Kananaskis Hiking Tours

Get away from the crowds so you can fully unplug and tune your senses with awe into the natural wonders of Kananaskis Country.

Roughly an hour west of Calgary lies the sprawling wilderness playground of Kananaskis Country, an idyllic escape with some of the best hiking and camping in Canada.

Roughly an hour west of Calgary lies the sprawling wilderness playground of Kananaskis Country, an idyllic escape with some of the best hiking and camping in Canada.

Kananaskis Country covers over 4,000 square kilometres (1,540 square miles) of prairie grasslands, wetlands, rivers, valleys and mountains from the foothills west of Calgary to the Continent Divide.

This protected area was officially created in 1978 when Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed was convinced by a helicopter ride over the area of the need to conserve the natural landscapes and resources of the area.

Since then, Kananaskis Country has been partly protected as a multi-use area for recreation and tourism while still allowing limited cattle grazing, resource extraction, power generation and off-road vehicle use.

The mountain views of Kananaskis Country rivals those of Banff National Park but you will find the trails here much less crowded (especially on weekdays).

We can help you customize a unique Kananaskis Hiking Tour experience so you can get off-the-beaten track to see the natural wonders that many tourists miss.

Tour Kananaskis Country with a private hiking guide and get a customized adventure tour tailored to your personal interests and schedule.

On a private Kananaskis hiking tour, you will have an interpretive hiking guide trained in mindfulness, ecotherapy and storytelling about the Canadian Rockies.

You will help you get away from the crowds of mass tourism and enjoy mindful hiking and sightseeing that educates you about the unique ecology, wildlife and history of the Canadian Rockies.

About Kananaskis Country

How does Kananaskis Country compare to Banff National Park?

In high season from June to September, popular places in Banff National Park can feel overrun by mobs of tourists and tour bus groups.

Kananaskis Country is a great alternative because you will avoid the high season crowds and the trails, mountains and glacial lakes are just as beautiful as in the Banff.

In terms of size, Banff National Park is 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) and Kananaskis Country is 4,000 square kilometres (1,544 square miles) of peaks and valleys in the Canadian Rockies.

Where does the name Kananaskis originate from?

According to popular legend, Kananaskis got its name 150 years ago from an early European explorer of the region named John Palliser after he heard a Cree tale about “Kin-e-a-kis” (the word translates as “the one who is grateful”), a native warrior who survived after receiving a devastating blow to the head with an axe in a fight over a woman at the confluence of the Bow and Kananaskis Rivers.

The local Stoney Nakoda First Nation refers to the Kananaskis area as Ozada, which means the “meeting of the waters” in the Stoney Language.

What is the First Nations history of Kananaskis Country?

Archaeological evidence proves that there have been humans living in Kananaskis for over 8000 years.

The Kananaskis region lies within Treaty 7 lands in the traditional territories of the Ĩyãħé Nakoda (Stoney), Tsuut’ina, Kainai (Blood), and Siksika (Blackfoot) First Nations, and within Region 3 of the Métis Nation of Alberta.

What famous movies and TV shows have been filmed here?

You will recognize many places in Kananaskis Country from famous movies and TV shows as it is probably the most popular spot in Alberta for feature films.

Recently, the Netflix TV series series Last of Us was filmed in the area.

Famous Hollywood movies filmed here include Planet of the Apes (2017), The Revenant (2015), The Bourne Legacy (2012), Inception (2010) and Brokeback Mountain (2005).

Is Kananaskis as good as Banff for seeing wildlife?

Yes, you can see just as much wildlife in Kananaskis Country as Banff National Park.

The deep forests, valleys, and hills of Kananaskis Country are home to an abundance of western Canada’s most legendary wildlife. Grizzly and black bears, moose, elk, Bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mule and white-tailed deer, cougars, lynx, wolves, coyotes, and numerous ground animals.

Kananaskis is also ecologically important to Southern Alberta as home to the headwaters of many important rivers on the west side of the Continent Divide, including the Sheep River, Elbow River, Pekisko River, Spray River and Kananaskis River which form a significant part of the Bow and South Saskatchewan River watersheds that provide drinking water for millions of people in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

What is the highest mountain peak in Kananaskis Country?

There are 370 named mountains in Kananaskis Country and the tallest and most prominent is Mount Joffre 3434 m (11,263 feet).

The mountain was named in 1918 by the Interprovincial Boundary Survey after Marshal Joseph Joffre, commander-in-chief of the French Army during World War I. The Kananaskis region includes eleven official mountain subranges but there is some overlap between ranges and groups.

One of the best ways to hike to Mount Assiniboine 3,618 m (11,870 ft), the highest peak in southern ranges of the Canadian Rockies starts in Kananaskis Country.

 

About Our Mindful Hiking Tours

What is mindful hiking like?

Our mindful hiking adventures involve 10-15 minute mindful walking sessions and pausing to experience the most beautiful natural wonders with a sense of awe and presence.

These guided hiking tours are a great way to unplug, relax your mind and tune your senses into the natural awe that arises when we mindful observer and contemplate inspiring natural wonders.

Our Kananaskis Hiking Tours are private guided hiking adventures for small groups who want a completely different experience of Kananaskis Country away from the crowds in Banff National Park.

What is adventure ecotherapy?

At the root of modern life’s biggest health problems is the sedentary lifestyle.

The average person living in today’s hyper-connected world now spends 10+ hours sitting and staring at a screen each day.

Adventure Ecotherapy involves making more time to rest, recharge and reconnect with the natural world around us.

Many of the physical and mental ills caused by modern living are best solved by dedicating more time to daily personal and regular group rituals based around mindful walking, natural movement and effortless relaxation outside.

We are trained to think by ever-present advertising and a consumer culture that expensive supplements, pills and superfoods are the solution to our problems but no pill can fix the long-term physiological problems that result from sedentary living.

As human beings we have evolved to be outside and in natural biophilic environment that inspire and energize us so we must priority this time in our schedules to fully rest, recharge and reconnect.

We guide participants through a series of Adventure Ecotherapy experiences that involve experiential learning of playful, flow-driven ecotherapy practices to effortlessly do this.

What is a peak experience?

Peak experiences are what science calls self-transcendent or unity experiences.

They are moments of self-actualization where we can explore our wider ecological self through powerful emotions like awe, wonder and reverence.

Peak experiences are defined by three major characteristics:

  1. Significance: The peak experience leads to an increased awareness of one’s path in life and can make for defining moments or turning points in life.
  2. Fulfillment: These experiences are intrinsically rewarding and generate positive emotions of awe, wonder, compassion and reverence.
  3. Spiritual: During the experience, one feels a sense of unity with the world with a wider ecological sense of selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness and richness.

If you would like to learn more join the next online workshop on mindfulness, flow states and the spectrum of peak experiences.

Popular Hikes In Kananaskis Country

Spray
Lakes

Just south of the town of Canmore is the spectacular Spray Lakes. Here there are excellent options for hiking and wildlife watching.

Wind Ridge

Experience a beautiful ridge near the town of Canmore that overlooks Mount Lougheed and the backside of the Three Sisters.

Rawson
Lake

Hike from the Kananaskis Lakes region up into the alpine to one of the most beautiful lakes in the Canadian Rockies.

Prairie
View

On the edge of the Canadian Rockies, Prairie View offers a spectacular view of the Barrier Lake, the high peaks of Kananaskis Country to the west and the foothill to the east.

Upper Kananaskis
Lake

Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes offer great trails around the lake, waterfalls, islands and some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the Rockies.

ChesterLake

Chester Lake is an intermediate hike through meadows to a picture-perfect alpine lake that reflects the sprawling mountains around it.

Inquire About A Private Kananaskis Hiking Tour

Please contact us using the form below and we will help arrange a private guided hiking tour during your vacation in the Canadian Rockies.