Canadian Rockies Trail Running – Expect Epic-ness

I am getting excited about trail running in the mountains this summer. The snow is melting and the trails are drying up. I have all kinds of plans to get in some long epic runs. The Canadian Rockies can be amazing. I found a website describing some mountain running trails in our area (called Kananaskis) and after studying it I realize that I have defnitely not done them all yet, not even close.

With my need for vertical training this summer for Ironlegs 50 miler, I should have a lot of options. I just need to find the time to get out there without making my family feel like they are abandoned. For mountain running options, it is only 40 minutes to Bragg Creek area, 1 hour to Canmore, and 1.5 hours to Banff townsite. Bragg Creek has mostly treed, and well travelled single track in the “foothills”, although there is a lot of vertical to be found. Canmore is surrounded by several large peaks and has a lot of community trails. And Banff, well that is just amazing.

Last summer’s exploration of the trails was pretty amazing. I described the trails we found in Jasper, Kootney, and Banff in this  blog post from last fall.

I stumbled across this book “Mountain Running in the Canadian Rockies” by Bob Walker (although I believe he is a runner). I’m going to dive in when it comes to my local library.

One problem is that the “winter gates” don’t open until May 15. So most of the good climbing is inaccessible until then. But right after that… I plan to be out there.

Galatea Creek, Kananaskis


IMG_20150403_132359702 (576x1024)
Galatea Creek, Kananaskis
IMG_20150403_135257500_HDR (576x1024)
Galatea Creek, Kananaskis
Near Allen Bill, Kananaskis
Dog Lake
Dog Lake, Kootenay National Park
Floe Lake - Numa Pass
Floe Lake, Kootenay National Park
Near Canmore
Cougar Creek, Canmore

Happy Trails! See you out there.

Author: Kevin

Just a trail runner in Calgary and beyond

8 thoughts on “Canadian Rockies Trail Running – Expect Epic-ness”

  1. When you embark on one of these trails in the early season is there any way of knowing if the who route is navigable? Do the park managers issue a ‘state of the trails’ report, or something like that? I have never been to Canada, or run a trail anywhere, but I read Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild and she describes unexpectedly encountering very difficult snow-covered areas on her long trail walk.


    1. There are several trail organizations who publish trail conditions. They aren’t all current, so if you need to know you have to check around a bit. The park rangers also usually have a good understanding of the conditions. Our family is quite adventurous so we often hike expecting the worst conditions and then are pleasantly surprised when it is better. Be ready for anything.


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