Canmore, just south of Banff, is an excellent winter town and a hub for winter sports. It is not as touristy as Banff and has a great mountain town feel.
We stayed a couple of nights in Canmore and one of our favorite activities in the Canadian Rockies was to hike up Ha Ling. This hike is difficult, but comes with excellent views and can be done in under a few hours.
We outline our experience hiking up Ha Ling Peak as well as a few tips to help you plan your trek below. Enjoy!
Content and photographs provided by Yana Kogan and Timon.
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Hike to Ha Ling Peak
How to Get There
Take Three Sisters Parkway, towards Spray lakes and go several miles until Whiteman’s Pond near Goats Creek Trail. The parking area is just beyond the pond on the right-hand side. Head up the trail until you cross the river and follow the path into the woods.
Hike Distance and Elevation
Distance: 3.7 miles return (6.0 km)
Elevation gain: 2,556 feet (780 meters)
Time: Approximately 3 hours
Ha Ling Peak Hiking Guide
When we hiked to Ha Ling Peak, the trail was packed down with snow and the trail was steep and icy in different sections. It would be good to have ice crampons or snowshoes depending on the conditions.
The first hour has you walking amongst the trees. From the start of the hike, this trail is very steep. About halfway through the trees, there are really nice views of the valley below.
The trail gets even steeper once out of the tree line. There are sections that can be icy and slippery. Continue on the trail before arriving at a sharp left turn. At this point, the scramble begins to the summit.
During the ascent, there are amazing full panoramic views of Canmore and the mountains south of Ha Ling. Right before the summit, there is finally a view north of Ha Ling. From here on up, it is windy and the trail is very steep.
There is a small sign that marks the summit and end of the trail. The 360-degree panoramic views of Canmore and the mountains south of Canmore are stunning. This journey up is short, but tiring due to the intense elevation gain.
Be very careful not to slip on the way down. Wear snow pants and be ready to slide down in many sections. We had some fun with it and literally slid down half the mountain on our butts. This was one of our favorite hikes in Canada.
Although not very long, it is extremely rewarding.
That’s it! We hope you enjoy this short but strenuous hike up Ha Ling Peak!
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You may want to amend this. Ha Ling will be closed for 2022 for maintenance and upgrades.