My legs burned as I ventured up the Grassi Knob trail near Canmore, Alberta. The thought of reaching the top is what motivated me to keep going. I was so happy my friends Jenna and Claire were along with me to experience this adventure. Grassi Knob is not a super well-known hike, but the views are fantastic and well worth the effort it takes to reach the top. To get to the top involves trail finding as well as a difficult climb, but it is well worth it to enjoy the breathtaking views of Canmore and the Three Sisters mountain range.
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Getting to the Trailhead
The Grassi Knob Trail hike begins on the Highline Trail near Canmore, Alberta. You will hike for about 2 km (1.2 mi) on the Highline Trail until you pass a creek. Once you pass the creek, you immediately veer off the Highline Trail and begin your ascent to Grassi Knob. There is no signage for the trail, which makes this hike much less busy, because it requires prior knowledge and research. After you turn off of Highline Trail, the trail will immediately become very steep for the remainder of the hike until you reach the top. Push through and you will be rewarded with spectacular 360-degree views.
Grassi Knob Hike Details
Grassi Knob trail is a relatively unknown hike, which was nice for our group, because we got to enjoy the views at the top with no crowds. It was just us up there for a good portion of time. The hike is a total of 9.2 km (5.7 mi) if you do an out and back. The hike can also be completed as a loop by taking a different trail on the way down- this is what we did. When doing the loop, the hike ended up being closer to 10.5 km (6.5 mi), but was more manageable in my opinion. The way up is extremely steep and involves scrambling, so be prepared for that.
Related: Read our post, Grassi Lakes Hike – Family Fun Near Canmore
Loop or Out and Back?
We chose to complete the Grassi Knob Trail hike in a loop rather than going down the way we came up, which I (and my knees) were very happy about. Descending the same way is doable, albeit very steep. The alternative is to do a less steep, but longer hiking route. Instead of turning left to continue the same way you came up, find the trail to the right instead. This trail is well defined and will weave through the forest until it joins back up with the Highline Trail to take you back to your starting point.
Gear Up to Hike the Grassi Knob Trail
This hike requires a lot of stamina so bring lots of snacks and water to get you through. Mosquito repellant and sunscreen are recommended in the summer months. We completed the Grassi Knob Trail hike in July and the conditions were great, but be sure to check the weather forecast before going. The top is a nice place to rest and have some lunch before making the journey back down. Pro Tip: After resting and refueling at the top, have a quick dance party to energize yourself for the way down!
Watch Our Happy Dance at the Top of Grassi Knob Trail
Why You Should Add the Grassi Knob Trail to Your Summer Hiking List
The Grassi Knob Trail hike was a blast and I definitely plan on doing it again this summer! It was so fun to do this hike with two of my close friends. Enjoying time at the top by ourselves was an added bonus!
More Adventures With Kelsey: Check out Kelsey’s post, Halfway Hot Springs – A Natural Oasis.