Top 5 of the most breathtaking hiking trails in Canada

Tall mountain with grey sky and trees at the bottom

Canada is full of beautiful hiking trails. With so many beautiful places, choosing a single destination can quickly become difficult. That is why we have listed five trails to discover in the country, to inspire you for your next destination.

 

Emerald Lake Trail: Mountains in the background, with a clear blue lake and some trees

Emerald Lake Trail (British-Columbia)

Distance: 5.2 km (loop)

Duration: 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

 

Located in the heart of Yoho National Park, in British-Columbia, the loop around the Emerald Lake is the perfect trail for a family trip. The 50-meter elevation makes this hike accessible, even for younger children. Breathtaking landscapes will keep you company all along the trail, whether it be the sight of the glaciers, mountains or the majestic cedar and hemlock trees that surround the path. You will also encounter, at some points of the trail, stairs that will facilitate your ascent.

Want to extend your hike? Multiple paths cross the Emerald Lake Trail, giving you the opportunity to continue your walk on other trails. You can follow the Emerald River or go up to the Twin falls.

 

Lion's Head Trail: Cliff over looking the Isthmus Bay, with trees at the top and the bottom of the cliff

The wall of Lion’s Head, by Kiril Strax

Lion’s Head Trail (Ontario)

Distance: 18 km (loop)

Duration: 6-7 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

 

If you want to reach a point of view that will knock you over, you will be pleased with the Lion’s Head Trail, which consists of two loops for a total distance of 18 kilometers. You will start your hike under the shade of the trees, and as you walk, you will need to overcome multiple obstacles such as high rocks and sinkholes. Be prepared for this eventuality if you are travelling with young children. Also, make sure you are wearing the appropriate shoes for the rocky road you will be facing to prevent slipping and hurting yourself.

The summit of this hike will bring you to an incredible lookout.  It overlooks Isthmus Bay and is located at the top of a 60-meter cliff. There is no handrail between you and the precipice, for a feeling of complete freedom.

Several facilities will be waiting for you at the end of your hike. You can grab a bite in one of the town’s restaurants, of continue your adventures by going to the beach or the Greig’s Caves.

 

Broken Hills Trail: Grasslands in Saskatchewan, land of tall grass with mountain in the background

Broken Hills Trail (Saskatchewan)

Distance: 11 km (loop)

Duration: 4-5 hours

Difficulty: Difficult

 

If you’re looking for peace and quiet, Broken Hills Trail is the perfect choice. It is part of the Grasslands National Park, which welcomes only 20,000 visitors per year. You are sure to encounter only a few hikers and to be able to enjoy grasslands in total tranquility. This trail qualifies as a hard one, because the temperature in the prairies can play tricks to a lot of hikers, whether with the extreme heat in the summer or the freezing cold in the winter. The Broken Hills Trail provided a panoramic view of the Frenchman Valley and you can follow the nearby river to go back to the beginning of the path.

Want to do something different? Random hiking is permitted throughout this national park, with certain restrictions depending on the season. You can also vary the way you travel, as the trails allow you to discover them either by walking, cycling, or even horseback riding.

 

Skyline Trail: Many high mountain with a valley in the middle and two blue pounds of water

By Micheal Lawton

Skyline Trail (Alberta)

Distance: 44 km (loop)

Duration: 2-3 days

Difficulty: Difficult

 

The Skyline Trail is the highest of the Jasper National Park, with over 25 kilometers of trails above the tree line. Crossing three mountain passes, you will have the chance to enjoy a large variety of sceneries. Hiking is only permitted during the summer, usually between early July and early October, and the weather you will encounter might make your trip more challenging. The last descent will also test you, with a D- of 800 meters spread over 9 kilometers. After the past hours spent climbing, your legs will have to adapt to this new movement.

Several campsites are available along the trail and include sanitary facilities. Book your place before your departure, because this trail is the most popular of the park and spaces at each site are limited.

 

West Coast Trail: Sunset in front of the water, with big rocks in it and a part of the beach showing

West Coast Trail (British-Columbia)

Distance: 75 km

Duration: 6-8 days

Difficulty: Difficult

 

Reserved to experienced hikers only, the West Side Trail is crossed by fast-flowing rivers, ladders and cable cars, and includes steep slopes and several muddy sections. This path has been built from First Nations trade and travel routes.

To be able to enjoy this expedition, you must be in perfect health and be prepared to deal with changing weather conditions and unforeseen events. If you think you are ready for this challenge, you will have the opportunity to push your limits while enjoying incredible sceneries.

You will not have to wait until you get to an official campsite to pitch your tent. Thirteen of them are located along the West Coast Trail if you want to camp there, as well as two hosting opportunities on First Nations reserves.

 

No matter if you’re experiencing hiking for the first time or if the trails are your home, there’s a path waiting for you!

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