A mountain rush

We managed a quick mountain fix last weekend, just enough of a boost to push us on through the next few weeks. It’s almost report card season, and the end of academic year activities are starting to loom. Not the worst position to be in, but a short and steep mountain hike helped recharge and refocus.

A mountain fix

We had a few hours, so opted to try the Grassi Lakes trail just outside Canmore. This is a relatively easy hike, barely 4km there and back, with wonderful views over the Canmore town site.

DSCN6657The trail is named after Canmore resident Lawrence (Lorenzo) Grassi, an Italian who arrived in Canmore in 1912. He reportedly left his home because he needed to get something to eat! A coal miner in Canmore, he spent his free time building trails and acting as a mountain guide. He was so loved in Canmore, there is a school named after him, as well as a mountain and the lake trail. What a wonderful legacy!

Thank you, Lorenzo Grassi!

We hiked in bright sunshine and with temperatures nudging the high teens centigrade. Too soon for bugs, it was very pleasant to be out.

Very pleasant

The trail forks, with the right hand gravel road being the easiest, and most accessible option. Don’t use it unless you have to – the more challenging left fork has the best views over the valley and takes in a waterfall. Go this way! Towards the top of the trail there are a few steep steps, and the steps have a higher reach than average, but if you’re moderately (or almost moderately) fit, there’s no real effort involved – or the real effort is mercifully brief…I was only stopping to take a photograph.

Rest stop

One or two parts of the trail had spring meltwater flowing across, creating muddy and slippery sections, but proper footwear and a little caution took care of any chance of a fall. I wish I could say all the fellow hikers we encountered had adequate footwear…flip flops? On a mountain trail? Hmm. Perhaps that’s the fashion – I expect the local ER staff are very understanding.

Be kind to yourself, and wear suitable shoes!

The lakes at the top of the trail are quite beautiful. The clear water is blue-green in certain light, and catches the reflection of the delightful surroundings. The cliff faces above the lakes are popular with climbers, although the jumble of scattered rocks at the bottom made me wonder about how secure the climbers were. It’s a different sort of mountain high, I guess, and not one I have a head for.

Blue-green reflections

If you have the chance and the time to take a little hike up this trail, I’d recommend it. My suggestion would be to go mid-week or set off early at the weekend, as the slight downside is the number of people who might have the same excellent idea for a brief hike.


We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the trail and at the top, making the most of the lovely legacy of Lorenzo Grassi. A quick fix of fresh mountain air, beautiful blues and bright greens, and all in the spring sunshine. An easy addiction, and hard habit to break (who’d want to?!)


When we returned home, we celebrated the day with an appropriate ale:Image Thanks for reading. As always, please feel free to share a story or leave a comment, and have a wonderful weekend!


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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

17 thoughts on “A mountain rush”

  1. What a wonderful hike and it looked like a perfect day. Gorgeous photos and scenery. As for wearing flip flops? Some people are just plain weird! 🙂


  2. One of my favourite short hikes, or at least it was a few years ago. Not sure if my knees are up to it now, but I may give it a go this summer. Great photos!


  3. Really enjoyed this hike you shared with us, pc. Such incredible vistas! Sounds like the trail is a bit tricky at times, but oh the views (waterfall is incredible) and fresh mountain air sound truly wonderful. Great photos of the mtns, blue-green water, and birch leaves. And I always smile when I get to see the featured beer at the end of the day.


    1. The featured beer seemed appropriate! We hiked today, totally different weather and the trail was far more treacherous – altogether more winter like, so I quite enjoyed it really(!)
      I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We just returned from our trip to Canmore and Jasper. We certainly enjoyed our hiking. We didn’t get around to the Grassi Lakes hike though . . . next time. P.S. Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale is brewed here in Bend, Oregon, where I live.


    1. A great beer from one of my favourite breweries! We visited Bend a few years back, camping in a State Park just outside town. Really liked the atmosphere of the town – there was a music festival – and also enjoyed an afternoon in Sisters! I imagine your corner of Oregon is a pleasant place to live.


  5. Grassi’s legacy is a fine one, indeed, pc, and your post reflects the beauty of the mountain hike. I’d love to try a Mirror Pond someday! Was also intrigued by the flower pic. It looks like the Calypso Orchid, or Fairy-Slipper. Very cool.


    1. It is a Fairy Slipper, at least, not sure what else it might be, given the locale. My flora knowledge is limited at best…but I certainly trust your botanical skills! We saw plenty more today, always a delight, although they were shivering in snow.
      If we ever meet on a trail offline, I’ll be sure to carry in a Mirror Pond or two.


  6. I’m glad you enjoyed them! Canmore is in just about the best mountain location – the trails all over the Bow Valley are something else if hiking is your thing.
    I hope you’ve had a great weekend!


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