway (17.8 km/ 11 mi) to get to the Crandell trailhead. I don’t know if that will change in 2020, but this another great family hike in Southern Alberta!
There are two routes to get to the lake, both are similar in terms of terrain (small uphill) but the Akamina way has better mountain views.
Either one will take you to the lake that doesn’t have an official path going around it, but there is a lot of rock that is fun to climb and make your way around.
They also have a back country campground with a camp kitchen, tent spots, and outhouses. I don’t know if this campground is open, so be sure to check ahead of time. This would be a great place to introduce your family to backcountry camping.
4. Syncline Trail Network
I haven’t had a chance to spend much time in Castle, but I have utilized a small part of the Syncline Trail for cross country skiing and snow shoeing. I’ve also hit Syncline for a kids hike.
What makes this the absolute perfect hike for kids is that there are so many different loops and trails in a small area. You can cut your hike short and get back to the car quickly, or if everyone is having a lot of fun, you can keep going and going.
From the looks of the trail map, you can even get to the base and head up Table Mountain from this trail network.
Below are recaps and photos of my experiences on the trail network.
- Hiking with kids on the Syncline Trail
- Snowshoeing on Syncline Trail
- Enjoying a Warm Day Snowshoeing
5. Carbondale Fire Outlook (8 km/ 4.9 miles round trip)
This is a great half day hike for folks with older kids/teens. It’s a steady uphill climb but not too strenuous. The views are incredible and the fire lookout itself is pretty cool.
To find the trailhead, head toward Castle Resort and take a right at the sign for Castle Bridge and Castle Falls. You’ll pass a road on your left and shortly after, you will see the road/trail gated off in the trees.
You can read a recap of my experience hiking it HERE.
There are so many hikes in the Crowsnest Pass that I have to hit. Of the few I’ve done, a couple were great easy family hikes.
6. Saskatoon Mountain (6.4 km/ 3.9 miles)
This is a very easy hike that offers amazing views at the top. So great in fact, that it’s where Ryan chose to propose.
It’s mainly in a field, we came across cattle while we hiked it, so if bovines scare you be aware. Ha ha!
Kids of all ages will be able to handle the slow and steady incline. You can read all about my experience hiking it HERE.
7. Window Lake (12.4 km/ 7.7 miles)
Window Lake is a gorgeous hike with a trailhead that’s a little difficult to find. If you go to my recap post, I give detailed step by step instructions to make it easier to find.
This is a hike for older kids/teens because there is a bit of climbing and stepping over rocks that a toddler or little guy would struggle with and it’s a longer one too.
I did this hike three months postpartum and I struggled a bit being so out of shape. You can read a recap HERE.
Seven Family Hikes in Southern Alberta Print Out
Pin or print off this handy-dandy checklist of ‘Seven Family Hikes in Southern Alberta’ I made and attached below and make plans to hit the trails with the family as soon as possible!